Do the Emmy Awards Indicate We Are Drifting Into Oblivion?

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On Tuesday, it was announced that FOX’s ‘Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show Starring Jennifer Lopez And Shakira’ picked up four [Emmy Award] nominations: outstanding variety special (live), outstanding directing for a variety special, outstanding lighting design/direction for a variety special and outstanding music direction,” according to Fox News.[1] Superbowl LIV now seems like a distant memory from another lifetime, but it is worth recalling that this halftime show was especially scandalous. The fact that it has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards should greatly upset us.

Pop culture icons and multi-platinum-selling superstars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s halftime show continued what has become a tradition of providing a hyper-sexualized halftime performance during Super Bowl LIV. Crotch grabs, booty-shaking, low camera angles looking directly up what little existed of Shakira’s skirt as she vigorously gyrated, and a belly dance led former Bachelorette contestant Tyler Cameron to tweet, “JLo and Shakira have me sweating.”[2] More shocking to some was Jennifer Lopez who made her entrance clutching a stripper pole, performing her risqué dance routines in front of her 11-year-old daughter. At one point, she even mimicked the crucified Christ atop her stripper pole as throngs of dancers bowed before her.[3]

Shocked parents tweeted, “I’m no prude, but watching it with my 7yo daughter and 11yo son was really uncomfortable.”[4] And, “That was completely an immoral, classless soft porn pole dancing performance! How dare you allow something so provocative knowing children were watching. Then having children perform around these TRAMPS.”[5] Indeed, according to per-minute data from Pornhub, the Super Bowl halftime show sent throngs of people to the sight with Pornhub searches for “Shakira” and Jennifer Lopez” increasing 1,401% and 381% respectively.[6]

Jenifer Lopez and Shakira’s performance was truly pornographic and filled with debauchery, but we should not pretend that a sexcapade during the Super Bowl halftime show is unexpected. Honestly, we’ve reached the point where it would be surprising if the performance were not a hedonistic display of self-objectification and eroticism. However, the performance took such carnality to a whole different level by depicting a mother dancing on a stripper-pole before her 11-year-old daughter and then posing as the crucified Christ before a sea of bowing dancers. And somehow this was hailed by celebrities[7] and the media[8] as female empowerment!

Such a mockery of anything righteous and decent should be condemned, yet our entertainment industry is recommending that it be rewarded and exalted as a model example for future performances! We are now crossing still another cultural threshold as we progress further toward the moment when God can no longer tolerate our wickedness. Even as we respond to the disruption and challenges posed by a global pandemic, national race riots, and the suppression of religious liberties, we must not stop being vigilant in all areas of life (1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Pet. 5:8–9; Rev. 3:3). We cannot permit ourselves to become so consumed with the momentous events of 2020 that we allow cultural shifts to go unnoticed and unchallenged, such as the normalization of what is tantamount to a blasphemous stripper performance in front of children during “family friendly” prime time television.

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Timothy Zebell

Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Napoli, Jessica. “Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s Super Bowl Halftime Show Earns Multiple Emmy Nominations.” Entertainment. Fox News, July 29, 2020, https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/jennifer-lopez-shakira-emmy-nomination-super-bowl.

2. Cameron, Tyler (@TylerJCameron3). “JLo and Shakira have me sweating.” Twitter, February 2, 2020, 8:24 p.m. https://twitter.com/TylerJCameron3/status/1224141455108771846.

3. ChurchPOP Editor. “Jennifer Lopez Blasphemously Mimics Jesus on Stripper Pole at Super Bowl Halftime Show.” ChurchPOP, February 3, 2020. https://churchpop.com/2020/02/03/jennifer-lopez-blasphemously-mimics-jesus-on-stripper-pole-at-super-bowl-halftime-show.

4. Messmer, Jennifer (@JLMezz). “I’m no prude, but watching it with my 7yo daughter and 11yo son was really uncomfortable. I mean, a stripper pole, FFS. Families gather to watch the Super Bowl.” Twitter, February 2, 2020, 9:47 p.m. https://twitter.com/JLMezz/status/1224162561920262147.

5. Edmonds, Lauren and Valerie Edwards. “Too Sexy for the Super Bowl! Parents Slam J-Lo’s Pole-Dancing and Shakira’s Tongue-Wagging Half-Time Performances Blasting That They Were Inappropriate for Kids.” Daily Mail, February 4, 2020, 2:16 a.m., EST. Last updated February 4, 2020, 3:27 a.m., EST. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7964217/Parents-slam-J-Los-Shakiras-halftime-performances-inappropriate-kids.html.

6. Zempel, Kylee. “Don’t Pretend That Shakira and J. Lo Super Bowl Sexcapade Was Surprising.” Federalist, February 4, 2020. https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/04/dont-pretend-the-shakira-and-j-lo-super-bowl-sexcapade-was-surprising.

7. Vo, Lam. “J.Lo Brought a Stripper Pole to the Super Bowl and the Internet Lost It.” Buzzfeed, February 2, 2020, 9:16 p.m., ET. https://www.buzzfeed.com/jenniferabidor/celebrity-reactions-to-jlo-shakira-halftime-show.

8. Pareles, Jon. “Jennifer Lopez and Shakira Restore Sparkle to Super Bowl Halftime.” Music. New York Times, February 2, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/02/arts/music/super-bowl-halftime-review.html.

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