The video: On December 11, a pair of pop stars appearing on England's hit reality series, "The X Factor," upped the provocation factor too high for many viewers. Christina Aguilera and her dancers, performing "Burlesque," squirmed "suggestively" while wearing little; for her part, Rihanna engineered a striptease while singing "What's My Name?" revealing a problematically "tiny skirt." (View the respective clips below.) Together, the ladies generated 2,750 complaints to Ofcom, the British media regulator, many pointing out that the show aired before 9 p.m., when programming is supposed to be relatively free of adult content. OfCom has since launched an investigation into the so-called "sex scandal," and may levy a fine against "The X Factor."
The reaction: "It is not just that the crotch flashing and pseudo sexual grinding... was out of place," says Jan Moir at The Daily Mail, it's that the message the performers sent was so very depressing. "Heaven bless the Mail and its profound sense of public duty," says Peter Preston at The Guardian. "And heaven bless the odd thousand or two of tender, sheltered Mail readers (out of 18 million viewers) who've obviously never tuned into MTV at any time of the day or night." Watch the controversial performances here:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- The government is getting into the fact-checking business. Be very, very afraid.
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
Subscribe to the Week