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
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 10 things you need to know today: July 25, 2014
Subscribe to the Week