The salsa dancing in Sunday’s Superbowl halftime show was too hot for evangelist Franklin Graham.
The head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Trump supporter took to Facebook to share his distaste for skimpy costumes and suggestive dance moves during the 12-minute performance by the first two Latina women to co-headline the coveted Pepsi halftime show.
“I don’t expect the world to act like the church, but our country has had a sense of moral decency on prime time television in order to protect children,” Graham commented. “We see that disappearing before our eyes. It was demonstrated tonight in the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show – with millions of children watching.”
“This exhibition was Pepsi showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is okay,” he continued. “With the exploitation of women on the rise worldwide, instead of lowering the standard, we as a society should be raising it. I’m disappointed in Pepsi and the NFL.”
Celebrities like Lady Gaga, baseball great Alex Rodriguez and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush gave high marks to the performance in Miami by pop stars Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. The show was heavy with Latin American influences and at one point featured the 50-year-old Lopez utilizing a stripper’s pole, echoing her role as an exotic dancer in the 2019 movie Hustlers.
The high-energy performance by two women past 40 included political overtones, when Lopez brought her 11-year-old daughter Emme on stage to portray a Hispanic child confined in a cage before breaking into Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” as her mother burst forward wearing a costume representing the Puerto Rican flag.
Lopez told Variety in November that both she and Shakira were hoping the show would be viewed as a celebration for the Latin community.
“I think it’s important in this day and age for two Latin women to be standing on that stage – when Latinos are being treated a certain way in this country, or looked at a certain way – to show that we have a really specific and beautiful culture and worth and value, and we bring something to this country that’s necessary,” Lopez said. “I think that’s going to be an amazing moment. That night, I want it to be a celebration of who we are. All of us, because we’re in this together.”
Asked in 2019 about artists who were turning down Super Bowl invitations in protest of the NFL’s treatment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback after he started kneeling during the National Anthem to draw attention to racial inequality and police brutality, Shakira cited President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
“Well, you know, I think it’s the right thing to do for the Latino community because we’ve also been through so much in Trump’s America, with walls being built,” the Colombian singer told The Guardian. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate our culture, you know?”
On Friday the White House expanded its controversial travel ban, adding residents of Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Krygyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania to a list of Muslim-majority countries originally barred from entering the country three years ago.
Graham, a loyal supporter of President Trump, is having travel problems of his own. The Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow last week became the third venue to cancel its hosting of Graham’s upcoming tour of the UK under pressure from LGBTQ activists. Venues in Liverpool and London previously said the tour is unwelcome in their facilities.