Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Shocking. Simply shocking.
No, not that the ever-outraged Parents Television Council has once again saddled up its highest horse and decided to protest the Billboard Music Awards after deeming Rihanna and Britney Spears' opening number particularly scandalous, but that the organization waited nearly two whole days before attempting to get their names back in the headlines.
Oops. We mean, before voicing their outrage in a widely disseminated press release.
"What happened in Vegas should have stayed in Vegas, as the saying goes," the PTC's president and resident wit master Tim Winter said in a statement. "It certainly has no place at 8:00 p.m. on the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves."
"I cannot imagine what would possibly lead the ABC television network to air a profanity-laced, S&M sex show on primetime broadcast television. The overtly sexualized performance by Rihanna and Britney Spears was no accident or mishap, but a deliberate effort to target teens with images and lyrics that glamorize whips, chains and other sexual fantasies."
Right. Few things here: we're not sure what button Winter activated on his remote, but the performance was profanity-free. Unless for some reason the PTC thinks the word "sex" is a profanity. And while the performance was sexualized, that's hardly surprising given that the song itself is called "S&M." And nevermind that it was scaled back by about 200 notches from the music video version of the tune.
What the PTC really seems to have taken issue with here—and what to them seems to constitute an "overtly sexualized performance" is a pillow fight between the singers toward the end of the song—which isn't actually with each other, but rather playfully (and, if we could play critic, fairly half-heartedly done) against their backup dancers, and a tiny smooch they give each other at the end of the performance.
ABC isn't talking, but it's unclear if the kiss was edited out of the feeds, or if the peck, which took place after the song ended and was clearly not an intended part of the performance, was too spontaneous to have actually caught on camera (viewers were instead treated to a cut to the cheering audience) or if they purposely cut away. It's also unclear if the performance itself has garnered any viewer complaints.
It's also unclear if the kiss was anything to get excited about in the first place. Though headlines quickly dubbed it a girl-on-girl kiss, and labeled it as a Britney-Rihanna makeout sesh, photos of the incident seem to prove otherwise, as it appears that Rihanna simply grabbed Britney's face after they finished performing and planted a big wet one…on her cheek.
How very scandalous.
In any case, it would explain why neither Britney nor Rihanna have commented on the incident—namely, because there's nothing to comment on. Besides, if the kiss were actually planned, you'd expect it to be (a) more original (shades of Madonna 2003, anyone?) or (b) actually titillating.
Still, the Parents Television Council is plowing ahead regardless, and asking fellow parents to contact ABC-Disney as well as advertisers Chevrolet, Old Navy and McDonald's to ask if the performance reflects their image.
Better luck with that indignation next time, PTC. The problem with blind outrage is that sometimes it makes it hard to actually see.