Sam Smith and Kim Petras' performance at the 2023 Grammys has sparked controversy and outrage, leading to 18 FCC complaints. The 'Unholy' performance has been accused of being "demonic" and could lead to hefty fines for broadcaster CBS.
The 30-year-old singers performed a hell-themed rendition of their song 'Unholy', which featured pyrotechnics, smoke machines, and a chorus line of dancers in red costumes. While some praised the performance as daring and creative, others were appalled by its dark imagery. One person commented on the performance saying: “I was shocked by the demonic imagery on live television, and I cannot believe that CBS allowed it”.
It is currently unclear how big of a fine, if any, CBS will have to pay. In 2004, the FCC fined CBS a record $550,000 for violating federal decency standards during an episode of Without a Trace.
The performance also prompted Republican figures such as Ted Cruz to speak out against it. Cruz tweeted: “This is why we can’t have nice things” in response to the show's tweet which read: “We are ready to worship!” The tweet was later deleted by CBS following criticism from viewers.
Whether or not CBS will be fined remains to be seen but one thing is certain - Sam Smith and Kim Petras' Grammy performance has certainly caused quite a stir among viewers!