Super-Bowl producers, expecting to avoid controversy by landing family-friendly ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney as the halftime act, have found themselves again embroiled in a post-Super-Bowl controversy on television decency.
“Things were going great at first, but then—in the middle of one song—Paul said ‘Hell,'” said one irate viewer. “I couldn’t believe my ears!”
The offending word was heard during McCartney’s next-to-last song, “Live and Let Die,” which was the theme song of the 1973 James Bond 007 film by the same name. The verse in question reads: “What does it matter to you / when you’ve got a job to, you got to do it well / You gotta give the other fella hell!”
A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spokesperson said that the agency, which is charged with enforcing broadcast decency regulations in the United States, has already received hundreds of complaints about the inappropriate language used during the halftime show and will investigate. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is also considering a lawsuit against Fox and its affiliates for airing religious concepts of the afterlife without giving equal time to people with other beliefs.
Many parents are becoming frustrated with television programming that raises uncomfortable questions from their children. “Last year I had to explain to my youngest son that women have breasts—years before he would have figured that out on his own,” said Kathy Langham, a mother of two, “and now I have to get into a big existential discussion about heaven and hell. I don’t have time for this, there’s a game on!”
It is unclear what effect McCartney’s verbal hint at the existance of heaven and hell will have on impressionable American children who largely lack any moral or spiritual guidance.
During last year’s Super-Bowl halftime show, Janet Jackson’s now-infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ exposed her right breast to a nationwide television audience. Many children in the United States—where the human body is considered shameful and breast-feeding of infants is increasingly rare—were bewildered and confused by the unplanned exposure.