Sam Smith and Kim Petras' 'Unholy' Grammys Performance Sparks Outrage, FCC Complaints as Expected

Sam Smith and Kim Petras outraged some viewers at the Grammys after winning the best pop duo/group performance award earlier that evening for their chart-topping collaborative single "Unholy," which was performed in bloody red costumes and satanic attire. A number of people have complained to CBS and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), claiming that the performance doubled as a satanic worship service. TMZ reported that most complainants believe CBS and the FCC have ignored their grievances. TMZ obtained 18 complaints filed with the Federal Communications Commission, and Satan is the focal point. According to some, the performance was textbook devil worship, and the imagery shown on television offended them. One person said, "I will be canceling my television service due to this." The performance was deemed anti-Christian by some. One viewer argued the song had the potential to "increase violence against Christians." 

The BDSM and adult imagery were offensive to others. Another complaint claimed, "It was wrought with evil imagery and depicted DEVIL WORSHIPING ACOLYTES writhing around on the floor virtually naked, and in CAGES. It was broadcast on live television, and I cannot believe that CBS allowed it." An outraged parent said, "The performance of Sam Smith had people being whipped and in a cage. My 15 year old son who is an aspiring musician, was traumatized by it." Politicians Ted Cruz and Marjorie Taylor Greene found the spectacle "evil" and "demonic."The Church of Satan's magister David Harris told TMZ that the performance "was alright" and "nothing particularly special."

 In Harris' estimation, the imagery in Smith and Petras' set is similar to what people have already seen from other artists, namely red clothing, fire, and devil horns. In a statement, Petras defended her creative decisions, explaining that the stage was inspired by her feeling rejected by religion. "I think a lot of people, honestly, have kind of labeled what I stand for and what Sam stands for as religiously not cool, and I personally grew up wondering about religion and wanting to be a part of it but slowly realizing it didn't want me to be a part of it," she said, per Variety. "So it's a take on not being able to choose religion. And not being able to live the way that people might want you to live, because as a trans person I'm already not kind of wanted in religion. So we were doing a take on that and I was kind of hellkeeper Kim."