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Rock Now Has Its Very Own Super Bowl ‘Nipplegate’ Controversy

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

The controversy over the backing tracks used by the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Super Bowl may have blown over quickly, but there’s one aspect of their performance that could nonetheless land them in trouble. Apparently the FCC received a handful of complaints over the fact that the famously shirtless band did not wear shirts.

According to NME, 53 people contacted the government body that regulates the public-owned airwaves to voice their displeasure with the band’s exposed nipples during the halftime show. An estimated 115.3 million Americans watched the most recent Super Bowl.

In fairness to the band, it’s impossible to determine how many of these 53 — or roughly .000046 percent of the viewing audience — were genuine or simply mocking the FCC for the infamous “nipplegate” incident of 2004. “So how is it okay for male performers to perform shirtless showing both nipples,” one person wrote. “Yet you sanction nipple showing by Janet Jackson? That’s sexism!”

Other complaints, which can be found at Scribd, take offense with some of the more sexually suggestive commercials and that Bruno MarsPolice-inflected hit Locked Out of Heaven’ features the lyric, “Your sex takes me to paradise.”

Next: Top 5 Super Bowl Halftime Performances

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