A great portion of Cardi B’s and Megan Thee Stallion’s fanbase may have seen the official “WAP” music video, but unfamiliar viewers who tuned into the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards last month seemed unprepared for their over-the-top, risqué performance. Those who objected may be shocked to know what “WAP” stands for in the first place. On The Kyle and Jackie O Show—an Australian radio show— Cardi B said it was hard to clean up the song, adding that “WAP,” which she considers normal, is for adults.
“The people that…the song bothers are usually, like conservatives or really religious people, but my thing is I grew up listening to this type of music,” Cardi B said.
But were the performance visuals accompanying the song too much to handle, since there is no clean version?
Rolling Stone reported that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was bombarded with numerous complaints for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “pornographic” performance at the Grammy Awards. Several emails accompanied the story, including one from an offended viewer expressing they were “stunned to see the Cardi B/Megan display.”
“This is really something for women (note: This is Women in History Month) and girls to aspire to. You have got to be kidding me. This was a disgusting display of nothing more than sluts being sluts. Is this going to continue? If so, I certainly want to know who to contact to file a lawsuit against the performers, the network, and any and all persons, corporations, etc who either directly or indirectly participated in this display of pornography. If you do not do anything about this, I will need to seek legal advice regarding any action I may take against you,” [SIC] the partial message said, according to Rolling Stone.
Even the FCC recognizes that the issue of what violates content rules of what can be aired can sometimes be legally murky, since what is offensive involves matters of opinion. According to the FCC’s website: “Federal law prohibits obscene, indecent and profane content from being broadcast on the radio or TV. That may seem clear enough, but determining what obscene, indecent and profane mean can be difficult, depending on who you talk to.”
Additionally, the FCC cited 1964 landmark case on obscenity and pornography, reminding that Justice Potter Stewart famously wrote, “I know it when I see it.” That still influences FCC rules, in addition to the enforcement of rules related to the public’s complaints regarding the airing of objectionable content.
(You may click here to see Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s performance.)
Cardi B seems to have other issues on her mind, such as politics, social justice, and what she says is “really wrong in America.” She posted the video clip after sharing a post adorned with emojis, along with the FFC complaints referenced on a fan account.