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Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” performance at the 2021 GRAMMYs earned them critical acclaim, but one group has condemned the performance, accusing the rappers of “glorifying prostitution.”
According to The Wrap, The National Center on Sexual Exploitation says the sex-positive show “contributed to the sexual exploitation of women by glamorizing prostitution and stripping.”
“CBS allowed a glamorization of stripping and prostitution to be broadcast in front of a national audience — a portion of which were children — for no other reason than for TV ratings,” Dawn Hawkins, the group’s SVP and executive director, said in a statement.
“Despite the ‘popularity’ of the song performed by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, CBS should have never allowed this kind of explicit performance to happen at the Grammys.”
The video for the single was released in August 2020 and has been viewed almost 370 million times on Youtube. And while some consider the message of both the song and visual as one of female empowerment and sexual liberation — the track has faced criticism from an array of critics, including Conservative pundit Candace Owens and rapper Snoop Dogg.
“Prostitution and stripping are never empowering for women, as they set up systems that exploit and oppress women,” Hawkins continued. “CBS has contributed to furthering the sexual exploitation of women and contributed to the ‘normalization’ of porn culture.”
Since its release, both ladies have staunchly defended their creation.
The people that the song bothers are usually conservatives or really religious people, but my thing is I grew up listening to this type of music. Other people might think it’s strange and vulgar, but to me, it’s almost like really normal, you know what I’m saying,” Cardi said during an appearance on the Australian radio show The Kyle and Jackie O Show.
Megan was also forced to defend the track during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show.
“All the male rappers I know love WAP. I feel like, for a long time, men felt like they owned sex. So sometimes when women speak about sex, I feel like it makes other people uncomfortable because it’s like ‘How dare you talk about your own vagina?,” she told Ross. “You’re not supposed to be talking about a vagina.’ But, I mean it’s frickin’ 2020, why am I not allowed to talk about my body? It’s my goddamn body. You talk about what you wanna do to me all day, let me tell you what I’m gonna do to you!”
Did their performance cross the line?