Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
- Sen. Ted Cruz denounced the Grammys as “evil” in a tweet on Sunday.
- The Republican was commenting on Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ Satan-themed duet of ‘Unholy.’.
- Some conservatives have rallied around opposition to trans rights and LGBTQ teaching.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz denounced the Grammy Awards as “evil” after Sam Smith and Kim Petras performed a Satan-themed set at the ceremony Sunday night.
The pair made music history at the event with Petra becoming the first trans woman to win in the best pop duo/group performance category and Smith, the first non-binary artist.
But not everyone was impressed. “This…is…evil,” commented Cruz, a Republican, of the performance in a tweet Sunday.
He was responding to a clip of Smith’s performance posted by conservative podcaster Liz Wheeler, who commented “demons are teaching your kids to worship Satan. I could throw up.”
—Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 6, 2023
In their hell-themed performance of their duet ‘Unholy,’ Smith wore a devil-horned top hat and Petras performed in a cage while the singers were surrounded by red-robed worshippers.
The performance drew fury from some conservatives, who in recent years have rallied around so-called “culture wars” themes, including transgender rights, and restricting teaching of LGBTQ issues and race in classrooms.
In the press room following the performance, Petras elaborated on the performance: “I think a lot of people, honestly, have kind of labeled what I stand for and what Sam stands for as religiously not cool.
“I personally grew up wondering about religion and wanting to be a part of it, but then slowly realizing it doesn’t want me to be a part of it. 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, you know, as a trans person, I’m kind of already not wanted in religion.”
Grammy’s host Trevor Noah made light of the expected backlash by pretending to be on the phone to his mother after the performance, saying: “No, mom, it wasn’t the actual devil… Yeah, you did warn me about Hollywood.”
In 2021, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s Grammy Awards performance of their single ‘WAP,’ attracted conservative fury.
Cruz is an evangelical Christian, and evangelical voters are among his core supporters.
Smith is among pop’s foremost provocateurs, and has stirred controversy with the video to their new song ‘I’m not Here to Make Friends.’