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Richard Poon rejects Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “stripper” act at the Grammys

Richard Poon rejects Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “stripper” act at the Grammys

(Images: Richard Poon/Getty Images for the Recording Academy)

After a shuttered year when we hardly had any live events on television, last weekend’s Grammy Awards performances offered a sense of social normalcy. Listening to Dua Lipa’s daring medley on stage, dancing to the much-anticipated number by BTS, and bopping to Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar,” a performance which went on to win a Grammy – all seemed right in the world again, and everyone breathed a momentary sigh of relief.

Everyone but perhaps one – Richard Poon, who made his thoughts regarding the “bold” acts at the awards show public on Tuesday. Through a Facebook post, the crooner raised his concerns over Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s live performance of their hit song “WAP” on the Grammy stage.

Poon’s caption reads: “Ah yes….the Grammys. The worldwide musician’s authority featuring the leaders of pop music. Expect many entertainment shows to follow and replicate this so-called ’empowering’ performance by Cardi B and Megan Stallion. This must be our music-industry standard I guess?”

Despite the lack of words to describe the stunt, Poon emphasized how the performance was a cut below its claims of being “empowering” and how this signals other entities to follow suit.

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion
(Images: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for the Recording Academy)

Under his Facebook post, Poon added a lengthy and impassioned comment to clarify his stance. Overall, he explained that expressing his disdain over the “hypersexualized” performance with “strippers production” should not be interpreted as an act of misogyny and bigotry, but simply as a show of disapproval to the performance. 

Poon also cites articles that tell of Cardi B’s decision to not let her 2-year-old daughter, Kulture, listen to “WAP.”

Responding to Poon’s post, Facebook users highlighted the prevalent “double standards” where performances by bare-naked males aren’t chastised in the same way as much as performances led by sexually-empowered females. 

Others also reminded the singer that his opinion towards the affairs of “confident women” is a trait prevalent in patriarchal societies where male figures police decisions made by women.

As divided as the audience may be over the audacious act, Poon’s sentiments are shared by many other vocal voices, some of whom have manifested their grievances legally. 

According to the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), almost 80 disgruntled viewers filed a complaint about the pair’s performance of WAP, with most of the complainants describing the choreography as “pornographic.

Some manifested that CBS, the network which aired the awards show, should face stiff penalties as “The outfits they were wearing and the movements they did were absolutely disgusting.”

Responding to criticisms, Cardi B tweeted on Tuesday that WAP’s “vulgar” lyrics pale in comparison to other societal issues that “conservatives” consciously ignore, like racism. 

With regards to not letting Kulture listen to WAP, Cardi B reiterates that parents are responsible for what their children are watching and listening to, just as she is to hers.

Meanwhile, Megan Thee Stallion also aired her frustration on Twitter, where she reminded her followers that no one is being forced to listen to anything.

“WAP” is the lead single off Cardi B’s upcoming second album. The song debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, extending Cardi B’s record as the female rapper with the most number-one singles in Billboard history. It also broke the record for the largest opening streaming week for a song in the United States, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Digital Song Sales, Streaming Songs, Hot Rap Songs, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. 

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