ABC Loves ‘Satan Shoes,’ Promotes Twerking With the Devil to ‘Combat Homophobia’

ABC’s Nightline on Monday proved, yet again, that journalists have no concept of religion or what might be offensive. The late-night news program promoted Lil Nas X and his “Satan Shoes,” as well as the singer’s new video in which he “slides down from heaven to hell on a pole and twerks on Satan.” This, apparently, is only offensive to “conservative Christians,” a label that reporter Ashan Singh uses twice.

As though this were all normal, Nightline co-host Juju Chang hyped, “Lil Nas X taking the old town road to hell. Going viral again and igniting controversy. How the ‘Call Me By Your Name’ singer is confronting homophobia and selling out a special edition of Satan shoes.”

Sounding like PR for the Satan-loving song, Singh touted, “It’s these words and these images where Lil Nas X, who is openly gay, is seduced in the garden of Eden and then slides down from heaven to hell on a pole and twerks on Satan, that has people glued to their scenes.”

 

 

He chided, “But the racy song and video has some members of the conservative Christian community up in arms.” At another point, he used the same language: “Some in the conservative Christian community in an uproar over his latest song and music video.” Right, because who else other than conservatives would be bothered by blood-drenched Satan shoes and twerking on the devil?

In addition to the music video, Lil Nas X is cross-promoting demonic shoes: “The shoes allegedly contain a drop of human blood, in addition to traditional satanic imagery like the pentagram.” Singh then turned to podcaster Sarah Marshall to gush over the Satanism:

I think it’s a really beautiful video, and it feels like we’re being asked to witness and appreciate a sexuality that has not been passed around Twitter and shown to everyone in this way before and that it feels to me like a brilliant maneuver to make something beautiful and inspiring.

The only hint in the entire eight minute-plus segment that all of this could be horribly offensive is when Singh featured South Carolina Pastor Mark Burns. He called it all “disgusting” and added:

As long as Lil Nas X is promoting what we consider one of the most damaging images in our culture, which is to Satan, and to glorify Satan, if that’s his belief system, he has a right to worship whoever he wants to worship, but we have a right to not buy his product. We have a right to go after the corporations that support and back him.

Remember when Nightline used to be a news program? It’s been quite a while since the era of Ted Koppel. Twerking with Satan makes Nightline’s fascination with “bootleg butt injections” look positively classy. 

And speaking of corporations, Febreze and Volkswagen sponsored the cheerleading for Satanic twerking. Click on the links to let them know you have a problem with all this.

A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.

Nightline
03/29/2021 (3/30/2021 on East Coast)
12:39 a.m. Eastern

JUJU CHANG: Tonight, fanning the flames. Lil Nas X taking the old town road to hell. Going viral again and igniting controversy. How the “Call me by your name” singer is confronting homophobia and selling out a special edition of Satan shoes.

(….)

CHANG: Tonight, Lil Nas X once again sparking outrage. He says by staying true to himself. Gay, proud, and out with a new song and a pair of sneakers invoking fury of the fire and brimstone variety. Here is Nightline’s Ashan Singh.

ASHAN SINGH: Some might say Lil Nas X thrives on controversy. The 21-year-old pop star first became a household name with his song Old Town Road, one of the biggest hits of 2019.  The song when it first debuted ignited a conversation about race and who gets to be country. And now Lil Nas X is making headlines again, this time some in the conservative Christian community in an uproar over his latest song and music video, Montero.  

[Clip of “Call Me By Your Name.”]

SINGH: Call Me By Your Name. It’s these words and these images where Lil Nas X, who is openly gay, is seduced in the garden of Eden and then slides down from heaven to hell on a pole and twerks on Satan that has people glued to their scenes. With the music video gaining over 38 million views in just three days on YouTube.

JOE LEVY (Editor at large, Billboard magazine): Lil Nas X appeals to Lil Nas X fans and there are a lot of them. These are people who likes what he does, and what he does is as much about the internet and as much about the visuals as it is about the music.

SINGH: But the racy song and video has some members of the conservative Christian community up in arms. Social media exploding with people reacting over what the song could mean for our souls. How did you first react when you saw that video?

PASTOR MARK BURNS: Disgusted at the highest level.

SINGH: Pastor mark Burns is an evangelical minister for the Harvest Praise and Worship Center in South Carolina.

BURNS: He has a constitutional right to do so, to say so. Just as we Christians have a constitutional right to practice our faith. Having said that, it is still disgusting, to see Lil Nas X acting as though he is having intercourse with Satan on television.

SINGH: Burns says he became concerned after watching the music video and seeing lil nas X advertising Satan shoes, modeled after Nike’s air masks and costing $1,018 after the Bible verse Luke 10:18. The shoes allegedly contain a drop of human blood, in addition to traditional satanic imagery like the pentagram. Mischief, the creator of the shoe, reportedly saying they sold out in less than a minute. Do you think Lil Nas X should be cancelled?

BURNS: As long as Lil Nas X is promoting what we consider one of the most damaging images in our culture, which is to Satan, and to glorify Satan, if that’s his belief system, he has a right to worship whoever he wants to worship, but we have a right to not buy his product. We have a right to go after the corporations that support and back him.

SINGH: Nike is now suing Mischief, saying “Nike is in no way connected with this project,” and “Nike has not and does not approve or authorize the Satan shoes.” In a press release, Lil Nas X suggested that the imagery in the music video was intended to address homophobia, saying he was “harnessing his sexuality to seduce the devil and strip of his power as an evil force. While dismantling the throne of judgment and punishment that has kept many of us embracing our true selves.”

BURNS:  I think there is a better way to communicate that message. You can use love. You can use togetherness. I’m against any attack verbally and physically against any LGTBQ community member in this country. But there is a better way to communicate.

BURNS: Lil Nas X tweeting his response to the controversy, writing a letter to his 14-year-old self saying “this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.”

SARAH MARSHALL To me the potential message to the youth in this video is that you can find strength in being exactly who you are, whoever that is.

SINGH: Sarah Marshall cohosts a pop culture podcast called You’re Wrong About” which explores major media events from the past. Marshall says the reaction to Lil Nas video is another example of the phenomenon satanic panic. What exactly are satanic panics and why do we see them happening so often culturally often in relation to pop music?

MARSHALL: It’s always related to the idea that youth culture is becoming too powerful and transgressive and also that American sexuality is becoming too shameless.

(….)

MARSHALL: I think it’s a really beautiful video, and it feels like we’re being asked to witness and appreciate a sexuality that has not been passed around Twitter and shown to everyone in this way before and that it feels to me like a brilliant maneuver to make something beautiful and inspiring.

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