Back in 1983, then-Secretary of the Interior James G. Watt banned the Beach Boys from performing at a Fourth of July concert on the National Mall, famously contending that the exceedingly wholesome group would attract “the wrong element” and encourage “drug abuse and alcoholism” by singing “Surfin’ USA.”
In the 32 years since, the idea that rock and pop music corrupt our children has waned considerably. These days, if any genre is going to be accused of encouraging drug abuse or alcoholism, it’s probably EDM or hip hop. But down in McAllen, folks are going to the throwback classics by protesting a recent performance by Enrique Iglesias.
McAllen police officer Vince Ousley, who worked event security at the Veterans Memorial Stadium, disapproved of the city sponsored concert that kicked off the annual Holiday Parade. Apparently, the screens on stage with the name of Iglesias’s latest album—Sex and Love—was a little too much for the officer. As The Monitor reports, Ousley feared for the children whose parents might have unsuspectingly paid $15 to $125 for a ticket without being aware of the slightly risqué nature of Iglesias’s material.
“The first thing I saw was the big ‘Sex and Love’ plastered on the three screens on the main stage in the stadium,” the local police officer told The Monitor. “I made a comment to some of my coworkers about it, that it didn’t seem right, given the venue and what this night was about.” […]
Ousley’s Facebook post accuses Iglesias of using at least one swear word at some point during the performance (Ousley says he heard him say “sh*t”) and that he consumed “some sort of liquor” while onstage, as well. Additionally, the officer notes that beach balls emblazoned with the album title were dropped into the crowd, forcing concertgoers and their children to perhaps inadvertently touch the word “sex” with their hands.
Ousley wasn’t alone in finding the performance inappropriate for the city of McAllen—some who weighed in among the 200 Valley residents who shared his post declared the singer’s work to be “audio porn,” as others debated whether the blame for the performance rested with the city (as Ousley maintained) or Iglesias himself. Ousley told The Monitor that he believed the album title should have been a red flag for city officials.
“(Organizers) knew the name of his album prior to booking him,” he said. “They knew he was gong to be promoting that. It had to all be in a contract of some sort. I just don’t think it reflects positively on the morals and ethics of our local government here.”
All told, this seems to largely center around the fact that Iglesias’ album features the word “sex” in the title—but it also features the word “love,” so those protesting in the Valley should at least take some comfort in the fact that at least coitus Iglesias appears to condone is the kind that occurs in the context of a loving relationship. We can only imagine the outcry if the screens had read “sex and just kinda liking somebody.”