If it did absolutely nothing else, Sunday night’s Grammys energized the ongoing reboot of 1980’s-style Satanic panic, this time with Sam Smith and Kim Petras triggering conservative virtue signalers to cry Satan at their performance of “Unholy” at the awards gala.
The nonbinary Smith took the stage in a rather on-the-nose riff on the devil, bathed by red light and flames and wearing a top hat with horns on it, while Kim Petras sang from inside a cage; they were accompanied by dancers, including RuPaul’s Drag Race queens Gottmik and Violet Chachki.
Okay but @gottmik & @VioletChachki performing with Grammy WINNERS @kimpetras and @samsmith is my new religion 🤯⛓ #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/RFuMDhrNLF
— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) February 6, 2023
Texas Senator Ted Cruz predictably gobbled the bait, tweeting at 2 a.m. in the show’s aftermath.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 6, 2023
And Cruz knows of what he speaks, so this was high praise.
Not to be out-outraged, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene paired her critique of the “demonic” performance with a weird (and, need we clarify, untrue) claim that an abortion clinic in New Mexico “requires its patients to perform a satanic ritual before services.”
And alt-right Gen Z’er Charlie Kirk chimed in stating, “The Devil. Brought to you by Pfizer.”
Pfizer’s sponsorship of the evening which included Smith’s song also provided unfortunate, if cartoonish, ammunition for the anti-vax community to further its myriad conspiracy theories. But what doesn’t?
Smith’s embrace of middle school-level satanic imagery, however, also poked the wound of the right-wing panic Lil Nas X stirred up two years ago with the devil lap-dance in his song “Montero,” whose trolling intentions he eventually spelled out.
i spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shit y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay. so i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.
— i am reading all that (@LilNasX) March 27, 2021
The Satanic Temple of Southern California did not return our request for comment, but the big man himself weighed in.
who tf was trying to summon me at the Grammys
— Satan (@s8n) February 6, 2023
The “Unholy” duo apparently did the summoning right, because Smith and Petras became the first nonbinary and trans musicians, respectively, to win the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
Satan, meanwhile, seems to have been an obsession of Cruz’s forever. Craig Mazin, co-creator of HBO’s current zombie masterpiece, The Last of Us, once regaled the entire internet with tales of having unfortunately been Cruz’s college roommate. One anecdote revealed that Cruz “had a book in Spanish and the title was Was Karl Marx a Satanist? And I thought, who is this person?”
But this round of spot-the-Satanist might be particularly useful for Cruz, what with needing some distraction for that ongoing blackout and grid problem in Texas.
Sadly, it seems Ben Affleck alone was tested like Job by the Old Testament “Adversary” at Sunday’s ceremony.
however bad of a day you’re having, I promise you’re not as miserable as Ben Affleck at the Grammys right now pic.twitter.com/OQxA54H9P1
— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) February 6, 2023
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