National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) expresses outrage over portrayal of sexual violence at Super Bowl

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Date: February 2, 2004

Contact: Delilah Rumburg, Executive Director NSVRC 717-728-9740, Ext. 119. Susan Lewis, Communications Director (NSVRC) 877-379-3895, Ext. 102.

Source: National Sexual Violence Resource Center National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) expresses outrage over portrayal of sexual violence at Super Bowl.Enola, PA:

“Where’s the outrage?” asks Delilah Rumburg, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). Consensual or not the breast baring, halftime show at the Super Bowl portrayed an act of sexual violence that should have offended and outraged everyone. Surprisingly, not everyone recognized the act as anything but entertainment, missing the real “story,” of sexual violence. In most, if not all states the act of ripping a dress and exposing a breast is an indecent assault. Yet, entertainment goes too far when it desensitizes millions of viewers, especially children and teens, to acts of sexual violence portrayed as acceptable behavior. “Such a portrayal sends a message that sexual assault is okay and if you want it, you take it,” said Rumburg. She expressed deep concern over how such a lewd and tasteless act was tolerated and not recognized for what it was, sexual violence. She continued, “the Super Bowl brings families and viewers of all ages together to watch one of the biggest televised sporting events of the year. For some it’s about football, for others the advertisements but for everyone who tunes in, it’s about entertainment.” In wake of yesterday’s incident, CBS, Justin Timberlake and nearly everyone involved have offered apologies. Yet according to Rumburg, “the real damage is not easily remedied because the performance sent a reverberating message that sexual violence is tolerable, and as a result, further imprints its acceptance into our culture.”

Today, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its intention to investigate the incident. FCC Chairman, Michael Powell, said in a statement about the Super Bowl telecast that the “celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt. Our nation’s children, parents and citizens deserve better.”

If you share in this outrage, Rumburg encourages you to express your view and hold those who are accountable, accountable. “Try writing a letter to those involved in this production such as CBS, MTV, AOL, Janet Jackson, and Justin Timberlake. Do not forget your consumer power!

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