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Ted Cruz Thinks Grammys Are “Evil” for Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ “Unholy” Performance

As predicted, Kim Petras and Sam Smith‘s performance at Sunday night’s (Feb. 5) Grammy Awards is riling up the right, and Sen. Ted Cruz is the latest conservative figure to call out the artists for their fiery display at the awards show.

Cruz commented on a Tweet from conservative podcaster Liz Wheeler yesterday, who posted a clip of Smith and Petras performing “Unholy” at the Grammys and wrote, “Don’t fight the culture wars, they say. Meanwhile demons are teaching your kids to worship Satan. I could throw up,” per Business Insider.

The Texas lawmaker retweeted Wheeler’s message, adding, “This…is…evil.”

The “evil” performance kicked off with Smith dressed in red leather and surrounded by a ring of dancers as flames flared behind them. Smith later donned a red top hat with devil horns, while Petras performed from inside a cage flanked by dancers holding whips.

We have a feeling the outrage is likely rooted in the performers’ gender identity — Petras is openly trans, while Smith is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns — but the majority of people clutching their pearls are claiming “Unholy” is promoting devil worship.

Petras explained what the performance is actually inspired by while speaking to press backstage.

“I think a lot of people, honestly, have kind of labeled what I stand for and what Sam stands for as religiously not cool, and I personally grew up wondering about religion and wanting to be a part of it but slowly realizing it didn’t want me to be a part of it,” Petras said, per Variety.

She continued, “So it’s a take on not being able to choose religion. And not being able to live the way that people might want you to live, because as a trans person I’m already not kind of wanted in religion. So we were doing a take on that and I was kind of hellkeeper Kim.”

Kim Petras performing at the Grammys

Before the Grammys even aired,  a report alleged that Smith and Petras’ performance was likely to “make a lot of people very upset,” specifically “outraged Christians,” per Showbiz 411.

And while Cruz and his crew are trying their best to stoke the fury over Smith and Petras’ messaging, the two artists have already come out on top. They made history on Sunday night as the first openly trans woman and nonbinary performer to win the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

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