Watch: Conservatives Freak Out over Sam Smith and Kim Petras's 'Unholy' Grammys Act

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday February 7, 2023

Kim Petras, right, and Sam Smith accept the award for best pop duo/group performance for "Unholy" at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Los Angeles.
Kim Petras, right, and Sam Smith accept the award for best pop duo/group performance for "Unholy" at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Los Angeles.  (Source:AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

American conservatives took umbrage at this year's Grammys, in part because they were sponsored by Pfizer and in part because Sam Smith and Kim Petras put a devilish spin on their hit song "Unholy,"

The Feb. 5 awards show saw Smith, who is non-binary, and Petras, who is transgender, put on a show with the song that "featured fire, red lighting, and Smith sporting a pair of horns," Rolling Stone reports.

The diabolical imagery fit the song, which itself is a comment on the rejection of LGTBQ+ people by some religious traditions — something that Petras explained to the press behind the scenes at the Grammys, saying, "As a trans person, I'm not wanted in religion. It was kind of like 'hell-keeper Kim.' "

America's conservative commentators took it seriously, though... or at least put on a show of their own on Twitter.

In a tweet that was shared by Sen. Ted Cruz, Liz Wheeler lamented: ""Don't fight the culture wars, they say."

"Meanwhile demons are teaching your kids to worship Satan. I could throw up."

Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, who has espoused Q-Anon conspiracy theories in the past, "offered her analysis in a nonsensical, conspiracy-laden tweet Monday," Huffpost reported.

"The Grammy's featured Sam Smith's demonic performance and was sponsored by Pfizer," Taylor-Greene fumed in her post.

Taylor-Green's post then went on to add: "And the Satanic Church now has an abortion clinic in NM that requires its patients to perform a satanic ritual before services. American Christians need to get to work."

"Greene wasn't the only conspiracy theorist to point out that the Grammys were sponsored by Pfizer, the ostensible idea being that the Covid-19 vaccine and the Grammys are part of a larger confluence of evil forces working together to brainwash your children and destroy America," Rolling Stone reported.

"Smith and Petras made history Sunday night after they won the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for 'Unholy," Huffpost recounted, noting that "Smith, a four-time Grammy winner, became the first nonbinary artist" to win in that particular category, "while Petras, a first-time nominee, became the first openly transgender woman to do so." (Trans recording artist Wendy Carlos Williams claimed a total of three Grammys, all in different categories from the one in which Petras and Smith won, in 1969 for her album "Switched On Bach.")

"While Greene and her followers clutched their pearls over Sunday night's performance, many Twitter users could only laugh," Huffpost went on to note.

Have a look at some Twitter responses below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.