For the first time in history, drag queens will be broadcast into the homes of millions this year via a Sabra hummus commercial set to air during Super Bowl LIV.
The drag performers, Maxwell Heller and Sang-Young Sin, who go by the stage names Miz Cracker and Kim Chi, were former contestants on RuPaul’s “Drag Race.”
According to a Fandom Wiki page, Sin is “sometimes nicknamed ‘Shade Chi’ by fans on Reddit due to [his] tendency to post shady comments on Twitter and Instagram.” Heller, according to an “about” page on his website, launched his “drag career in 2011 while participating in marches for marriage equality in Times Square.”
“[Heller’s] forthcoming solo show, ‘American Woman’, discusses how drag queens and gay men can become better allies to women in an age when feminism is more important than ever,” it outlines.
Sabra has released a “teaser” to gear viewers for the Super Bowl advertisement. The short, 15-second video shows the two sitting at a table wearing eye black as Sin eats hummus and Heller dons a football helmet.
“Ready, Cracker?” Sin asks. “Chick peas! I was born ready,” Heller replies.
He then attempts to put on a helmet over his long blonde wig, remarking, “I hope this doesn’t give me helmet hair.”
According to Adweek, the commercial, produced by Vayner Media, will also feature Teresa Giudice and Caroline Manzo of the reality television show “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” as well as rapper T-Pain. Teasers were likewise released for the Housewives and T-Pain appearances.
“We’re bringing a diverse group of personalities to the table and demonstrating just how incredibly versatile, relevant and relatable hummus is today,” Jason Levine, chief marketing officer for Sabra, told the outlet. “We think we’ve got something for everyone.”
While drag queens are a first for a Super Bowl commercial, the sporting event is no stranger to controversial material. In 2015, pop star Katy Perry, a former contemporary Christian artist (CCM), promoted experimenting with lesbianism during the halftime show during Super Bowl XLIX, singing her 2008 hit song “I Kissed a Girl” to the thousands gathered at the University of Phoenix stadium and the millions watching on television.
“I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chapstick,” she sang out. “I kissed a girl just to try it/I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it/It felt so wrong, it felt so right/Don’t mean I’m in love tonight/I kissed a girl and I liked it.”
In 2004, during a performance of “Rock Your Body,” a song that includes the lyric “Gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” pop star Justin Timberlake ripped off a piece of Janet Jackson’s clothing, revealing her breast.
Halftime show producer Salli Frattini told USA Today in 2018 in revisiting the controversy that “the production team experimented with Timberlake pulling off Jackson’s skirt without involving nudity,” but the idea was scrapped. Unbeknownst to Frattini, either Jackson or Jackson’s stylist later decided to briefly expose the singer’s breast instead.
“There wasn’t supposed to be any reveal. There should not even have been an action moment or anything ever ripped off her body,” Frattini said, unhappy with the incident.
Some professing Christian houses of worship broadcast the Super Bowl for their members, holding parties in the evening for the youth group or the congregation as a whole. Some seek to Christianize the event by playing testimonies from athletes during halftime or the commercial breaks.
In speaking on trivial amusements, respected Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle once said, “[T]hey who are taught and called of God may soon be distinguished from the sleeping children of this world. These have no leisure for vain amusements; their eyes are fixed and their thoughts are engaged upon the narrow path they have to tread and the crown they hope to receive; they have counted the cost and come out from the world; and their only wish is that they may finish their course with joy.”
Preacher and author Leonard Ravenhill also one lamented, “Why should the world take us seriously when we don’t take God seriously? Come on! … When were you last in a prayer meeting that was bathed in tears, or someone got angry over the monopoly of the devil in the world? I keep saying to people, ‘Get out of your playpen spiritually.’”