Church Of Satan responds to backlash to Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ Grammys performance

A magister for the church described the performance itself as “nothing particularly special”

The Church Of Satan has responded to the backlash from conspiracy theorists and right-wingers to Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ Grammys performance.

The pair’s performance of their collaborative single ‘Unholy’ at the awards show on Sunday (February 5) saw Smith wearing a red horned hat and Petras dancing in a cage flanked by dancers with red whips while flames blazed behind them.

Numerous conspiracy theorists and right-wing figures reacted to the imagery online, linking it to Satanism. “Don’t fight the culture wars, they say,” conservative commentator Liz Wheeler wrote. “Meanwhile demons are teaching your kids to worship Satan. I could throw up.”


Right-wing blogger Matt Walsh added: “It’s not surprising to see a satanic ritual at the Grammy’s. Satanism is the worship of the self. Much of modern pop music is satanic in this sense. Leftism is satanism. The only change is that now they’re being more explicit about it.”

Kim Petras Sam Smith
Kim Petras and Sam Smith at the Grammys 2023 CREDIT: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Now, the Church Of Satan has responded, with magister David Harris telling TMZ they thought Smith and Petras’ performance was just “alright” and “nothing particularly special”.

Of the claims the performance was a Satanic ritual, Harris added: “It’s sad when politicians on a national stage use someone’s religion as a punchline.” He also described those offended by the display as “delicate snowflakes”.

Elon Musk also shared his thoughts on the performance on Twitter. “End of days vibes,” he wrote. He later added in reply to a Twitter user who said it had “kinda lame vibes”: “If that’s satan, we have nothing to worry about.”

Smith and Petras were introduced on stage by Madonna, who began by asking the audience: “Are you ready for a little controversy?” She continued to share what she had learned over her career, namely that “if they call you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problematic, provocative or dangerous, you are definitely onto something”.


‘Unholy’ also won the two pop stars the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, making Petras the first transgender woman to win the accolade. In her acceptance speech, she paid tribute to late DJ and producer SOPHIE, along with Madonna and her mother.

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