Jennifer Lopez stirred controversy over the weekend after what some Morroccan officials are calling an indecent performance.

The “Booty” singer kicked-off the 13th Mawazine Festival in Rabat, Morocco on Friday May 29th, lighting up the stage with a two-hour performance in front of over 160,000 people. The festival was broadcast on Morroco’s state owned 2M TV network. This drew the anger of many viewers who bombarded social media with complaints about the singer’s dressing and suggestive dance routine.

Members of Morroco’s Justice and Development Party have declared the broadcast of JLo’s performance as a “breach of public decency” and are calling for the sack of the Minister of Communication, Mustapha Khalfi, for allowing the festival to air on public television. JLo’s sparkly white leotard and black knee length boots are modest in comparison to the see-through dragon dress she wore to the MET Gala in May and the now-infamous plunging neckline green Versace gown she wore to the Grammys in 2000.

The singer-actor-fashion entrepreneur has built her fame around her dance moves and her trademark booty. Without them, JLo would just be Jenny from some obscure block. Since 2001, the Mawazine Festival has featured local and international music artistes from a variety of genres. This year, acts such as Pharrell Williams, PSquare, Maroon 5, Usher, Avicii, and Sean Paul will perform at the week-long festival.

The backlash arising from JLo’s performance goes against the festival’s aims of “promoting openness to cultures”. In the spirit of tolerance and openness to cultures, should the Minister of Communications defend the performance (at the risk of his job)? Should concert and festival organizers in conservative countries be wary of inviting provocative, possibly controversial acts? Or, should JLo have toned down her performance to fall in line with the culture of the host country? Would her fans feel short-changed at seeing such a performance? Share your thoughts.

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