Denouncing a new Jessica Simpson video as “slutty,” a Christian media watchdog Web site called on the singer, actress and celebrity spokesperson for sexual abstinence to apologize and issue a more tasteful re-shoot.
The music video, “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” features a bikini-clad Simpson in character as Daisy Duke in the upcoming film “The Dukes of Hazzard” washing the General Lee.
The scene is being compared to Paris Hilton’s recent commercial for a hamburger chain, which some have complained is too hot for TV. The music video also reportedly shows Simpson bumping and grinding and kissing co-star Willie Nelson.
“She should be ashamed of herself,” John Conner of the Christian activist organization The Resistance said in a press release.
“It’s disappointing to have Jessica, a pastor’s daughter and Christian role model, join the ranks of the ‘singing strippers’ such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera,” Conner said. “She has one of the most beautiful voices, and is a very beautiful girl, but it’s sad to see her whore herself out like this. What’s worse is that Pastor Joe Simpson is Jessica’s manager, as well as her father.”
Simpson, who turns 25 July 10, got her start in show business as a youth after being discovered singing a Whitney Houston song and an arrangement of “Amazing Grace” at a church camp in Dallas.
Her father, Joe Simpson, is a pastor’s son and ordained Southern Baptist minister who gave up his $22,000-a-year job as a psychologist and youth minister at Richardson Heights Baptist Church in Texas to manage his daughters’ careers.
After losing out in an audition for the “Mickey Mouse Club” to future stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson turned to the Christian youth concert circuit. She performed with acts like Kirk Franklin and Ce Ce Winans while still in junior high.
She crossed over to popular music, in part because of concern that her full figure didn’t fit the image of a Christian entertainer, signing with Columbia Records/Sony Music for a debut album in 1999.
She unwittingly became a spokesperson for sexual abstinence when she said in an interview that she intended to keep a promise to remain a virgin that she made to her father in a ceremony when she was 12.
“I promised God, my father and my future husband that I would remain a virgin until I got married,” she said. “I just always knew it was something I wanted to do.”
Simpson, who has performed at “True Love Waits” events, insisted that her wedding gift “will be a heck of a lot more valuable than a big-screen TV.”
By all accounts, she kept her vow until her marriage to Nick Lachey of the boy band 98 Degrees in October 2002. Fueled by tabloid interest in a five-month breakup just before they tied the knot, MTV signed the couple to a reality cable TV show “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica,” further cementing their fame.
Fellow actress, 18-year-old Lindsay Lohan lampooned Simpson’s virginity vow in a sketch on “Saturday Night Live” on May 21.
Despite her fame as a good girl, Simpson at times has been criticized for confusing fans with a mixed message of chastity and immodest dress.
Defending her sexy outfits, she told a magazine four years ago: “I will wear sexy clothes. I’m not ashamed of my body, and I am not afraid of showing it. I just do it in a tasteful way. I just turned 20 and I want to show my body, and that’s okay because God gave me my body and I am proud of it and I worked for it, dang it! … If you spend $200 on a dress, you want to look hot in it. And I definitely want heads to turn.”
Some also criticized a statement by her father last year to GQ magazine as inappropriate. “Jessica never tries to be sexy,” he said. “She just is sexy. If you put her in a T-shirt or you put her in a bustier, she’s sexy in both.”
“She’s got double D’s!,” he said, a reference to her bra size. “You can’t cover those suckers up!”
“The Resistance” called for the new video to be re-shot in better taste, and for Simpson to issue an apology. “She took a classic like the Dukes of Hazzard, and Daisy Duke, and turned her into a slutty stripper with a fetish for old men.” Conner said.
“Simpson was one of the last remaining female MTV icons who is extremely beautiful but maintained class,” the press release continued. “Now that class has been flushed down the toilet.”
According to its Web site, The Resistance monitors what it views as the continuing fulfillment of apocalyptic Bible prophecy.
The group has previously criticized MTV for “celebrating homosexuality.”
It also recently called for a nationwide boycott against the use of radio frequency identification devices, or RFID, to track students in schools, which Conner described as a predecessor to the universal sign that will be mandated by the anti-Christ during the period of history described by end-times scholars as the tribulation.
Joe Simpson also manages the career of Jessica’s younger sister, Ashlee Simpson, who blamed her own lip-synching debacle last year on “Saturday Night Live” on acid reflux.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.