Awards season has long usurped bikini season for least family-friendly celebrity photo buzz, but CBS isn’t having it this year: In advance of the 2013 Grammys Award show, they issued an official dress code instructing performers and attendees to keep themselves covered up–especially if they’re female, or have a social cause they’d like to promote. It’s their party, so they can censor however they want to…but coming from an awards show that allowed Chris Brown to perform (and accept awards on stage in a chest-revealing outfit) on the three-year anniversary of assaulting Rihanna, it’s kind of hard to stomach.
CBS Program Practices advises that all talent appearing on camera please adhere to Network policy concerning wardrobe.
Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible “puffy” bare skin exposure. Please avoid commercial identification of actual brand name products on T-shirts. Foreign language on wardrobe will need to be cleared. OBSCENITY OR PARTIALLY SEEN OBSCENITY ON WARDROBE IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR BROADCAST. This as well, pertains to audience members that appear on camera. Finally, The Network requests that any organized cause visibly spelled out on talent’s wardrobe be avoided. This would include lapel pins or any other form of accessory.
Many blogs have pointed out the note’s unavoidable focus on female body parts–there’s no mention of male nipples, and the genital region descriptors used are far more suggestive of lady parts than gentleman parts.
Even weirder is the network’s phobia of celebrities who have a social or political cause to promote. Though it’s not technically breaching freedom of speech (the letter was a request, not an ultimatum, and it’s a private event–nudists can do whatever they want on the ), it’s a disturbing smack down on self-expression for an event that’s supposedly meant to honor artists who express themselves well.
While celebrity side boob and awards show nip slips are probably a parent’s worst nightmare (and therefore problematic for networks like CBS), the network’s complete dismissal of complaints after allowing known abuser Chris Brown to perform on stage–twice–at the 2012 Grammys makes it hard to respect their ethical priorities. I hope every woman at this year’s Grammy’s is flashing side-boob, and a huge pin on her collar supporting anti domestic violence causes.
Photo: Getty Images