Every broadcast network has a Standards & Practices department. They're the fussy worrywarts who stringently enforce FCC rules about indecency — sexy stuff, swears, maybe violence. Basically they regulate all the fun stuff. But just how specific and needling are they? Well, Deadline has gotten its hands on an email sent out to, presumably, the handlers of performers slated to appear on the Grammy Awards this Sunday night, advising them about restrictions on their attire. It's a wonderful, hilarious grotesquerie of horrifying terms.
Our favorite terms and phrases in the email include "female breasts," "bare fleshy under curves" ("of the buttocks and buttock crack"), "female breast nipples," and, best of all, "'puffy' bare skin exposure." An adult, a high-ranking professional adult at that, actually typed the words "puffy bare skin exposure" as part of their job and sent those words to other professional adults. This is American decency, folks. Here's the email in all its glory.
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.
What about male breast nipples?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.