The memo was almost as shocking as its contents for the very specific rules it laid out. “Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack,” read the leaked note to Grammy Awards performers that hit the web this week.
“Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic,” it continued. “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.”
But, as it clearly states right at the top, the note about what kind of wardrobe is appropriate for the telecast is from CBS Program Practices, not the Grammy organization. “We have absolutely nothing to do with that memo or the rules and regulations the FCC provides to the broadcast networks,” Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow told MTV News in his first public comments on the matter.
The warning, which also requested the presenters, performers and attendees avoid name-brand product logos and plugs on their t-shirts in addition to obscene words and that all foreign language on clothes be cleared prior to air, is nothing new, according to Portnow.
“We’re just a broadcast that we supply to the network, and so we have to comply with rules set out for the network by the government,” he said. “That memo is the same one distributed to artists on our show and presumably other shows for a decade.”
Clearly the rules are a bit fluid, as last year’s show memorably featured Pink swinging from the rafters in a barely-there outfit that consisted of strip of white material over all the bits mentioned in the warning.
Portnow insisted that whatever artists choose to wear on Sunday night, there was nothing new or newsworthy in the warning. The only difference this year, in fact, is that someone chose to leak the memo. “It hasn’t changed … that’s the way everybody has been operating for many years,” he said.