Grammy Warning to Performers: ‘Thong-Type Costumes Are Problematic’

A note to artists performing at the upcoming awards show warns against exposing too much skin

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Rihanna performs at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 12, 2012, in Los Angeles

The Grammy Awards will be broadcast this Sunday, Feb. 10, but a memo sent to artists scheduled to appear on the show means that you might want to take “wardrobe malfunction” off your awards-night bingo card. The message, obtained by Deadline from a source who received the e-mail, warns performers — as well as those who plan to be in the audience — that they are expected to comply with the CBS Program Practices standards for clothing.

In short: they’d better cover up. But the memo doesn’t stop there. In case recipients were left wondering, it makes clear exactly what’s expected to be covered:

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.

The memo also warns against T-shirts that promote specific brands; clothing with foreign-language words that have not been preapproved; obscene messages on clothing; and accessories, like lapel pins, that support organized causes.

(MORE: 2013 Grammy Nominations: Who Surprised and Who Got Snubbed?)

CBS may still be smarting from the infamous Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime show that gave the world the phrase wardrobe malfunction, since it was only last June (more than eight years after the Night of the Nipple Seen ’Round the World) that the indecency fine levied by the FCC was dismissed once and for all. But, on the other hand, the network may be exercising just a little too much caution: we can understand why stars can’t perform in the bare skin to which they’ve become accustomed — it’s that we can’t figure out what exactly a nonbreast nipple would imply.

Among the performers we can expect to see on Sunday night’s show are Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Sting, Kelly Clarkson, Fun., the Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Elton John, Taylor Swift and Frank Ocean.