CBS’ Grammy Ban on Lapel Pins Sends the Wrong Message

Source: Grammy Awards

CNN's Erin Burnett had quite a chuckle last night on her show "OutFront" regarding the "wardrobe advisory" issued by CBS Program Practices to performers and presenters for Sunday's 55th Annual Grammys telecast.

Yes, the "avoid sheer see-though clothing that could possible expose female breast nipples" line and other similar edicts do tickle one's funny bone. But the following additional request is rather worrisome for PR execs and communicators and could send the wrong message: "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."

While we understand that wacky things occur regularly on these awards shows, forbidding Grammy presenters to wear the American flag or pins representing breast cancer, AIDS or any other cause is not only an assault on free speech, but it could be a blow to nonprofit charity organizations.

Celebrities are powerful influencers, and if this kind of advisory sparks a trend among other award shows, charities will have to seek different media channels to get their messages out. Without "exposure" on broadcast TV—and we don't mean the naked kind—it will be all the more difficult for nonprofit outreach and engagement.

Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01


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