Want proof that TV networks have arbitrary, often puritanical standards? Check out this leaked memo from ABC to Lane Bryant about its lingerie commercial. Oh, and please remove the word "hell" from "hell of a good time."
Quick backstory: Earlier this week, Lane Bryant posted on its website a lingerie ad it said had been rebuffed by ABC and Fox:
ABC restricted our airtime and refused to show the commercial during "Dancing with the Stars." Fox demanded excessive re-edits and rebuffed it three times before relenting to air it during the final 10 minutes of "American Idol," but only after we threatened to pull the ad buy.
Yes, these are the same networks that have scantily-clad housewives so desperate they seduce every man on the block, and don't forget Bart Simpson, who has shown us the moon more often than NASA, all in what they call "family hour."
Fox, which disputed Lane Bryant's account, eventually agreed to air the ad during next week's American Idol. ABC retorted,
Their statements are not true. The ad was accepted. Lane Bryant was treated absolutely no differently than any advertiser for the same product. We were willing to accommodate them, but they chose to seek publicity instead."
Late yesterday, Lane Bryant released communication from ABC (click below to enlarge) indicating that it had indeed confined the ad to airing during daytime dramas and after 9pm, except for several shows, including the spangly-costumed Dancing With The Stars. (There's also a hint to what "trademark issue" may have led Lane Bryant to temporarily remove the commercial from YouTube — a movie poster seen in the background.) The memo doesn't say why the commercial couldn't air during those times, but Lane Bryant says that given all the flesh that's bared during the forbidden time slots, it means the network finds full-figured women's bodies more offensive.
Meanwhile, CNN has also taken a stand in the controversy: they are in favor of the McRib parodies of the commercial. (My, the Internet moves quickly.) Or maybe they're just confused.
And Bill O'Reilly has proclaimed that he doesn't care, even as his near-twin "culture warrior" panelists can't help but point out that plus size means more cleavage. Warning: they're going show the scandalous commercial! My eyes are burning.
And The New York Post has identified the model in the ad as Ashley Graham (size 16, 38D if you're keeping track, and they are.) She told them:
"The first thing I thought of was Victoria's Secret commercials, and how they're just as racy, if not more racy, than Lane Bryant. [The models are] just a lot smaller than what I am...[ABC] can't handle bigger on TV, bigger boobs on a normal-sized woman on TV."