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Oscars Envelope Velcro’d to a Naked John Cena Helped Avoid FCC Fine

Fearing “not just a fine from the FCC, but potential complaints” from viewers, the producers of this year’s Oscars telecast took great pains to make sure that John Cena’s, um, peacemaker did not make a primetime appearance — all whilst maintaining the illusion that the actor was 100% naked behind that envelope.

Conceived as a nod to the streaker that famously crashed the Academy Awards ceremony 50 years ago, the premise for the mid-ceremony bit was that Cena was having second thoughts about presenting the award for Costuming while in the buff. Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel eventually coaxed Cena out on-stage, where the super-buff actor/former wrestler “wore” nothing but the envelope containing the winner’s name (and some Birkenstocks).

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Speaking with our sister site Variety, Rob Mills, EVP of Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment for Walt Disney Television, exposed some of the finer details that went into costuming Cena in a way that would keep Standards & Practices happy.

“A bulge cannot be showing, and you can’t show crack,” Mills explained. There was also the concern of “’What happens if he drops that card?’ So we made sure that, for all intents and purposes, he looked like a Ken doll up front. His crack was covered in the back, and then the envelope was Velcro’d on there so it wouldn’t fall. But beyond that, he was naked.” (Note: Cena as seen in BTS photos did have on a flesh-colored “codpiece” of sorts.)

This despite Standards & Practices’ note to production that “it had to be blatantly clear that Cena was not naked.”

Oscars executive producer Molly McNearney — who also EPs and serves as co-head writer on husband Kimmel’s late-night talker for ABC — told Variety, “At the end we all got to a spot where we were comfortable, S&P was comfortable, and it didn’t compromise the comedy a bit.

“I was very thankful that we didn’t have to send him out there in tighty whities,” she added, “which I’m sure legal would have preferred.”

TVLine readers gave this year’s Oscars telecast an average grade of “B.” Kimmel’s monologue also rated a “B,” while Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” performance netted an “A” and Ryan Gosling’s rousing “I’m Just Ken” scored an “A+.”

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