NUDE CENA, THE SCENE OSCAR CHIEFS FEARED

LOS ANGELES. — John Cena’s nude appearance at the Oscars on Sunday night went through an intense Standards and Practices process.

There was reluctance from some corners.

“At first, the S&P team said it had to be blatantly clear that Cena was not naked,” said Rob Mills, the executive vice president of the unscripted and alternative entertainment at Walt Disney Television.

“But then, the producers worked with the network to determine what they could get away with.

“I’m going to educate you a little here. A bulge cannot be showing, and you can’t show crack. It was also, 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-ed on there so it wouldn’t fall. But beyond that, he was naked.”

Molly McNearney, the Oscars producer, said the producers wanted to keep the Cena bit a surprise, so they rehearsed it on a closed set.

She said the back-and-forth with the network’s standards and practices was intense.

“They were sweating,” she said of the S&P executives.  “I think 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, which I’m sure legal would have preferred.”

As for people debating whether Cena was nude, McNearney said:

“That’s what I wanted, maybe it’s not what (S&P) wanted. That’s definitely what I want!”

While preparing to introduce the 2024 Academy Award nominees for best costume design, host Jimmy Kimmel recalled an infamous streaking incident on the show 50 years ago, when actor David Niven was surprised by a naked man running across the stage.

“Can you imagine if a nude man ran across the stage today?” Kimmel wondered aloud as Cena peeked out from behind a wall.

“I changed my mind. I don’t want to do the streaker bit anymore,” Cena whispered to the late night host as they pretended to argue about the apparent prior arrangement.

“The male body is not a joke.”

Nonetheless, the former WWE champion fulfilled his duty, sidling up to the microphone and appearing fully naked save for a prestigious and well-placed Oscars envelope.

“Costumes,” Cena said as the Dolby Theatre roared with laughter, “they are so important.” — Variety/CBS.

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