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The Actual Complaints People Made To The FCC After John Cena’s Naked Bit At The Oscars

 John Cena naked at the 2024 Oscars.
John Cena naked at the 2024 Oscars.

Shock, amusement, and in some cases, anger crossed the faces of viewers as they watched John Cena walk onto the Oscars stage essentially naked, holding only the envelope with the winners' names over his private parts. This bit that came in the midst of the 2024 Oscar winners being announced quickly went viral, and now it’s been revealed that a few very angry viewers complained to the FCC about it.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, Rolling Stone was able to see and publish complaints about Cena’s moment that viewers sent to the Federal Communications Commission. For example, one viewer said the Peacemaker star's joke was “Indecent Prime Time TV.” Meanwhile, another viewer from Newark, New Jersey expressed their thoughts through this livid message:

There is no reason why a grown man will come to national television like a streaker and molest and abuse all the children who will hear and see this in TV and in the various media the following day. There is need for Cena and the Oscar organizers to be cancelled for promoting gratuitous and inappropriate nudity in such horrific levels that they deserve boycott in the first order.

Another viewer from Bluefield, West Virginia wrote an equally passionate complaint to the FCC, stating:

What more can I say….other than an undresses [sic] man coming out on stage with only and piece of paper covering his private parts! Do your job! Get this filth off our TVs!

John Cena naked at the 2024 Oscars
John Cena naked at the 2024 Oscars

For context, during the telecast, there wasn’t any risk of seeing John Cena fully naked on television. His butt was covered the whole time with fabric. Also, during the show, the card didn’t move, and not long after the WWE star walked on stage, the ceremony's host Jimmy Kimmel wrapped him in what looked like a curtain so he was clothed as he handed out the trophy.

However, the joke made some viewers very angry, and they felt that what Cena did was inappropriate. One more viewer from Brandon, Mississippi explained that they thought the bit was “abhorrent,” writing in a complaint titled “Double standards with nudity”:

John Cena’s almost-complete nudity during the Oscars on March 12th, 2024, was abhorrent. If that had been a woman, the world would have ended.

Behind the scenes of the Academy Awards, a lot of thought went into this to make sure John Cena was never seen completely nude. The network was nervous about the moment, and Kimmel said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that he’d never done a bit that “has ever received more scrutiny than this one.” He explained that there were lots of meetings about things like the “size of the envelope and whether we needed to velcro it to John’s body.”

Oscar producers also got into detail about the rules they had to follow for Cena’s joke, noting that “bulge cannot be showing, and you can’t show crack.” So, that’s why the envelope was velcroed to the actor and he had fabric on his backside.

Now, while many got a kick out of this, and John Cena said he would “wholeheartedly commit” to “embarrassing” himself to get people laughing, it still upset some. And they were so angry about it, that they felt the need to complain to the FCC.

Overall though, this viral Oscars joke made a lot of people laugh out loud, a lot of preparation went into making sure Cena was never actually seen nude on stage, and it was one of the more unexpected moments of the evening.