Victoria's Secret Show Prompts Complaints to FCC

FCC commissioner Michael Copps has promised to look into dozens of complaints that have flooded his office in the wake of promotional spots for the November 15 airing of The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on the Walt Disney Company-owned ABC television network.

Copps told a press conference held the day after the show that he had received 50 e-mails from different parts of the country about the purported indecency of the show, in which dozens of scantily-clad models strutted their stuff on a prime-time runway. One complaint came from Copps' own daughter, who said her child should have the opportunity to see "wholesome programming." The complaints will be forwarded to the agency's Enforcement Bureau, which will determine if any decency regulations were violated.

The show itself was a piece of lightweight fluff, with disco music and lighting, and confetti falling nonstop from somewhere above the runway. Redeeming cultural content—always the saving grace in issues of decency—was provided by a song by R&B star Mary J. Blige, a three-minute performance by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, and a stirring rendition of "Let the Sun Shine" by the Broadway Mass Choir. Otherwise, it was jiggles, giggles, and silliness as a bevy of Victoria's Secret superstars stalked, stumbled, and mugged defiantly.

The hugely popular show, on which parent company Intimate Brands spent a reported $6 million, further blurred "the line separating advertising and entertainment," in the words of the Wall Street Journal. ABC worked the lingerie fashion show into some of its programming the week it aired. The show was a special hit with the 18-to-24 demographic, and was described by its producers as "appropriate and entertaining."