Nude ‘Project Runway’ Billboard Nixed in Los Angeles

Nude 'Project Runway' Billboard Banned in

When it comes to billboards in Los Angeles, it seems Heidi Klum’s catchphrase applies: you’re either in, or you’re out.

The billboard for “Project Runway’s” 12th season, in this case, is very much out in the city of Los Angeles.

Lifetime confirmed to Variety that the season 12 art — complete with nude models worshiping a costumed Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn — will not be on display in the Los Angeles area due to nudity. While details regarding the situation are still emerging, according to the city of Los Angeles’ Department of Building and Safety, signs containing “obscene matters” can be prohibited by the city. It was not immediately clear whether a city org formally rejected Lifetime’s efforts to erect billboards with the racy image, or whether the cabler ran into roadblocks with private sellers of outdoor advertising space.

While the key art for the fashion design competition series certainly raises eyebrows at first glance, anyone cruising Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood with some regularity has probably seen an equally risque billboard from a fashion brand in the past. Either way, the controversy could help drum up additional promotion — and potentially ratings — for the series, which returns to Lifetime on July 18.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 56

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Jim Wall says:

    But the milk and fur ads were O.K.?

  2. Scotch says:

    This billboard is out of bounds just because of the nudity. But the billboards depicting blood and violence, (i.e.; the ads for the Dexter TV show, or any of a number of horror movies) are just fine. When will our society be as offended by gratuitous violence as we currently are of vague hints of sex or nudity?

  3. Marcus says:

    I agree with Deb.

  4. Deb says:

    Does anyone else find this degrading to the models? Not only are they nude…they are practically groveling at the feet of the well-dressed Klum and Gunn. The models appear to be portrayed as serfs / slaves. What’s the message? Strip yourselves of dignity and prostrate yourselves before the altar of the truly special people?

    • CanisUnfamiliaris says:

      That was my first thought as well. Ick.

    • That’s what acting is all about! You can take the job or not; its the actor’s choice. But, those who take the jobs must realize that these sorts of things sometimes come as a part of the package.

      Reality Shows may be presented as “real life” but they are still actually actors playing parts for the cameras and the audience.

      So, they go along or they go away and hope they still get another shot somewhere else. When they are rich and famous, they get more say… sometimes.

  5. Melodye Joy says:

    Wait…this ‘nude’ billboard was banned in LA, but last season we got Heidi covered in nothing but fabric scissors right off Hollywood & Highland! The billboard is creative, showing that without a cast of Project designer hopefuls, the world would be without clothing, exception being the queen of couture and her trusted fashion advisor. I see nothing but creativity in the advertisement.

  6. SeaWitch says:

    Not a well thought out add. We don’t watch this for the models, it should have bee the designers at their feet groveling through chiffon. LOL

  7. AnnyMsMm says:


    Plus, how is nudity related to fashion??

  8. Allen Clark says:

    Is there no protection for our children. Is free expression and free speech going to go on unchecked. This mentality of letting anybody do what they want for the sake of expression is taking this country’s morality down into the gutter through our children. Thank you Hollywood for your contribution.

  9. larry says:

    Notice all white women w/what looks like three men of color, how politically correct.
    I guess black naked men w/only naked white women is affirmative action in action.
    That would have to have been done on pupose!

  10. coco says:

    LA won’t accept this photo? Wonders never cease! There still are people with some moral values left in Los Angeles.

  11. R. Richard says:

    Whop cares about the nudity? What I wanna know is who did Heidi’s hair???

  12. Benyomin1 says:

    It’s hard enough raising up a kid in this day and age without one more distraction that you have to talk to your 9 year old about while fighting traffic.

  13. JoeHoliday says:

    Are the naked black guys for Tim or Heidi. I thought they both gave up oversized packing.

  14. JudenRaus says:

    Is there any way we can just get rid of jewish homosexual forever?

    • Robert Wyatt says:

      How about getting rid of ALL homosexuals….

      • Pravnicka says:

        As a Mississippi born-again Christian, what is so horrible about the picture? An art museum usually has full frontal nudity shown.

        Now, I do know what is so horrible about those that hate. Christ, himself, said that he who is without sin could throw the first stone.

        Myself, I’d rather stand amongst the “sinners,” than among the self-righteous, holier than-thou-art, self-proclaimed “holy” people who use God for their own purposes. It was the “holy” men in the temple who brought out Christ’s righteous anger when He cleared the stadium size temple.

      • NotGayButSupportive says:

        Wow. Way to prove your ignorance. How do homosexuals affect your life in any way? Your ignorance and hate certainly affects theirs.

      • JudenRaus says:

        Now you’re talking.

  15. Mark Marks says:

    OMG, are we in the 21st century or the 17th! Don’t we all love to view a shapely human body? What is America afraid of seeing? Possibly if we started “exposing” reality instead of violent and perverted images we would all be in a better place. Here is a shocker, the next time you look at a street full of people just remember that each person represents at least one act of sex between a man and a woman (usually). On the other hand, if that is the end result of sex, possibly we would be better off not seeing any of it!!

    • Randi says:

      This is not artwork, nor is it in a museum where you can make a choice to go see it or not for yourself or for your children.

    • JudenRaus says:

      No we don’t love to view a shapely human body, esp. when it’s ugly syphillitic homosexual trash from hollywood.

      The 60s are over, moron, and we’re rolling back all the degeneracy. See you at the garbage dump.

  16. Mary says:

    What’s going on with Heidi anyway? She likes to play with fire. I hope she doesn’t get burnt. I could see it lately, on America Has Talent. ” I don’t want to mention with who, but it’s obvious. As far as the picture, a mother of 4, should not put herself in such an environment!!!!! Yes, she’s covered up, looking innocent but she’s being hypercritical and a phony. She doesn’t need to be surrounded by provocative and trashy surroundings. She’s too pretty. She’s classy and I don’t want to see her ruin her career.

  17. Gian Frank says:

    Red head has no ass…

  18. Otto says:

    How much did Lifetime pay LA officials…uhhm donate to campaigns… to get this thing banned. Talk about free publicity… Variety (and I) fell for it!

  19. Stukaman says:

    Just a bunch of Hollywood’s leftist, elitist 1%ers trying either to become or remain relevant to society. They really contribute little of value any more, and they sense it. Hence, the extreme behavior to grab a little limelight. Nothing else to see here, folks.

    • Otto says:

      Stucky- It’s called advertising you moron. Old school. It goes way past the pinup girls of the WWII era, and the It girl of the 20’s, and the dance hall girls of the 1800s US western territory…relax and enjoy history.

  20. J says:

    It’s too easy to get free publicity for a TV show.

  21. ChurchSox says:

    That’s poster’s not “nude.” A Reubens painting is a “nude.” That poster’s nekkid!

  22. mehitable says:

    I think it looks kind of creepy and cult like – maybe that’s the point, but nothing to ban. Aside from the creepiness the poster is well done and artistic.

  23. NooYawkah says:

    What’s the problem? She’s not nude.

  24. Blake says:

    Have there ever been any PETA “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” billboards around there?

  25. Los Angeles needs to get a life. If those had been statues, it would have been perfectly fine.

    Besides that, there’s no more nudity than in an antique Coppertone advertisement, it’s just missing a dog.

  26. James Earl says:

    Who cares if there is naked attractive women on the billboard. I mean isn’t there much more pressing things going on in L.A.?

    The only problem I see is that there are colored gentlemen touching the naked white women. That in itself is grounds for being banned one would figure.

  27. alanwillingham says:

    Most of them look slippery….

  28. el polacko says:

    wow…hard to believe that L.A. would ban something so tame (and humorous).
    oh well. i suppose more people are seeing the ad now that the prudes have banned it. can’t wait for the new season !


    Since it is Project Runway you know the women and men aren’t going to be doing anything together like the bill board might suggest. Besides the television show Naked and Afraid is probably more revealing.

  30. John Smith says:

    I don’ know Uncle Danny, but I got off the train in Peoria and suddenly it was 1967 and there was this Nude Shoot in :The Valley”

    ( sorry, but this looks realy, really OLD.)

  31. hunter says:

    Hopefully it takes you along with it.

  32. MrsFudd says:

    What a stupid billboard. It has nothing to do with Project Runway – only to push the envelope and try and titillate. It will probably cause accidents so it should come down. It really is an immature and foolish way of advertising.

  33. cattyfan says:

    The biggest obsenity is the amount of air-brushing on that photo. Not to mention the full display of eating disorders.

    • hunter says:

      I guarantee you that all those models are far healthier than all the fat-asses who sit at home eating crappy food all day and fool themselves into thinking that people who are slim/fit must somehow be starving themselves…

    • keith says:

      Jealous much? Just enjoy cheeseburger…

  34. feltso gudinya says:

    the only obscene thing about project runway is michael kors’ tacky, middle-class long island inspired yochner opinions…….

  35. Grizz Mann says:

    I might just be interested in Project Runway this time.

  36. Dina says:

    Advertisement is not appropriate for public display.

  37. Jack says:

    Publicity stunt. Tired billboard. Tired show.

  38. Mike says:

    Ken, you’re hereby nominated for the “Best Use of Cynicism in Description of a Reality Competition Show” award!!

  39. wallythedog says:

    who the hell are Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn???? No never mind, I don’t want to know and don’t care.

  40. vsulmgc says:

    Wow… what would happen in Los Angeles when we promote a touring exhibit of art from the Louvre? How is it possible that the heart of Hollywood geography is run by Puritanical standards?

    Kudos to Lifetime and the design studio and photography team who created this key art…

  41. Ken says:

    They probably paid some hack official off to “ban” the billboard to generate publicity.

  42. Johnonymous says:

    Obscene?! Give me a fuckin’ break!

  43. A Hippo Butt would need a BIG Billboard, Variety.

More TV News from Variety