Why Didn't Instagram Want You to See a Poster For Almodovar's New Film?

Published August 12th, 2021 - 10:52 GMT
Poster for Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's new film, showing a nipple producing a drop of milk.
Poster for Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's new film, showing a nipple producing a drop of milk. (Twitter)
Check out Almodovar's poster that sparked the drama.
Instagram apologizes after Almodóvar poster censorship row.

The photo-sharing social network Instagram apologized after removing images of a poster for Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar's new film, which shows a nipple.

"We initially removed several instances of this image for breaking our rules against nudity,"  Instagram's parent company Facebook told AFP.

However, the decision was subsequently reversed and the posters were restored to Instagram.

The poster’s design Javier Jaén was aware that the imagery might violate social media rules but had decided to stay true to their ideas.

"A million thanks to all of you who have made it possible by sharing the poster," Jaén tweeted.  


A post shared by Javier Jaén (@javier_jaen)

The poster for Parallel Mothers shows a black and white close-up image of a nipple with a drop of milk that simulates a crying eye and is set against a red backdrop. A robust online debate saw some defending the image as art while others said it was "too explicit".


"We do, however, make exceptions to allow nudity in certain circumstances, which includes when there's clear artistic context. We've therefore restored posts sharing the Almodóvar movie poster to Instagram, and we're really sorry for any confusion caused," the company said.

The film, which will open the Venice Film Festival on 1 September, stars Penelope Cruz as one of two women whose paths cross in hospital as they prepare to give birth.

The promotional image was made to look like an eyeball producing a teardrop.

Activists have urged social media companies to treat images of men's and women's nipples equally as part of the #freethenipple campaign. The hashtag is used by many artists and celebrities to portray nipples despite the rules. But until now ban does not extend to male nipples.

Nipples are allowed on Instagram "in the context of breastfeeding, birth-giving and after-birth moments, health-related situations or an act of protest are allowed," the guidelines state.

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