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Instagram revokes Censorship on Pedro Almodóvar’s Poster

A poster of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers was removed from Instagram for the depiction of a lactating nipple. Now, the social media platform has revoked its decision.

The Spanish filmmaker had posted the poster of his upcoming film on Instagram, which depicted a lactating nipple. Instagram subsequently removed the post for violating its platform policies. The platform has a policy against the depiction of human nudity except in certain contexts like breastfeeding or educational content. The removal of the post led to an uproar from Almodóvar as well as Javier Jaén, the designer of the poster. Javier Jaén also re-posted the image, which wasn’t taken down.

On Wednesday, however, Instagram backed down on its decision. After the post was restored, Almodóvar posted a celebratory message and thanked the fans for their support. Instagram also gave a clarification to the Associated Press, saying:
“We do . . . 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.”

A scene from Parallel Mothers

Instagram has a long history of selectively enforcing its rules against nudity. Artists that deal with the subject of human nudity are often at the receiving end of its wrath. In 2019, the account of Betty Tompkins was shut down without explanation after she posted an image of Fuck Painting #1 (1969). The account was subsequently restored after pushback from her fans. But it must be noted that while Almodóvar and Tompkins won due to their large social media following, many smaller artists never see similar results.