Instagram apologises for removing Penelope Cruz film poster showing lactating nipple

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Instagram has apologised for removing an official film poster because it showed a lactating female nipple, after the designer complained of censorship.

The social media platform took down several images of the poster for Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's new film Madres Paralelas (Parallel Mothers) for "breaking our rules against nudity", Instagram's parent company Facebook said on Wednesday.

However, it went on to say that the pictures promoting the film, which stars Penelope Cruz and will open the Venice Film Festival in September, have since been restored.

"We do, however, make exceptions to allow nudity in certain circumstances, which includes when there's clear artistic context," Facebook said in a statement.

"We've therefore restored posts sharing the Almodóvar movie poster to Instagram, and we're really sorry for any confusion caused."

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It comes after Javier Jaén, the poster's designer, also from Spain, said it had been removed from his Instagram page on Tuesday.

The image is designed to a look like a teardrop coming from an eye.

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"As expected, @instagram took down the poster that we made for the latest Almodóvar film #madresparalelas," he wrote.

After the image was restored, the designer reposted it and shared "a million thanks" to those who shared the image to highlight the issue, and also thanked Almodóvar for his "courage, integrity and freedom".

Facebook and Instagram have longstanding rules on nudity, and previous bans have led to the rise of the #FreetheNipple movement and hashtag on social media, used by many artists and celebrities to portray nipples despite the rules.

The platform has faced criticism over the issue in the past as the ban does not include male nipples.
Almodóvar's production company has not commented.

He and Cruz have worked together on several films including Live Flesh, All About My Mother, Volver, Broken Embraces, I'm So Excited, Julieta and most recently Pain And Glory in 2019.

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