Instagram apologises for banning ‘Parallel Mothers’ film poster that shows lactating nipple

"A company like Instagram tells me my work is dangerous," the poster designer said

Instagram has apologised for temporarily banning a poster for Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers (Madres Paralelas).

The social media giant, which is owned by Facebook, had images of the poster removed after Facebook initially deemed that it broke its own rules against nudity. Designer Javier Jaén’s film poster is a close-up photograph of a woman’s nipple lactating breast milk.

Jaén told The Associated Press that he’d issued a complaint over censorship. The poster was later restored by Facebook on its platform and Instagram.


As reported by AP: “Instagram’s parent company Facebook told The Associated Press on Wednesday that several images of the poster for Madres Paralelas, which shows a lactating nipple, were removed ‘for breaking our rules against nudity’ after they were uploaded on Monday.”

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

Jaén added that Parallel Mothers director Almodóvar had given the green-light for the design despite being aware it could cause issues on social media. “He told me that he had made films with posters his whole life, long before Instagram, and he would keep doing so after Instagram, too,” Jaén said.

“This is probably the first image I saw when I was born,” he added. “A company like Instagram tells me my work is dangerous, that people shouldn’t see it, that it’s pornographic. How many people are they telling that their body is bad, that their body is dangerous? They say their technology can’t differentiate the context. I don’t care. Change your technology then.”

Parallel Mothers is due to open the Venice Film Festival on September 1.


Penelope Cruz and Milena Smit star as a single, middle-aged mother and a single, teenaged mother respectively, who find solace in each other’s company after giving birth on the same day in the same hospital. Janis (Cruz) is overjoyed at becoming a mother while Ana is terrified and regretful.

Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in Spain on September 10. It will have a limited run in the US from December 24. A UK release is to be confirmed.

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