“We’ve reached a new fucking low.”
Comedian Michael Rapaport on Saturday accused Instagram of censoring a viral video he posted of himself shouting about a famously weird-looking cat.
Rapaport, 48, a longtime stand-up comedian and character actor, expressed outrage over the alleged censorship in a YouTube video, which quickly racked up more than half a million views.
“We’ve reached a new fucking low on Instagram,” he declared. “They took that fucking video down because they said I was shaming ―somehow or another it’s shaming ― I’m shaming a fucking cat.”
The video in question was one of two popular videos Rapaport posted to his social media accounts in which he seems to berate the famously unfortunate-looking internet cat, Wilfred Warrior. In reality, he is simply venting over preexisting clips.
“What the fuck is that?” Rapaport repeatedly yells in the verboten video. “It looks like grandma, the fucking thing!”
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) November 11, 2018
Instagram appeared to have only taken action against the first video, and both remain available for viewing on Twitter.
In his YouTube commentary Saturday, Rapaport showed what appeared to be a message from Instagram explaining why it had “restricted or disabled” the video by referencing its community guidelines. Rapaport circled the first of the three rules: “We remove content that targets private individuals to degrade or shame them.”
However, none of the guidelines really seemed applicable to the situation. As Rapaport noted on YouTube, Wilfred Warrior’s owners had shown a sense of humor about his mockery of their pet by last week playing along with his second meditation on the subject.
Rapaport has previously criticized what he sees as a culture of excessive political correctness and fragility. His latest tirade came at a time when the internet giants of liberal-leaning Silicon Valley have faced growing bipartisan scrutiny, with some conservatives complaining of censorship, or the potential thereof.
Instagram did not immediately respond to Pluralist’s request for explanation. But its parent company, Facebook, has been forced to apologize for removing content before, including parts of the Declaration of Independence that it flagged as hate speech.