Calling it “too graphic,” the Motion Picture Academy rejected an ad for Sunday’s Oscars telecast featuring a new mother dealing with postpartum pain in the bathroom.
Frida Mom, a company that caters to mothers of newborns, reported that the Academy and ABC, the broadcast network that airs the annual Hollywood event, rejected its ad that portrays the challenges a woman faces in the days after childbirth. The ad centers on the physical hurdles of using a toilet and the difficulty of using hygiene products.
“It’s not ‘violent, political’ or sexual in nature. Our ad is not ‘religious or lewd’ and does not portray ‘guns or ammunition,'” the company wrote on its Instagram page. “‘Feminine hygiene & hemorrhoid relief’ are also banned subjects.”
“It’s just a new mom, home with her baby and her new body for the first time. And we wonder why new moms feel unprepared,” the company concluded.
Frida Mom also noted that the Academy said that the ad did not comport with its rules on graphic content. The company said its ad was deemed “too graphic with partial nudity and product demonstration.”
The ad opens with a baby crying and waking its mother in the dead of night. The woman is then seen sitting on the toilet and struggling to deal with mesh surgical briefs, multiple protective pads, sprays, and other hygiene products. The ad, though, does show the woman using these products in an explicit manner. The spot ends with the slogan, “Postpartum recovery doesn’t have to be this hard.”
Actress and talk show host Busy Philipps slammed the Academy for rejecting the ad, saying that it is a problem when society doesn’t even “flinch” over erectile dysfunction ads but would reject an ad about the real-life struggles new mothers experience.
“Partially because this is clearly an ad made by women who have been there and get it and partially because I DO believe so strongly that the more we can NORMALIZE A WOMAN’S BODILY EXPERIENCE IN MEDIA, the better off our culture and society will be,” Philipps wrote on her Instagram account.
Philipps also accused American society of denying the humanity of women.
After praising the Frida Mom ad, Philipps added: “And I’m so fucking sick of living in a society where the act of simply BEING A WOMAN is rejected by the gatekeepers of media. Well. Shame on them and NOT on us for simply being human women.”
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This is an ad for new post partum products for women-this ad was rejected from ABC(see the repost below from the brand) I legit teared up when I just watched it. Partially because this is clearly an ad made by women who have been there and get it and partially because I DO believe so strongly that the more we can NORMALIZE A WOMAN'S BODILY EXPERIENCE IN MEDIA, the better off our culture and society will be. AND YES THAT MEANS ADS TOO. You probably don't even flinch when an Erectile Disfunction ad comes on but THIS AD IS REJECTED?! I think this is an incredible piece of advertising that accurately represents something millions of women know intimately. And I'm so fucking sick of living in a society where the act of simply BEING A WOMAN is rejected by the gatekeepers of media. Well. Shame on them and NOT on us for simply being human women. Cc: #seeher @seeher2020 #Repost ・・・ This is important. “The ad you’re about to watch was rejected by ABC & the Oscars from airing during this year’s award show. It's not “violent, political” or sexual in nature. Our ad is not “religious or lewd” and does not portray “guns or ammunition”. “Feminine hygiene & hemorrhoid relief” are also banned subjects. It’s just a new mom, home with her baby and her new body for the first time. And we wonder why new moms feel so unprepared.” —ad and words via @fridamom @abcnetwork
Others also slammed the Academy for rejecting the ad and praised Frida Mom for its effort:
No idea about their products. But I've never seen an accurate portrayal in the media of what it looks like to be a postpartum new mother. The stomach pouch, the blood, the leaking breasts, the haemorrhoids, the sheer fatigue that penetrates your bones https://t.co/UpKIJIopDn
— Lauren Dobson-Hughes (@ldobsonhughes) February 7, 2020
'As advertisers, we can and should do better with shining a light on the real, the unsexy, the honest.' Carissa Mak, parent and CD @ConnellyAgency on the Oscar-banned Frida Mom ad. https://t.co/dXxA9uFXqh
— Campaign US (@CampaignLiveUS) February 9, 2020
Oh dear, it's been 17 years since I experienced this but this ad by Frida Mom brought me right back these moments. Nixed though, apparently real life as a mother is too "graphic" for primetime Oscars
— Karen Petersen (@petersenkaren) February 8, 2020
— Victoria Anzalone (@ToryAnzalone) February 8, 2020
There is NO 🙅♀️ justifiable reason for postpartum recovery products and guns/ammunition to be on the same banned list. Thank you Chelsea and #FridaMom for fighting this mission-critical fight ✊ https://t.co/5sOpLUr2le
— Desiree Gruber (@desireegruber) February 9, 2020
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