[font=verdana,sans-serif]first janet jackson, now nipple video banned
[font=verdana,sans-serif]may 21, 11:42 am et
[font=verdana,sans-serif]dublin (reuters) - four months after janet jackson outraged the united states by bearing her breast on tv, ireland has banned a video to encourage voting in next month's european elections because it shows a bare nipple.
in britain, where bare breasts are shown daily in tabloid newspapers, the film will be shown in censored form. the breast-feeding sequence survives but shots of the offending nipple have been edited out.
the 45-second film was produced by the european parliament's audio-visual department and shows a suckling baby trying to decide which of its mother's breasts to feed from.
the idea is to show people making choices -- like voters at the ballot box.
while the sight of a baby suckling at its mother's breast is considered acceptable for hundreds of millions of other europeans, irish officials believe it would cause offence in roman catholic ireland.
"i decided that due to sensitivities here, this is not the right image to promote anything in ireland, unless it is of a medical or scientific nature," the head of the european parliament's irish office, jim o'brien, said.
ireland, where over 90 percent of the population is catholic, is traditionally conservative on issues of sexuality. abortion is illegal and homosexuality was decriminalized only in 1993.
jackson caused a furor in february when in a super bowl halftime performance her duet partner justin timberlake ripped open her costume to expose her right breast during a live coast-to-coast telecast by american network cbs.
in britain, film advert regulators found the suckling shot racy, likening the image to "the sort of breast shot you would associate with a men's magazine."
a member of the four-man, four-woman cinema advertising association (caa) panel, which took the decision, said they found that they ended up looking at the breast and not the baby.
"it was literally the breast full screen size with an erect nipple side on and the infant gazing across at them," said greg lyons, a copy consultant at the caa.
"the panel found themselves looking at something that was very difficult for them," he said. "the infant was contemplating the breasts in rather an adult way."
rosie dodds, policy research officer for britain's national childbirth trust, said the advert could have been innovative and striking. "i do think it is a pity that we make the link between the sexuality of breasts and their nutritive function," she said.