New Mother's Breastfeeding Video Removed from Funny or Die

Breastfeeding comedian Ahna TesslerBreastfeeding comedian Ahna TesslerComedian Ahna Tessler is a new mother to twins. She's also breastfeeding them. While this might not be a stand-out act for many moms, it became one when Tessler performed a skit while she was nursing the babies. Last week, the New York-based comedian filmed "Leah Got a Job" while breastfeeding twins Madalyn and Elliott on the website Funny or Die. Only hours later, the video was taken down and her account suspended.

Tessler's video is short and packed full of adult language, and she assumed it was flagged because of the curse words. A site administrator from Funny or Die informed Tessler that her video was removed because it was "obscene." Tessler told the New York Times she responded, saying she "had no idea you couldn't swear" in videos for the humor site.

Their explanation? "It was the breast-feeding video, not swearing."

Tessler argues that she didn't intend to break the rules. In fact, she asks, "Where are the rules to begin with?"

A spokesman for Funny or Die said that removing Tessler's video was simply a protective act by the site.

"We get a lot of content uploaded. A first-time uploader with a short video of breast-feeding can easily get mistaken for a spammer, which is a constant issue for us. It doesn't have to be obscene to get taken down - anything that looks like spam or not in the spirit of the site can be removed. With the volume we have, and to protect the site and our users, we have to err on the side of caution whether it's obscenity, advertisements, spam, or copyright concerns. We're always happy to reconsider any decisions, and, of course, we apologize if she felt she wasn't heard. We are in the process of reinstating the account and apologizing to the uploader," Ken Scott-Hlebek, vice president for engineering, released in a statement.

Funny or Die did, in fact, restore Tessler's account (it is now available for view on YouTube), including the breastfeeding skit. And then the site that's famous for it's edgy and R-rated videos added that they support "breast-feeding in all forms, especially among consenting adults."

Tessler's video isn't side-splitting. But either is Funny or Die's punchline press statement. Breastfeeding mothers have been the center of political debate, ridiculed on air, booted from buses, and as a group are less likely to be hired for jobs.

While the controversy over seeing breastfeeding online or in public rages on, it now seems clear that seeing a baby eating can make a few easy jokes go sour.

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