Man Claims Instagram Removed His Cat Video For Shaming The Cat

Wilfred the Cat

American actor Michael Rapaport recently achieved internet fame with a short, lighthearted video of him reacting to a particularly unfortunate-looking feline. Unfortunately, according to Rapaport, Instagram is concerned about the video’s effect on the cat’s self-esteem.

Uploaded to Twitter, Instagram and YouTube in early November, the 45-second clip features Rapaport commenting on the cat’s striking appearance from offscreen. Comparing it to his grandmother and calling for his mother’s assistance, Rapaport tries to get the fluffy white animal to leave, screaming when it instead approaches. It’s a harmless, fun clip, the type you might drop into your group chat and have a giggle about.

However, yesterday afternoon Rapaport took to social media to complain that Instagram had removed his video. The reason? Allegedly, he was shaming the cat. “We’ve reached a new fucking low on Instagram,” says Rapaport in a video posted to both Instagram and Twitter.

“They took that fucking video down because they said I was shaming, somehow or another, it’s shaming. I’m shaming a fucking cat.”

In his response video, Rapaport shared a screenshot of the message he received from Instagram informing him that the post had been removed. However, as the message in the screenshot merely provides a general list of Instagram’s community guidelines, there is no confirmation of exactly why this action was taken.

While the message does state that Instagram removes “content that targets private individuals to degrade or shame them”, it also lists “content with personal information shared to harass or blackmail people” and “posts or threats to post intimate images of others” as reasons for the removal of posts.

Nevertheless, neither of these appear likely to be the reason for the cat video’s removal. From the guidelines provided, shaming the cat does seem to be the most probable cause. But it is still rather silly.

“The owners of that beautiful cat, Wilfred Warrior, they didn’t feel like I was shaming the cat,” said Rapaport in his response video. “They thought it was funny.”

Wilfred is an online phenomenon unto himself, with 372,000 followers on Instagram and a face that has launched a thousand memes. As Rapaport states, Wilfred’s owners are well aware of the video, which Rapaport made by dubbing his voice over prerecorded footage, and don’t seem bothered by it.

Rapaport’s original video is still available on Twitter and YouTube, where it has been viewed over 700,000 times.