Almost-NSFW

05.02.12

YouTube: We Screwed Up by Banning Kate Upton ‘Cat Daddy’ Dancing Video

After a video featuring model Kate Upton gyrating in a bikini went viral, YouTube briefly banned the clip for violating its nudity policy, despite the fact that Upton wasn’t nude. Now the video’s back up—and YouTube says it made ‘the wrong call.’

We can always count on Google to keep us abreast of “trending topics” in the news, and this morning the search giant informed us that Kate Upton of Sports Illustrated-swimsuit-issue fame was making headlines with her version of rapper Rej3ctz’s “Cat Daddy” dance. Upton, 19, was featured busting a move (and nearly busting out of her bikini top) in a titillating video directed by photographer Terry Richardson.

In the clip, which features Upton in the same skimpy suit she wore on the SI cover, Richardson introduces his masterpiece: “Only in America, tonight, ladies and gentleman, Kate Upton demonstrating the Cat Daddy. Take it away, Kate.” Upton proceeds to shimmy and shake her lusted-after figure for 20 seconds before covering her chest, waving the camera away, and playfully teasing, “That’s it. That’s all you guys get. Get out of here!”

Naturally, the video went viral, with Upton linking to it from her Twitter feed on Tuesday and writing, “MY ‘Cat Daddy’!!! directed by Terry Richardson…haha.”

Aside from 20 seconds of jiggling and gyrating, the nudity-free clip is relatively tame. So it was odd when YouTube briefly banned it Tuesday for violating the video-streaming site’s community guidelines, which state that “YouTube is not for pornography or is not for pornography or sexually explicit content” and that “most nudity is not allowed, particularly if it is in a sexual context. Generally if a video is intended to be sexually provocative, it is less likely to be acceptable for YouTube.”

Not one to be censored, Richardson then posted the clip on Vimeo. YouTube must have realized its competitor was siphoning off viewers, as the video was back up on the site as of Wednesday morning, this time with an ”inappropriate content” warning.

“When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”

Asked about the temporary ban—which is mystifying, given that one could search “striptease,” “naked woman,” and a variety of other lewd subjects on YouTube and find much racier content than a model dancing in her bikini—a YouTube spokesperson told The Daily Beast the company had made a mistake.

“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” the spokesperson said in an email. “When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”

A spokesman for Upton said, “The video is just Kate being Kate. YouTube is a great company and we respect whatever their decision is on this.”

Richardson, who is infamous for getting models and celebrities to strip, could not be reached for comment.

The “Cat Daddy” video and other pictures of a scantily clad Upton were shot behind the scenes of a more tasteful collaboration between Richardson and Upton for the May issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Judging from Terry’s Diary and Upton’s Twitter feed, they thoroughly enjoyed working together.