The app in question is called AMG Beefcake and features non-nude, erotic images of male models. The galleries for the app come from the earlier work of company founder Bob Mizer, offering fans a wide selection of "Wild Bunch"-style images of men in jeans, leather jackets and a variety of 1950s styles.
AMG said today that a new update for the app got it booted from the App Store. According to AMG, Apple alerted them to the removal, citing two specific images as “obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.”
The two images depict the same model in jeans, workboots and no shirt. In one shot, he wears a leather jacket. In the other, he doesn't. The model is sitting on a small stool.
Calls to Apple had not been returned as of post time.
“It’s one thing to deny nudity in the content that you make available to the public, but when you start censoring images that could very well pop up in a Diet Coke commercial, there’s something going seriously wrong,” AMG Director of Communications Christopher Trout said. “Even the federal government, which was once the gold standard for prudishness in the US, has never been this tyrannical about their censorship of the human body.”
AMG said that Apple referred to the following language for the rejection:
“Applications may be rejected if they contain content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, sounds, etc.) that in Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.”
“The implication is that the female form is somehow less offensive to American sensibilities,” AMG President Dennis Bell said. “I’m not going to cry homophobia or sexism here, but it’s clear that Apple needs to be careful about the message they are sending. It’s disappointing to see such a progressive company taking such a conservative approach to content management.”
It's less likely that Apple is homophobic and more likely that the App Store has a wildly inconsistent approval process. Apple has been the subject of widespread criticism for how long approvals take and for its lack of transparency.
Apple has also been criticized specifically for its inconsistent and overly harsh treatment of adult. Tech analyst MG Siegler of TechCrunh.com noted that with the release of the most recent iPhone operating system, Apple has the power to give app's movie-style ratings. AMG's Beefcake app was given the toughest rating, 17+.
"I can understand why Apple would want to restrict mature apps before it had parental controls in place for them, but now it has those in place," Siegler wrote. "There should be no reason why an adult shouldn’t be allowed to get an application with nudity in it if they want."