Hot Poppin' Culture News From New York City

Nipple War! Fight to Go Topless in New York City Featured in New Film

Scout Willis doffed her top and walked topless on a New York City street in May to protest a nudity ban on Instagram.

Scout Willis doffed her top and walked topless on a New York City street in May to protest a nudity ban on Instagram.

Miley Cyrus, Lena Dunham and a slew of other celebrities have embraced (so to speak) the right for women to go topless in public, and now a pioneering group of women will be featured in a new film about their fight in New York City.

You may recall, Scout Willis, the 22-year-old daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, was photographed in May walking down a city street topless.

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Indeed, a long list of celebs have endorsed the campaign including models Soko, Suki Waterhouse, Cara Delevingne, Dree Hemingway and Kendall Jenner.

Singer Rihanna is also on board along with actors Adrian Grenier, Kellan Lutz and the Willis girls, Scout and Rumer. Music mogul Russell Simmons has also latched.

Of course, it’s perfectly legal for women to go topless in New York City and has been since 1992. But don’t tell that to the police.

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They harass and arrest women who bare boobs in the Big Apple. The women most often end up being charged with disorderly conduct.

“So we took to the streets with cameras and our cast to fight these Puritanical injustices first hand,” said Director Lina Esco.

The result is “Free the Nipple,” a film about “a group of fearless women who fight for their right to go topless in public, as they smash societal taboos one bare breast at a time,” according to a synopsis.

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No lie!

The movie tells in a satirical style the true story of two New York City activists, identified as “Liv” and “With.” It tracks their journey from a street arrest to New York City’s gritty court system.

“More than just a movie, ‘Free the Nipple’ has launched an empowering real-life movement, inspiring women across the globe to take back their bodies,” the synopsis says.

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As it turns out, going topless is illegal, or laws are unclear, in 13 states. It’s legal everywhere else, according to “gotopless,” an organization that follows the issue.

Women can breastfeed in public without fear of arrest in 46 states and the District of Columbia, but only 29 states exempt it from indecency laws. That means women have to cover up, or else.

In Louisiana, a woman who exposes her nipples can face up to three years in jail and a $2,500 fine, according to the film group.

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The producers include Esco, Hunter Richards, Lisa Azuelos and Julien Madon. Gigi Graff is a co-producer with a script by Hunter Richards.

The IFC film will be released Dec. 12 in theaters and video on demand.

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