Marilyn Monroe Statue in California Desert Sparks Outrage

by Jon D. B.

Marilyn Monroe is back in Palm Springs courtesy of the infamous 26-foot-tall stainless steel statue, and boy is the internet having a field day.

What’s taller than a three-story building, anatomically correct, and stands to flash every visitor exiting the Palm Springs Art Museum? Why, Marilyn Monroe, of course!

The giant effigy is making its return to the California desert, and certain corners of the internet are taking great issue with the “display of indecency”. No stranger to controversy herself, Monroe’s remarkably difficult life stood in stark contrast to her undeniable on-screen energy. One of her most famous/infamous moments came courtesy of The Seven Year Itch.

It’s an iconic image known the world over: Marilyn’s “The Girl” and her infidelitous date, Tom Ewell’s Richard, step out for a screening of The Creature From The Black Lagoon. After exiting the sweltering theatre, “The Girl” (a gorgeous model in-story, of course) steps over a subway grate to enjoy the “delicious” breeze under her dress.

It’s a scene that would never play straight in 2021. The imagery, however, is as iconic as they come as Monroe’s white dress billows upward, her hands stopping it just shy of her… intimates.

Titled “Forever Marilyn,” the statue depicts this very moment from Marilyn Monroe’s illustrious film career. It was absent from the city for 7 years, but originally made waves in 2012-2014 as a major tourist attraction. Removed presumably due to its high-risque factor, “Forever Marilyn” is back as a way to draw tourists back to Palm Springs as the COVID-19 Pandemic (hopefully) winds down.

Marilyn Monroe Continues to Spark Controversy

The PS City Council voted on Marilyn’s return, and all should be well. As most things are until the internet gets involved.

“GUESS WHO’S 26 FEET TALL, ICONIC, SEXY, AND IS ON HER WAY BACK HOME? Yep! Palm Springs is getting ready to welcome Marilyn with open arms!! 4-18-21,” posts Palm Springs event planner Tammi Cooper to Instagram (above).

Cooper, a self-proclaimed “party girl” via her Instagram handle, is absolutely stoked to see Monroe – a huge tourist draw – return to Palm Springs. As is the City Council in addition to said swaths of tourists. As NPR points out, however, internet commenters are finding rage via their “indignation over obscenity, sexism and basic geography.”

Poor Marilyn. She’s still being picked on decades after her unfortunate passing.

Leading the fight is a petition citing the statue’s “encouragement of predatory behavior.”

Then, as mentioned above, there are those who find the view of a 26-foot-tall Marilyn Monroe’s thighs as they exit a pop culture and art museum “unsightly.”

And last but certainly not least are those taking the “city ordinance” route. Some are stating the statue violates city codes and planning guidelines. Considering the Palm Springs City Council voted the statue back into existence, however, this seems far from likely.

Watch the Iconic ‘Seven Year Itch’ Scene For Yourself

It’s not hard to find merit in some of these complaints. But the censoring of pop culture and history is as touchy a subject as any. If a statue of Monroe is to exist, then the most iconic scene in movie history is certainly a safe route to go. This renders many of the complaints – which are coming from far corners of the country (see: not Palm Springs) irrelevant.

Whether the statue remains standing is anyone’s guess. For now, please enjoy the original scene from The Seven Year Itch featuring Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell below: