Controversial Marilyn Monroe Statue Unveiling Draws Criticism, Protesters

by Keeli Parkey
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A large statue featuring Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe in one of her most famous poses was met with angry protestors after it was unveiled.

The statue stands at 26 feet tall. It is titled “Forever Marilyn,” according to TMZ.com. It shows the famous actress posing in a white dress that is being blown up despite her attempts to hold it down. The image is a scene from the 1955 film, “The Seven Year Itch.”

The statue was placed outside of the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California. Officials for the city were reportedly hoping it would draw visitors to the area. Visitors bring money, so officials reportedly saw the installation of “Forever Marilyn” as a way to bring in revenue.

After it was unveiled, the statue of Marilyn Monroe certainly did draw a crowd. However, it was probably not the one Palm Springs officials had in mind. Instead of people coming to admire the 26-foot-tall creation, they came to protest against it.

The statue was unveiled on Sunday, June 20, and it was met with protestors yelling “Hey hey! Ho ho! Misogyny has to go!” They also yelled “Exploitation! Exploitation!” One issue the protestors have with the statue of Marilyn Monroe is that her underwear is visible when viewing the statue if you are standing behind it.

Plans call for the statue to stand in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum for three years.

Executive Director of Women’s March Foundation Spoke Out Against Statue of Marilyn Monroe

One of the people protesting in Palm Springs was Emiliana Guereca. She is the executive director of the Women’s March Foundation.

“When you exit the museum, the statue is designed to look at her crotch and look at her buttocks and take photos,” Guereca shared with the Desert Sun. “And that is no longer acceptable.”

Guereca also pointed out that things have changed regarding how women should be portrayed.

“It may have been acceptable in the 1950s, but we are in 2021 fighting the same thing and women are saying enough is enough,” she said.

In addition to what Marilyn Monroe is wearing in the statue, there were protesters who were also angered by the spot chosen as the statue’s Palm Springs home.

These individuals argue that it should have been placed at a park downtown. Putting the statue in front of the museum meant the road that provides access to it had to be closed to traffic. This was a move the officials with the Palm Springs Art Museum were not happy about either.

Anger over the statue led to the creation of a petition on Change.org to have it removed.

“Placing a hyper-sexualized, misogynist statue of Marilyn at the entrance to the elegant Palm Springs Art Museum sends a message to the community, its visitors (especially young, innocent children), and tourists that this somehow represents ‘the real Marilyn,’ a Marilyn she would have been proud to see celebrated,” information about the petition reads. “Well, it’s not. In fact, it’s the opposite.”

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