Nearly a decade ago, a 26-foot-tall Marilyn Monroe statue was a popular tourist attraction in Palm Springs, California. Inspired by the famous scene from her 1955 film
The Seven Year Itch
, in which a gust of air sends her white dress billowing up in the back, the artwork,
was created by
J. Seward Johnson
. For 2 years it towered over Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way, and drew a crowd.
But times have changed.
Scheduled to return to the queer hotspot, the statue garnered a prominent spot in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum — and also sparked protests for being sexist and promoting sexually inappropriate behavior.
Even the museum’s director, Louis Grachos, isn’t thrilled to be “mooned” by the giant Marilyn. Grachos told the Palm Springs city council that museum visitors, particularly schoolchildren, would be forced to stare at Marilyn’s butt as they existed the museum. “What message does that send to our young people, our visitors and community to present a statue that objectifies women, is sexually charged and disrespectful?” he asked.
A change.org petition, has gained more than 40,000 signatures, protesting that it demeans the famous actress, reducing her to nothing more than a sex object. Elizabeth Armstrong, a spokesperson for the petition, told NPR that the statue is “blatantly sexist,” and “forces people almost to upskirt” the 26-foot-tall woman.