#MeTooMarilyn: Protesters demand removal of giant skirt blow-up statue in Palm Springs

A giant statue of Marilyn Monroe revealing her underwear in the skirt blowing up pose has become a problem

                            #MeTooMarilyn: Protesters demand removal of giant skirt blow-up statue in Palm Springs
Marilyn Monroe statue in front of Palm Springs museum (Twitter: @KnightLAT)

A controversial Marilyn Monroe statue in Palm Spring has led to an intense outcry from protestors calling for the 'misogynistic' figure to be removed. Shortly after city officials held a ceremony to unveil the giant 26-foot tall stainless steel monument titled 'Forever Marilyn', they were greeted with the chants: "Hey hey! Ho ho! Misogyny has to go!", and "Exploitation! Exploitation!" Protesters carried placards that said "Marilyn anywhere but here'. Adopting the hashtag '#MeTooMarilyn', the protest has now escalated to Twitter as well.

The giant statue is expected to boost local revenue as cities are opening up one by one, but the issue people have with what was a tribute to the star is that her underwear is visible from the back view. It's the famous Marilyn Monroe, skirt blowing up in the wind scene from 'The Seven Year Itch' that has weathered time and remained etched in almost everybody's minds as one of the star's most glamorous moments. But protesters of the statue think otherwise. In a now circulating Change.org petition, they are "asking the City of Palm Springs to venerate — not defile — her memory", calling for the statue to be removed from its prominent location, right in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum.


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American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962), circa 1950 (Photo by L. J. Willinger/Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

According to the petition's description on the website, protesters allege: "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. Well, it’s not. In fact, it’s the opposite. She wanted to be taken seriously as an artist and not just a sexual icon. We join others in asking the City of Palm Springs to venerate — not defile — her memory. We challenge Palm Springs to find more appropriate ways to honor her memory and the true legacy of Marilyn Monroe."

Speaking about the problem with the statue, Emiliana Guereca, executive director of Women's March Foundation, told the Desert Sun, "When you exit the museum, the statue is designed to look at her crotch and look at her buttocks and take photos. And that is no longer acceptable." She added, "It may have been acceptable in the 1950s, but we are in 2021 fighting the same thing and women are saying enough is enough." Art critic Christopher Knight also tweeted of the protests happening at the unveiling ceremony, writing: "Pledging to return often, a couple hundred protesters against the misogynistic #MeTooMarilyn sculpture planned for a street in front of Palm Springs Art Museum are holding a rally."


Complaints ranged from the statue's predatory connotations comparable to upskirting, to the location, and many consider it could have been installed in one of the downtown parks and not right in front of the mesuem, forcing the closure of a whole street leading up to the venue. But this also sparked a debate on Twitter as a user alleged: "idk if anyone else has been following this, but they brought the marilyn monroe statue back to palm springs & a bunch of old white women are mad about it bc it blocks the street & is tacky, but they’re using #metoomarilyn to give their argument weight & i find it all hilarious"

Although the statue is very much not a part of the museum, and more than 100 yards from the museum's exit, it has a history with the location as this is the return of the statue after a 7-year-hiatus. With the statue expected to stay there for 3 years according to plans, Twitter users expressed support to those protesting in person, saying: "Marilyn Monroe, abused in life and death. Abused in perpetuity. The @PSArtMuseum has brought shame upon itself. Thank you for calling this what it is: Misogyny. #MeTooMarilyn."