A new monument dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King has sparked controversy and criticism.
One person who has a major problem with the statue is Seneca Scott, a community organizer in Oakland, California, and cousin of Coretta Scott King. Scott has slammed the $10 million statue titled ‘The Embrace’ by stating that it “looked like a penis” from certain angles.
Seneca Scott spoke to several news outlets to criticize the sculpture which was just unveiled in Boston on Friday (Jan. 13). Scott told CNN the statue was insulting to his family.
“The Embrace,” by artist Hank Willis Thomas, was inspired by a famous photo which showed Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King hugging after he learns he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The sculpture focuses on the spouses’ intertwined arms without their heads, which has sparked criticism and mockery online.
Seneca Scott also gave harsh criticism when speaking with the New York Post, further pointing out that the sculpture looks like a penis.
“The mainstream media … was reporting on it like it was all beautiful, ’cause they were told they had to say that. But then when it came out, a little boy pointed out — ‘That’s a penis!’ and everyone was like, ‘Yo, that’s a big old dong, man.’”
“If you had showed that … to anyone in the ’hood, they’d have been like, ‘No, absolutely not.’”
Scott also had this to say when speaking with Compactmag.com,
“Ten million dollars were wasted to create a masturbatory metal homage to my legendary family members — one of the all-time greatest American families.”
On the other hand, Martin Luther King III, actually approved of the new statue and told CNN he liked it for its depiction of unity.
“I think that’s a huge representation of bringing people together. I think the artist did a great job. I’m satisfied. Yeah, it didn’t have my mom and dad’s images, but it represents something that brings people together.”
Artist Hank Willis Thomas had this to say about the statue he created.
“When we recognize that all storytelling is an abstraction, all representation is an abstraction, hopefully it allows us to be open to more dynamic and complex forms of representation that don’t stick us to narrative that oversimplifies a person or their legacy, and I think this work really tries to get to the heart of that.”
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