Initially, they came after the Civil War Statues, then Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and now they are coming after Marylin Monroe.
In Palm Springs, California, activists want a 26-foot-tall statue of the iconic movie star Marylin Monroe either removed or dismantled.
The statue is named, Forever Marilyn, and its original home was in Chicago, Illinois. The statue was purchased in 2020 by the tourism agency PS Resorts and portrays one of the actress’s most memorable poses.
Not long after the purchase Palm Springs City Council voted to place the statue in front of their art museum for three years.
“You come out of the museum and the first thing you … see is a 26-foot-tall Marilyn Monroe with her entire backside and underwear exposed,” Palm Springs Museum of Art’s executive director Louis Grachos said at a city council meeting in 2020. “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?”
Protests started as soon as the installation began in 2021.
Protests besieged the installation in 2021 amid calls that the work was “misogyny in the guise of nostalgia,” “derivative, tone deaf,” “in poor taste,” and the “opposite of anything the museum stands for.”
Now, a once-dismissed lawsuit filed by the activist group CReMa (the Committee to Relocate Marilyn) against the City of Palm Springs has been reopened this month by California’s 4th District Court of Appeals, giving the anti-Marilyn cohort, which includes fashion designer Trina Turk and Modernist design collector Chris Menrad, another chance to force the statue’s removal.
Protestors also tried a Change.org petition titled Stope the misogynist #MeTooMarilyn statue in Palm Springs, but it went nowhere.
In February 2023, the protestors won an appeal overturning a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed to remove the statue.