On Friday (Jan. 13), a 20-foot tall, 40-foot wide bronze sculpture honoring the late civil rights icon Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, was unveiled in Boston. In a celebration held before the federal holiday in his name, the world was introduced to “The Embrace,” a statue depicting the Kings hugging in 1964 after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Since the MLK statue was erected, it’s received mixed reviews. One, in particular, comes from Seneca Scott, Coretta’s cousin, who believes the monument shows a different type of embrace that probably should’ve come with a warning. “If you can look at it from all angles, and it’s probably two people hugging each other — it’s four hands. It’s not the missing heads that’s the atrocity… other people clamp onto that… it’s a stump that looked like a penis. That’s a joke,” Scott told CNN in an article shared today (Jan. 17). He previously referred to it as a “masturbatory metal homage.”
I was wondering what the fuss was about the MLK Embrace statue and then I saw this angle of it. pic.twitter.com/oDgVvfNF2b
— Red Pilled Papa (@Loran_Todd_II) January 16, 2023
Many on social media agreed. “Was wondering what the fuss was about the MLK ‘[The] Embrace’ statue [was], and then I saw this angle of it,” a user tweeted with a photo. One news outlet wrote, “Video of the ‘Embrace’ MLK statue in Boston… Is there any angle where this does not look pornographic?” Another person said depending on where you’re standing, it could look like many inappropriate things, including “someone holding a giant penis” or even “a giant butthole.” Brooklyn-based conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas created the monument, and it reportedly cost $10 million to sculpt.
Others found it insensitive to discredit Thomas’ work. “Some of the public discourse around ‘[The] Embrace’ (MLK Statue) by Hank Willis Thomas is so disheartening, especially from those within the Black community. No matter what your opinion may be… tearing down another Black man who’s genuinely a great artist and good human is gross,” a user said online. Yesterday (Jan. 16), Martin Luther King III praised the artist’s rendering of his parents: “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.”
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Y’all this the right angle for the MLK statue. Those other pics WASN’T it 🥴. pic.twitter.com/nACrKeDc6B
— Shania Barr, LPC 💜 (@TherapistForUs) January 16, 2023
Video of the Embrace MLK statue in Boston…
Is there any angle where this does not look pornographic? pic.twitter.com/Xn3wDwxR3x
— DailyNoah.com (@DailyNoahNews) January 14, 2023
So depending on the angle, the new MLK statue either looks like:
B) Someone holding a giant turd.
C) Someone holding a giant penis.
D) A giant butthole.
But if you criticize it you’re a racist. pic.twitter.com/JW8U2dCTh2
— Patrick Jolicoeur (Hemlock Podcast) (@pattyjolicoeur) January 15, 2023
GoFundMe Page Started To Help Complete MLK Statue https://t.co/B7FGutfVm0
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) January 16, 2023
This is a beautiful MLK statue. It honors a great man. pic.twitter.com/0J5wTIJYpp
— Quiet Shouter (@QuietShouter) January 16, 2023
Some of the public discourse around "Embrace" (MLK Statue) by Hank Willis Thomas is so disheartening, especially from those within the black community. No matter what your opinion may be… tearing down another black man who's genuinely a great artist and good human is gross. pic.twitter.com/szTBbYPJe0
— Everette (@Everette) January 17, 2023
Am I the only one that thinks the MLK statue in Boston looks bizarre to say the least?
— Michael J. Morrison (@OfficeOfMike) January 15, 2023
When they unveil the MLK statue: pic.twitter.com/13xI34QIPU
— Prison Mitch (@MidnightMitch) January 14, 2023