Boston’s New Martin Luther King Statue Ridiculed on Social Media
Ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. day, Boston unveiled a memorial to honor the civil rights hero, which generated more ridicule than praise.
The memorial, designed by Hank Willis Thomas, is supposed to depict the King family hugging after Martin Luther King Jr. received a Nobel Peace Prize award in 1964.
“In that picture, you can see the weight of him on her shoulders as they embrace,” he said. “And I realized that this was really a metaphor for his legacy — that she carried his legacy on her shoulders for several decades after he was assassinated.”
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 13, 2023
Many had questions about how the design could have been approved after viewing it from different angles.
Here is what its supposed to represent. Knowing that its still hideous. The meaning behind it is good and noble, but the sculpture in and of itself is horrible. pic.twitter.com/olRWPxphyE
— Rebel06714 (@Rebel06714) January 15, 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
I've seen this MLK statue in a few pics & cant make out what the hell it is..looks like some weird contortion of an alien?? Why do they allow these, so called, artists to throw this crap on the public..Boston is a pretty city, now people have to look at this eyesore! https://t.co/UuhLjRySZO
— Veronika Rideout (@vrideout205) January 15, 2023
Feeling like the new MLK memorial sculpture in Boston could have been a bit better planned out. Say, by viewing it from another angle. pic.twitter.com/hsveeAITEn
— Neithhotep 🐀 (@neithhoteplives) January 14, 2023
People on social media did not take exception to the statue’s message but most considered the design horrendous.
There is a social media controversy about the new bronze sculpture in the #Boston Common honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Called Boston’s “statue of liberty,” many are saying it resembles something else. pic.twitter.com/DW0hQTatZt
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) January 14, 2023
— Robbie 🇺🇸 (@robbie_vb) January 14, 2023
Conservative commentator Jack Posobiec said that many people will be afraid to call out the poor design choices for fear of being called racist.
“That Boston MLK’ statue’ is a good litmus test of who is willing to call out the absurdity and who is too afraid of being called raysiss” He said.
That Boston MLK 'statue' is a good litmus test of who is willing to call out absurdity and who is too afraid of being called raysiss
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 14, 2023
Another user jokingly remarked that while there are still racial divisions in the United States, white and black people can probably agree that the statue’s design looks more like a phallic object than a monument honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
The new MLK statue in Boston. pic.twitter.com/iNEVXUUTn8
— Jon Dimetros (@theagentmetro) January 14, 2023
Even social justice advocates criticized the memorial, with one user calling it ‘disrespectful’ to Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy.
“A sculpture of Dr. King himself and even him and his wife would have been most appropriate. They met in Boston. This “Embrace” sculpture is very weird and does not represent the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s borderline disrespectful. Fire whoever did this,” the user said.
A sculpture of Dr. King himself and even him and his wife would have been most appropriate. They met in Boston. This "Embrace" sculpture is very weird and does not represent the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Its borderline disrespectful. Fire whoever did this😒
— BlackBeauty🇺🇸 (@BlackBeautyFBA) January 14, 2023
The statue reportedly came with a $9.5 million price tag.
Boston is one of a few cities that has weighed reparations for black residents, with the city commissioning a panel to discuss how much black Bostonians should receive.