Who wants to cancel Marilyn?

Marilyn Monroe downtown Palm Springs.
“Forever Marilyn” is being unveiled this weekend amidst protests.

There’s a big brouhaha in my old hometown. The statue called “Forever Marilyn” will be unveiled Sunday evening in downtown Palm Springs, Calif. The 26-foot Marilyn stood near the same site from 2012 to 2014 — and nobody objected. In fact, it was quite the tourist attraction.

Now there’s a protest being organized by Palm Springs’ very own Trina Turk, the famous designer. There are women’s groups from as far away as Los Angeles planning to protest the statue. Good luck to them — the temperature in Palm Springs was 123 degrees yesterday!

What changed from 2012 to 2021 that made Marilyn Monroe controversial?

According to an article in The Desert Sun, the local Gannett paper, “A protest in opposition to the installation is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Museum Way between Museum Drive and Belardo Road, according to a Facebook event created by the Women’s March LA Foundation.” Here are some excerpts from the article:

The foundation’s chapters from the Inland Empire and Riverside along with local organizations are coordinating on the protest, which is meant to “voice our dissent to the statue being installed on Museum Way,” according to Trina Turk, co-head of a participating group called the Committee to Relocate Marilyn.

The installation has been the subject of controversy for months. Some have voiced opposition to the statue’s planned location on Museum Way, while others have decried its general presence in the city as misogynistic and antithetical to Palm Springs’ values. 

Meanwhile, supporters say the statue will drive tourism to the city following months of closures for businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Aftab Dada, chairman of PS Resorts — the hotels association organization that bought the statue and is organizing Sunday’s event —  said the its prior installation in the city from 2012 to 2014 brought “millions and millions of dollars in publicity” and “immensely helped all the businesses in downtown Palm Springs.”

A group under the name “Me Too Marilyn” held a protest against the statue in May. That group’s leader, former Palm Springs Art Museum director Elizabeth Armstrong, has called the statue “hyper-sexualized” and said the Palm Springs City Council did not solicit enough public input before deciding on the Museum Way location.

From ‘Forever Marilyn’ to be unveiled Sunday; protest planned by Women’s March, other groups
James B. CutchinBrian Blueskye Palm Springs Desert Sun

I don’t believe Turk is the one calling for Marilyn to be cancelled. From what I’ve read, her objection is the location. But others think the statue is sexist and misogynist. They don’t want the statue to be up period. For example, the former director for the Palm Springs Art Museum Armstrong is upset because she thinks it encourages “upskirting.” She said the statue will literally be mooning museum visitors.

What are your thoughts about “Forever Marilyn?” Do you think it’s sexist and misogynist? Or do you think it’s a blast from the past of pop culture? Should Marilyn Monroe be cancelled? What are your thoughts about cancel culture?

12 thoughts on “Who wants to cancel Marilyn?

  1. The danger with ‘cancel culture’ is that some people are willing to rewrite history on their terms. Marilyn Monroe is an icon and needs to remain in the spotlight. I realize that blonde haired blue eyed sex symbols are not in vogue anymore and the more diverse, the more in you are but we need the truth of the times. It is like someone saying ‘the Holocaust did not exist and was a made up part of history.’

  2. Good heavens.. Ol’ Marilyn may go the way of Baltimore’s Columbus statue last summer..spray painted, decapitated, toppled, dragged through the street and tossed into the harbor… (or in this case, someone’s pool.) People are nuts.

      • So I was listening to a podcast the the other day where docs were discussing covid issues. At one point they referred to an early 2020 covid podcast they had participated in where the one physician must have made some remarks about the virus that were later proven to be wrong. You Tube must have later flagged that specific podcast as misinformation or fake news or something like that and slapped a warning on them. Anyway, she talked about how many experts changed their views on the virus and related matters as time went on and information was gathered. She said this was the historical evolution of the event and to erase or censure initial thoughts was not only wrong but un American. She was basically arguing that we are where we are today as a result of where we were yesterday and to erase the past because it doesn’t gel with todays thinking is not only dumb, it’s dangerous and a lie. China does this crap and we used to be horrified by it..not so much anymore I guess.

      • My nail tech’s GF had her facebook page shut down last year because she kept posting about the virus coming from the lab. This is still America, right? We’d better wake up to this stuff before we lose our voices.

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