Relative of Coretta Scott King Despises New MLK Statue, Has Crude Comparison for It: $10M 'Wasted'
A massive bronze sculpture honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, was officially unveiled on the Boston Common on Friday.
The work, titled “The Embrace,” was created by Washington state conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas. It is his interpretation of a photo of the two taken on the day King learned he’d won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
The $10 million sculpture stands 20 feet tall and is 40 feet wide, according to WCVB-TV.
The city of Boston is significant because that is where King met his future wife. King was studying for his doctorate at Boston University and Coretta Scott was attending the New England Conservatory, WCVB reported: “One of the Kings’ first dates was on the Common, and the Parkman Bandstand was the final location of the 1965 Freedom Rally.”
Images of the piece taken from different angles and the photograph it is based on can be viewed in the tweets below.
BREAKING: The bronze sculpture called “The Embrace” honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King has just been unveiled on the Boston Common #7news #MLKWeekend #MLKDay2023 pic.twitter.com/IckphP15FL
— Amaka Ubaka (@AmakaUbakaTV) January 13, 2023
Please read my other tweets about the sculpture—but here is another angle and the photo of the two “The Embrace” is based on. It’s when MLK Jr. found out he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. pic.twitter.com/Q7Vyk7OPKK
— Amaka Ubaka (@AmakaUbakaTV) January 14, 2023
Many were taken aback by the sculpture’s remarkable resemblance to a male sex organ.
One of the most outspoken critics was Coretta King’s cousin, Seneca Scott, who told the New York Post on Sunday, “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,’” said Scott, who currently lives in Oakland, California.
“If you had showed that statute to anyone in the ’hood, they’d have been like, ‘No, absolutely not,'” he said.
Seneca blamed the design of the sculpture on our “woke” culture and told the Post, “The woke algorithm is just broke, I don’t know what else to tell you.”
“If you went through all of that and that’s what you came up with, something’s wrong,” he said.
Seneca, who told the Post he wasn’t speaking for the other members of the family, expressed his outrage over the sculpture in an essay, titled “A Masturbatory ‘Homage’ to My Family,” and published by Compact Magazine, an online political publication.
He began, “By now, I’m sure you’ve seen it. The new Boston sculpture ‘honoring’ Dr. Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, looks more like a pair of hands hugging a beefy penis than a special moment shared by the iconic couple.
“Created by the organization Embrace Boston, the sculpture has inspired mad jokes on Twitter, and rightly so. But for my family, it’s rather insulting.”
He summed up his sentiments by saying, “Ten million dollars were wasted to create a masturbatory metal homage to my legendary family members — one of the all-time greatest American families.”
Seneca wasn’t alone in his criticism. Below, journalist Michael Knowles reacts to the statue which he considers “grotesque.” And he’s absolutely right.
The new MLK statue is ugly because it’s grotesque. And it’s grotesque in precisely the way that so much of modernity is grotesque: it forgets that men are supposed to have heads and chests. pic.twitter.com/8zRnCkfOsJ
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) January 15, 2023
Another Twitter user appears to ridicule the sculpture in the following tweet.
I have some questions about the MLK sculpture in Boston pic.twitter.com/KVSKmdSw5S
— Marie Sheehan RMA (@irshhnr4) January 14, 2023
The U.K. Daily Mail reported that the sculpture was panned by art critics, with many wondering why the artist chose not to include heads and bodies. Former Guardian art critic Waldemar Januszczak said it was “a particularly bad monument to Martin Luther King.”
One critic asked, “Were they really so scared to commission a full figure naturalistic likeness?”
Another told the Daily Mail it was a “great shame, perhaps the concept was far better than the execution…it just looks…awful!”
In case anyone is curious, according to the Post, the sculpture was approved by the couple’s son, Martin Luther King III.
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