The Museum of Natural History has made the decision to remove the statue of former president Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance.
Ben Stiller has the perfect idea to replace the statue of former president Theodore Roosevelt in New York City which is set to be taken down soon. After the Museum of Natural History made the decision to remove the statue of former president Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance, the comic actor suggested it be replaced with a statue of late actor Robin Williams. The statue in front of the museum's entrance since 1940 will come down after decades of criticism and rising sensitivity surrounding the racial tension that started after the death of George Floyd.
How about replacing it with a statue of Robin Williams. He deserves one.— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) June 21, 2020
The 54-year-old actor took to Twitter and suggested that his Night At The Museum co-star should get a statue in his honor and replace Roosevelt's statue. He wrote, "How about replacing it with a statue of Robin Williams. He deserves one.” Williams who died by suicide in 2014 at the age of 63, played a version of Roosevelt in all three Night At The Museum movies. Stiller was the leading hero of the 2006 fantasy-comedy film directed by Shawn Levy called Night at the Museum where he played the role of a nightguard. Little did he know, the museum comes to life every night. Williams played the role of Roosevelt, who helps Stiller's character understand the secret behind the exhibits coming to life.
The movie was followed by two sequels, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian in 2009 and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb in 2014. The statue has been the bone of contention for a very long time now, and with racial tensions in the US are at an all-time high, the Museum of Natural History chose to remove the statue of the former POTUS which depicts him on horseback flanked by a Native American man and an African man beneath him.
According to a report by The New York Times, this decision was actually proposed by both the Museum and the City of New York, which owns the building and property. Ellen V. Futter, the museum's president said, "Over the last few weeks, our museum community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd. We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism.”
I love Teddy Roosevelt. The statue in front of the Museum of Natural History is pretty racist. pic.twitter.com/iJHGcHcIRn— Sean O'Brien (@revbon22) June 21, 2020
This move from the Museum comes after an explosive debate over the appropriateness of statues or monuments that focused on Confederate symbols. A large number of statues of George Washington to Thomas Jefferson have either been removed or been asked to be taken down. But the reason for removing Roosevelt's statue was different.
At first, I was “What? No! Why!”— Anna Bevens 😷 (@AHansonBevens) June 21, 2020
But reading the article, it makes it clear: “Ms. Futter [the museum’s president] also made a point of saying that the museum was only taking issue with the statue itself, not with Roosevelt overall, with whom the institution has a long history.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior. The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.” The decision to remove the statue was also supported by a family member of Roosevelt.
Interestingly, I’m NOT a liberal, and I’m a huge teddy Roosevelt fan. But there’s a good reason his family supports removal of this statue. It’s pretty heinous. pic.twitter.com/BkZjV1SFeJ— David Jensen, ex-GOP (@Seattle_Dave) June 22, 2020
Theodore Roosevelt IV, a great-great-grandson of Teddy Roosevelt released a statement, saying, "The world does not need statues, relics of another age, that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice. The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward. The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue."