A statue honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, was met with mixed reactions online after it was unveiled Saturday in Boston.
The 22-foot tall bronze statue, dubbed “The Embrace,” was meant to capture a hug that Dr. King shared with his wife after he won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, CBS News reported.
The statue cost $10 million and was designed by Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group, the report said. It is located in Freedom Plaza of the Boston Common.
Imari Paris Jeffries, executive director of Embrace Boston, the group responsible for overseeing the installation of the statue, said that he cried when he first saw it.
“And someone said to me, before I saw it for the first time, ‘Imagine when you see it, you’re going to cry,’” Jeffries said. “And I said, ‘I’ve seen monuments before. I’m not going to cry when I see a monument.’ And I actually did.”
“And despite the fact that we’re in the middle of the city, it is a quiet place. And so it’s a place of both contemplation and joy simultaneously,” he said. “And so I think it’s one of America’s most miraculous pieces of public art.”
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
While some liked the statue, many did not — especially from certain angles.
“There’s a sculptor somewhere giggling uncontrollably,” political commentator T. Beckett Adams tweeted. “Yes, yes, yes I know what you all think it looks like, you sickos and degenerates.”
Attorney Allan Richarz tweeted, “Is it really that hard to get a decent MLK statue?”
“This is a terrible sculpture,” content creator Jay D. Cartere tweeted. “It looks like someone grabbing a thigh [a] very different kind of ‘loving embrace.’”
“Yeah I thought it was fake at first,” political commentator Mike Cernovich responded. “Like a racist wanted to mock MLK.”
Reporter Jim Stinson tweeted, “Boston has some of the least impressive outdoor art. They could have done much better for the memory of MLK, who got his doctorate from BU.”
“Should have been lovely & inspiring—instead it’s hideous and depressing,” said Christina Sommers, Senior Fellow, AEI.
Former Pentagon official Amber Smith tweeted, “This is a horrible sculpture.”
“For the record, the big unveiling yesterday was only for VIPs and political hacks,” radio host Gerry Callahan tweeted. “Cops told us the public doesn’t get to see this monstrosity until February. Until then, the fences stay up.”
NYT best-selling author Morgan Jerkins tweeted, “This looks like….I’m tryna be respectful here but you’re making it hard.”
I’m not even going to say what I thought it was. pic.twitter.com/bitY40U6qc
— Maggie 🐳 (@The_Vent_Line) January 14, 2023