Night at the Museum actor Ben Stiller recently pitched the idea of replacing a Teddy Roosevelt statue in New York with one of Robin Williams.
Stiller responded to a news report from The New York Times detailing that a Teddy Roosevelt statue would be removed from the Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Speaking to The New York Times the museum’s president Ellen V. Futter explained the decision to remove the statue.
She explained, “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,” she added.
Futter then detailed that the specific reason for the statue being removed was because of its “hierarchical composition.”
The New York Times’ Robin Pogrebin wrote, “Ms. Futter made clear that the museum’s decision was based on the statue itself — namely its ‘hierarchical composition’—- and not on Roosevelt, whom the museum continues to honor as ‘a pioneering conservationist.'”
Futter then stated, “Simply put, the time has come to move it.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio supported the decision to remove the statue.
He stated, “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.”
He added, “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”
Theodore Roosevelt IV, the great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt also approved of the statue’s removal. He stated, “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.”
He added, “The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward.”
Futter did indicate that the museum will name their Hall of Biodiversity after Roosevelt “in recognition of his conservation legacy.”
In response to this New York Times article, Stiller suggested it be replaced with one of Robin Williams.
How about replacing it with a statue of Robin Williams. He deserves one.
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) June 21, 2020
Williams played Theodore Roosevelt in the Night at the Museum films alongside Ben Stiller.
President Trump also reacted to the museum’s decision to remove the statue saying, “Ridiculous, don’t do it!”
Ridiculous, don’t do it! https://t.co/VYez8p9AJh
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020
What do you make of Stiller’s suggestion that a Robin Williams statue replace Teddy Roosevelt?