Ben Stiller suggests replacing an NYC statue of Theodore Roosevelt with one of his beloved late co-star Robin Williams: ‘He deserves one’
- New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that the city will remove a statue of former president Theodore Roosevelt from in front of the landmark Museum of Natural History
- The monument has long been derided as a racist and colonialist symbol
- The bronze sculpture, which has stood since 1940, depicts the former leader on horseback towering over a black man and a Native American man, both on foot
- The decision to remove the statue comes as similar monuments have been toppled throughout the country
- The statue was brought to life by the late actor Robin Williams, who portrayed Roosevelt in the popular film series Night At The Museum opposite Ben Stiller
Comic actor Ben Stiller has an idea for the perfect replacement to a statue of former president Theodore Roosevelt in New York City, which is set to be torn down soon.
The Zoolander star, 54, took to Twitter on Sunday with the suggestion that his Night At The Museum costar, the late great Robin Williams, be the inspiration for a new statue in its place in front of the city’s Museum of Natural History.
Williams, an Oscar winner who died by suicide in 2014 at the age of 63, portrayed a playful version of Roosevelt opposite Stiller in the Night At The Museum franchise, which spawned three films.
Good idea: Ben Stiller took to Twitter on Sunday with the suggestion that his Night At The Museum costar Robin Williams be the inspiration for a new statue in place of one of Theodore Roosevelt in front of New York City’s Museum of Natural History
Linking to a New York Times article about the statue’s imminent removal, Stiller tweeted, ‘How about replacing it with a statue of Robin Williams. He deserves one.’
The actors surely had a fondness for one another, having appeared in 2006’s Night At The Museum as well as its sequels in 2009 and 2014 about exhibitions and historical characters who come to life at night within the museum walls.
Stiller’s suggestion comes after the news that the statue, which depicts Roosevelt on horseback flanked by a Native American man and an African man beneath him, will be removed due to its inherently colonialist, racist and classist symbolism.
Night At The Museum: Linking to an article about the statue’s imminent removal, Stiller tweeted, ‘How about replacing it with a statue of Robin Williams. He deserves one’
Evolution: Stiller’s suggestion comes after the news that the statue, which depicts Roosevelt on horseback flanked by a Native American man and an African man beneath him, will be removed due to its inherently colonialist, racist and classist symbolism
Even before the killing of George Floyd and a renewed national focus on racial injustice in this country, there has been consistent pressure on the powers that be to remove the highly visible statue, in place since 1940.
The controversy even prompted the museum to unveil an exhibition about the monument’s merits and drawbacks last year.
But now, with similar statues of historical figures such as Ulysses Grant and Star Spangled Banner scribe Francis Scott Key – who both owned slaves – being razed throughout the country, it was only a matter of time before the Roosevelt statue would be removed as well.
And New York City mayor Bill de Blasio supported the museum’s decision to remove the monument, saying in a statement to Newsweek, ‘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 actors surely had a fondness for one another: They appeared in 2006’s Night At The Museum as well as its sequels in 2009 and 2014
‘The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.’
And Ellen V. Futter, the Museum of Natural History’s president, told the Times: ‘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.’
Speaking out: It wasn’t the first time Stiller has spoken out about important issues; he is a Good Will Ambassador for the UN High Commission for Refugees; seen here testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year in Washington, D.C.