A few people were offended by ‘A Christmas Story’ leg statue in Florida town, and then came the apology

One particular piece in Lakeland, Florida’s annual sculpture exhibit is turning more than a few heads, and eliciting more than a few strong reactions on both sides.

One might think that’s what art should do, but these days, when it runs afoul of political-correctness, somebody’s going to grovel.

The leg lamp sculpture by Joni Younkins-Herzog, called “I’ll Shoot Your Eye Out,” is based on the classic 1983 movie “A Christmas Story,” but some consider it sexist.

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Here’s a picture of it on the city’s Facebook page:

Kimberly Williams wrote on the post, “Lakeland has gone to far!!!! Take it down!!!!!! Hideous. What kind of example r y’all setting for kids!!!! Come on… And y’all wonder why kids are the way they are just look at what you put out!!! City of Lakeland grow up!!!!”

“I’ve never like the objectifying of a womens body part. I get it’s part of the classic movie but it’s still not my taste,” Natalie Joy wrote. “Didn’t like it in the movie, do not like it in the middle of the city. Let me take a wild guess and say that the panel who picked this out was mostly men.”

However, most responses were positive, so much so that News Channel 8 actually had a hard time finding anyone to be offended at the statue when they went around asking.

Lisa Baker told the station, “I think it’s really cool. The first thing I thought of was ‘A Christmas Story.’”

Another resident, Kevin Cook, said the sculpture “pays homage to a classic Christmas movie. The ‘fra gee lay’ that we all know, the leg in the box with a shade.”

And yet, an apology must be given. Lakeland’s director of communications said, “If people are offended by a leg, we really apologize.”

The city also responded to Williams’ post by writing, “Sorry to hear that you feel this way. This was chosen from a panel of judges and is based on the iconic “leg lamp” from the 1983 film, A Christmas Story.”

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The sculptor, Younkins-Herzog, told Heat Street, “It has more to do with being a woman in a predominantly masculine field. Feminist means female perspective as far as I am concerned. I take ownership of these stereotypical trappings of beauty, combined with the humorous context of the movie. It would not have happened if I had not enjoyed watching A Christmas Story as a kid.”

“Seems odd to me that people would be so offended,” Younkins-Herzog continued. “The wife in the movie was offended based on context in the 70s. Our society and ads and tv are far more suggestive than a disembodied leg.”

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

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Scott Morefield

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