- The Washington Times - Monday, June 22, 2020

Actor Ben Stiller says the removal of a Theodore Roosevelt statue outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York City can serve as an opportunity to honor the late Robin Williams.

“How about replacing it with a statue of Robin Williams. He deserves one,” Mr. Stiller tweeted about his “Night at The Museum” co-star.

Mr. Williams, who died by suicide in 2014 at age 63, played Roosevelt in the 2006 comedy/adventure film.

The actor’s comments come in the wake of various statues being removed — by legal and illegal means — in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests across the nation.

Critics of the bronze statue of Roosevelt, which stands at the museum’s Central Park West entrance, object to the former president riding horseback while flanked by a Native American and a black man.

Reactions to Mr. Stiller’s suggestion on Twitter were mixed. Many people were confused as to whether Mr. Stiller, a Black Lives Matter supporter, was being sincere or using Williams to fuel a joke:

  • “Or Mickey Mouse? You lot across the pond gone soft in the head. Roosevelt is one of the finest statesmen ever on this planet.”
  • “Or how about just adding one of Robin instead of trying to erase history? An erased history is doomed to be repeated.”
  • “Ridiculous to honor suicide.”
  • “The ignorance in this thread is overwhelming, ranging from those who don’t get the joke equating Robin to Roosevelt to those who refuse to understand why this particular statue needs to be removed.”
  • “I THINK you’re making a joke, Ben. But they’re coming for you next. Brace yourself.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio also weighed in on the statue over the weekend by calling its removal “the right decision.”

“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,” a written statement by the Democrat said.

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