Catholic League forces art museum to remove video

Catholic blowhard Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has succeeded in his campaign to force the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery – a publicly funded institution – to remove a video exhibit which he found offensive.

The video formed part of an exhibition about sexual identity in American art. It was created by artist David Wojnarowicz, and featured a montage of many images. It seems that the one which gave Donohue the willies was of black ants crawling over a crucifix. This, according to Donohue, is “hate speech”.

Here it is:


This is not the first time the Smithsonian has offended us

said the demented muncher of Jesus biscuits.

If they’re concerned about making a statement about AIDS, they could have chosen a better way to do it instead of insult us.

Because, obviously, the main concern of any artist is to carefully avoid offending the delicate sensitivities of the superstitious.

UPDATE: (3 Dec) A round-the-clock protest about the Smithsonian’s craven decision is being staged by a Washington art gallery. Wojnarowicz’s video will be shown in the front window of the Transformer Gallery every day and night until it is reinstated in the National Portrait Gallery.

The president and the co-founder of Transformer Gallery have written an open letter of protest to the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

You must know – but in the event you do not – we the undersigned are here to tell you that your right-wing critics, including in the Congress, know nothing and care nothing about art. They care not a wit about freedom of expression, or free speech, or “the American promise of equality, inclusion and social dignity.”

The National Coalition Against Censorship has also spoken out against the Republican Representatives who complained.

Anybody is entitled to criticize an art show, but First Amendment principles bar government officials from suppressing controversial viewpoints and imposing the values held by one religious group on society at large.

One Response to “Catholic League forces art museum to remove video”

  1. BSE says:

    Wojnarowicz was bang on the money with this video, the inclusion of Diamanda Galas in the soundtrack makes his intent QUITE clear – that the religious bigots made the emerging HIV pandemic worse than it already was by being so quick to judge those living, and dying with the disease. That stigma lives on to this day, with skyworshippers quick to condemn those living with HIV as being immoral.

    This is the insult that affects so many of US!

    To pull this video because they do not like its content is a spineless act.

    It is an attempt to silence the voices of our dead who are no longer able to speak for themselves. Many of whom would probably wish to tell us the stories of how they were condemned by a godless, compassionless faith who holds bigotry over humanity.

    Thanks for this post!