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Leftist actress Jessica Chastain lauds NYC's decision to remove 'problematic' Theodore Roosevelt statue from Natural History Museum

Of course

Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images

Left-wing actress Jessica Chastain took to social media to declare her support for the removal of the Theodore Roosevelt statue that has stood outside New York City's Natural History Museum since 1940.

What's a brief history?

On Monday, the city announced it would be removing the statue, which features the former president flanked by a Native American and an African man.

The city said it made the decision following the museum's request.

A spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "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 city supports the museum's request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue."

    What are the details?

    In a lengthy Instagram post, Chastain wrote, "Out with the old... in with the BETTER."

    Chastain — who can be seen standing in front of the Roosevelt statue wearing a mask and flashing a thumbs-down — explains that Roosevelt's statue is nothing short of "problematic."

    "The latest problematic monument to come down is a statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of New York's Museum of Natural History," she wrote. "@nycmayor announced the move after the museum had requested that it be removed. The statue features the nation's 26th President on a horse with a Native American man standing on one side and an African man standing on the other."

    She continued, "While it was meant to celebrate Roosevelt as a 'devoted naturalist and author of works on natural history,' it also 'communicates a racial hierarchy that the museum and members of the public have long found disturbing,' the museum said. The announcement comes as several states grapple with how to handle removals of confederate monuments and other controversial statues."

    Her post, at the time of this writing, has received more than 236,000 likes.

    What else?

    In a statement, museum president Ellen V. Futter said that the statue will be removed due to its problematic "hierarchical composition" rather than because it features a former U.S. president.

    "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," Futter told the New York Times. "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."

    One last thing…
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