A New York City councilwoman said she's appreciative of the vandal who recently spray-painted #MeToo on the "Unconditional Surrender" statue in Florida because it was a "forced" kiss, the New York Post reported Monday.
The statue modeled after the iconic photo features a sailor kissing a woman in a nurse's uniform on Aug. 14, 1945, also known as V-J Day, in New York City's Times Square to mark the end of World War II.
"I appreciate someone recognizing that a random man grabbing a random woman is completely inappropriate," Manhattan City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal told the Post. "In today's lens, which is all we have, I am grateful that someone brought this to the floor."
Her comments followed a hearing about adding more monuments in New York City to honor women and minorities.
What happened to the statue?
Early Tuesday morning, police discovered the words "#MeToo" spray-painted in red letters down the left leg of the nurse in the statue. It was defaced one day after the death of George Mendonsa, the sailor who was photographed kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant wearing a nurse's uniform.
Someone vandalized the "Unconditional Surrender" statue in Sarasota, Florida, last week.
Image source: Sarasota Police Department
What else did Rosenthal say?
Rosenthal, who chairs the Committee on Women, said that the #MeToo movement has shone a light on behavior that seemed acceptable in the past but must now be questioned, according to the Post.
"We saw this most recently with the spray-painting of #MeToo on the 'Unconditional Surrender' statue in Florida memorializing a forced kiss at the victory parade at the end of World War II," she said.
Moments after Rosenthal's comments, Staten Island Councilman Joe Borelli, who attended the hearing, tweeted a copy of "The Kiss" photo.
"Peak #Woke — a NYC Council member has now set her sites on the WWII Times Square kiss photo. Can't America just have this moment?" Borelli wrote.
Peak #Woke - a NYC Council member has now set her sites on the WWII Times Square kiss photo. Can’t America just ha… https://t.co/0BAdOZCXFK— Joe Borelli (@Joe Borelli) 1551109760.0
The damage to the statue was estimated to be more than $1,000, according to officials.
Police are still looking for the person responsible for the damage.
Friedman died in 2016 at the age of 92.