Activist group joins effort against statue, pressures hotels to withdraw support

A group formed to address quality-of-life issues in the city, and that most recently fought against a proposal to build an arena in Downtown Palm Springs, is now turning its attention to another project — the placement of a 26-foot-tall statue of actress Marilyn Monroe on Museum Way.

Palm Springs Together, headed by Cary Brazeman, a city resident who works in real estate marketing, said in a news release Monday that the 19 members of P.S. Resorts were sent a letter asking them to withdraw their support of locating the statue near the Palm Springs Art Museum. P.S. Resorts, an organization of hoteliers and tourism stakeholders in the city, purchased the statue for $1 million last year with plans to bring it back to the city, where it was on display from 2012-2014.

“Why does your hotel support putting a sexist statue of Marilyn Monroe in the middle of downtown Palm Springs?” the group asked in the letter. “Is this the best way to honor an icon and show respect for women, including your own hotel employees? Your support for this misogynistic action sends a message.

“The action also shows no regard or respect for the Palm Springs Art Museum, a community treasure and tourist attraction in its own right. Please support the effort to relocate Marilyn.”

The letter is one of several actions being taken by members of the community intent on stopping the city from allowing the hotel group from placing the statue on the street. Committee to Relocate Marilyn (CReMa), which lost a lawsuit against the city to prevent the move, is planning a protest Friday at 10 AM at the site, near Museum Way and Belardo Road, at 10 AM. The group is also gathering signatures on a petition and has a fund-raising effort for its legal fees.

Palm Springs Together was formed to “address a social and economic justice issue and has evolved to support public safety, including reasonable emergency medical response times, infrastructure and other hallmarks of a livable city,” according to a statement on its website. It most recently campaigned to fight a proposed 10,000-seat arena downtown, including the placement of a full page ad addressed to Gov. Gavin Newsom in the Los Angeles Times. That arena is now scheduled to be built east of Interstate 10 near Palm Desert.

P.S. Resorts had planned an installation and unveiling event for the statue this month. As of last week, however, the group said those plans were still pending. There is no word whether the statue is en route to the city from its last location — in storage at the workshop of its creator, Stewart Johnson, in New Jersey. Calls and emails to staff at the workshop were unreturned as of this morning. The city is not expected to seek any further public input on the statue’s placement.


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