June 25, 2020
Ben Stiller has suggested replacing a statue of Theodore Roosevelt with one of his friend and co-star Robin Williams.
As statues and monuments perceived of celebrating colonial or racist figures come down, Ben Stiller has suggested what should replace the Theodore Roosevelt statue in New York.
Taking to Twitter, the actor suggested that the statue showing the former president towering over a black and Native American man should be replaced with one of his friend Robin Williams.
The City of New York decided to remove the statue which sits outside the Museum of Natural History, as it had been deemed controversial for some time. The statue was erected in 1940.
Speaking to The New York Times, the president of the Museum, Ellen V. Futter, said that they had decided to remove it after conversations started by George Floyd and the Black Lives Movement. She added,
"We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful hurtful symbols of systemic racism. Simply put, the time has come to move it."
However, she added that the decision was made based on its "hierarchical composition" rather than Roosevelt himself, who they continue to honor as a "pioneering conservationist."
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio released a statement supporting the decision adding that it showed black and indigenous people as racially inferior.
His son Zak Williams spoke about losing his father saying that he found it hard to share him with the world.
Williams, who played Roosevelt on "Night at The Museum" with Stiller, committed suicide in August 2014 after suffering from depression.
His son Zak Williams spoke about losing his father, saying that he found it hard to share him with the world. Speaking during an interview, he said,
"When he was having challenges and going through certain things, it was heartbreaking, because he still went out and wanted to share his feelings of laughter and humor with the world."
Williams left behind three children, his eldest Zak,36, Zelda, 29, and Cody, 27. Zak added that it had been challenging to process the loss of their father, especially as they are in the public eye.
He added that support from fans made things a little bit easier, especially seeing the impact and difference he made to his their lives.
Robin's oldest son also recently welcomed a child named McLaurin, or Mickey, which is his late grandfather's middle name.
He revealed that both he and his son's mother are learning to take advantage of life as well as sharing feelings and love with him.