(NEW YORK) — A clothing company is running a billboard in New York City’s Times Square that depicts President Donald Trump being hog-tied by a woman clad in its athletic wear.
The 30-foot-high billboard featuring a model binding a Trump look-alike with red, white and blue rope while stomping on his face, was put up last Tuesday as part of an advertising campaign by Dhvani, a Portland-based clothing company.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, critiqued the media Friday for not writing about the billboard sooner.
“Since you had time to thoroughly cover a stupid and tasteless meme seen by 8 people with incredible outrage, I figured you should dedicate the same time and outrage to this billboard in Times Square you hypocrites,” he said in a tweet. (Trump Jr. was referring to news coverage of a parody video, played during a conference at Trump’s Miami golf resort, depicting a caricature of Trump murdering members of the news media and other critics.)
Dhvani’s CEO, Avi Brown, told The Associated Press that the billboard was intended to be a comment on the Trump administration’s changes to the Title X family planning program blocking federal funding for health providers who refer patients for abortions. “We are on the right side of history,” Brown said. “The billboard is an expression of our First Amendment right. Its art is a symbol. We would never condone violence. This is about taking our country back.”
Other ads in the campaign show models taping over Trump’s mouth.View this post on Instagram
During the 1936 Berlin Olympic games, when Hitler was in full power, the founder of German company Adidas asked the legendary Jesse Owens to compete while wearing shoes he designed – an act of rebellion. . In 2018, when Colin Kaepernick took a knee and started a movement, Nike embraced him and amplified his message – at great cost and risk. . Today, DHVANI is taking a stand against the Trump administration's Title X “Gag Rule". Established in 1970 with bipartisan support, the Title X program provides affordable birth control and reproductive health care to people with low incomes. Trump's Gag Rule, which directly opposes federal law, silences healthcare professionals, preventing them from providing information on where and how to access reproductive healthcare to over 4 million American women. . One of the most beautiful things about America is that we are all free to make our own choices. If you disagree with our stance, vote with your dollars by shopping elsewhere. If you are with us, please join us at http://DHVANI.com/StandForSomething as we #StandForSomething together. . *DHVANI produced the images of this campaign to artistically express the frustrations we believe many women share. All images are metaphorical in nature only. DHVANI does NOT and will NEVER condone violence of ANY KIND.
“He unilaterally has created a gag rule that you cannot refer patients with reproductive information about abortion, sex ed, and contraception,” Brown said. “He’s gagging doctors and nurses, and telling them what they can and cannot tell patients.” According to Dhvani, the model in the billboard, Michal Mesa, is a Marine Corps veteran and middle school teacher.
Due to the ad’s violent nature, there was some back and forth between Dhvani and Lamar Advertising, the agency that operates the billboard. “The client wanted to use a photo of the President but we said no,” said Lamar Advertising’s digital marketing coordinator, GraceAnn Woolf. The company insisted on a look-alike instead.
Brown said there’s been an increase of traffic to the company’s website, along with an increase in sales, since the billboard went up.