What? They're canceling the chocolate Jesus exhibit at the prestigious Roger Smith Hotel in New York? Outraged Catholics including Cardinal Edward Egan were appalled! Organizers were surprised that a nude, anatomically correct sculpture made in chocolate of Jesus Christ might be considered offensive to some. I guess their reasoning is when it's okay to display a statue of former heavyweight champ, Buster Douglas in butter at the Ohio State Fair, what's the difference?
My question is: the artist, Cosimo Cavallaro, and creative director of the gallery at the hotel, Matt Semler (who angrily quit in protest) were SURPRISED by this reaction? If Willy Wonka became a Born Again he'd be smart enough not to do this. There's a reason you never see chopped liver sculptures of Jesus at Catholic weddings. Or a candy shop at the Vatican. It's so clearly off-the-charts predictable that this stunt would cause some flack.
On the other hand...is this publicity exactly what they want? I mean, if the Roger Smith Hotel unveiled a statue of me, nude, anatomically correct in chocolate I don't even think my wife would come. George Clooney? They might have a tough time getting his permission. (I'd be honored so I'm a good get.) But the point is -- do something wacky, anything wacky and you can expect media attention these days. Why hire a PR firm when you can have the Catholic Church make you a cause célèbre?
And the end result: You know the Jesus statue will appear somewhere. And it will draw crowds.
Meanwhile, 9,000 new "Surge" troops are on their way to Iraq. Where's the big protest to that? Just because they're real soldiers and not chocolate, come on!
You can read more from Ken at kenlevine.blogspot.com