(Memphis) A tall buxom blonde is causing a lot of controversy.
She’s on sign that will be on the Pyramid for Bass Pro.
The Downtown Memphis Commission approved the company’s sign package Tuesday, but one sign has some people hot around the collar.
“I am not going to wade into the mermaid-infested waters, so I am going to keep my opinions out of it,” said Paul Morris with the Downtown Memphis Commission.
Morris might not have an opinion, but apparently other people do, like some with the Memphis Area Women’s Council who say “what does an 18-foot, blonde, large-breasted ‘mermaid’ sell?”
“It is demeaning to women in our community, and we deserve better than that.”
They’re upset about a sign Bass Pro plans to put on the pyramid that includes a mermaid in a fishbowl.
The Downtown Memphis Commission says the mermaid sign is going to be on north side of the pyramid on ground level, greeting people as they walk in to a restaurant and bowling alley.
“They have a registered trademark associated with this Uncle Bucks Fishbowl and Grill,” said Morris. “It’s intended to be a family-friendly place for you to bring your family, have dinner and bowl.”
The Commission’s Design Review Board approved the sign Tuesday, but not before a handful of people submitted their objections about the “…scantily clad mermaid trapped in a fishbowl,” which they find “demeaning, sexist and exclusive,” saying “there is nothing artistic or meaningful about the image, other than it’s clear representation of a barely clothed woman being trapped for entertainment.”
“The first amendment gives people the right to object and gives businesses the right to put artwork in their signs,” said Morris.
Morris says the Design Review Board only has jurisdiction over things like size, placement and type of sign and has no authority over content, meaning the sign with the fictional creature will likely become a pyramid reality.
“The sign has been approved, yes,” said Morris.
Bass Pro has been given the go-ahead to request bids for construction starting August 1.