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Apparently the price paid for Picasso’s “Women of Algiers” (1955) on Monday is not the most obscene thing about it. When broadcasting the painting the day of the $179 million sales record, Fox 5 News, the New-York based Fox affiliate, censored the four pairs of breasts on Picasso’s barely assembled female figures: the news bar safely covered one set, while the other three were blurred, removing any evidence of possibly painted nipples (one figure’s ass, on the other hand, was not considered a problem). Fox — with all its “core principles of tolerance” and opposition to “suppress[ing] freedom of expression” — has taken a similar measure to China’s official CCTV network when it blurred the crotch of Michelangelo’s “David” three years ago. To CCTV’s credit, David’s goods are at least prominently visible. Fox, on the other hand, seems to have only made the abstracted breasts of Picasso’s women more suggestive for those innocent minds the channel wishes to protect.

Correction: A previous version of this article did not make clear that the news was broadcasted on the Fox5NY affiliate. This has been amended.

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Elisa Wouk Almino

Elisa Wouk Almino is a senior editor at Hyperallergic. She is based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

48 replies on “Fox News Bizarrely Censors $179M Picasso Painting”

  1. This genre of blurring only makes the censored object seem MORE lascivious. Good to know that butts are approved by Fox, though.

      1. They are men…except for Shep, a decent guy whose talent for journalism is misplaced and under appreciated on Fox.

    1. well that is exactly the idea behind it, i would say.
      making a healthy body image impossible, spreading prudery.

    1. Some of whom are paid $200 extra per month to render personal services to Roger Ailes.

        1. Sorry, but there’s evidence for the truth that statement. I know that the thought of accommodating that hideous old man is pretty disgusting, but remember that Donald Sterling could also get a pretty hot babe to do the same for him. What I can’t figure out is how $200 a month would be enough to compensate anyone, no matter how ambitious for promotion at Fox.

      1. “Some of whom are paid $200 extra per month to render personal services to Roger Ailes.”
        Incorrect.
        Massah Ailes allegedly offers no additional compensation for these required services. Instead, Massah Ailes allegedly demands said females provide said services in unlimited number and scope at a variety of sites ranging from Fox Mission Control to his upstate abode. While singing “The National Anthem”.
        Massah Ailes is, after all, a deregulated, free-market Conservative to a degree that surpasses even Ayn Rand.

    2. Can’t argue with the ‘eye candy’ description of their news gals, yet nearly each one of them was previously a practicing attorney and/or assistant district attorney with the odd judge and beauty queen thrown in for good measure. It seems their looks are only surpassed by their brains. I expect an artist’s site to exemplify the ability to see past the surface rather than engage in surface snarks against the right.

      1. So, these allegedly intelligent women employed by Ailes, SUPPRESS their intellect in order to be Fox talent…?!$&

  2. Such is the power of FNC that even media ‘experts’ confuse Fox broadcast stations and affiliates with the News Channel. Of course, this graphic is from Fox 5 New York, which is a Fox-owned station. But the two newsrooms are physically about 20 blocks apart and philosophically quite different. But it’s easy to paint over everything with a broad brush if you’re lazy. The public I understand. Someone claiming to be ‘covering’ the media? Not so understanding.

    1. The fact remains that the cheesecake, er, female news professionals on Fox wear less than the average woman wears at the beach, and their training apparently consists largely of how to fawn adoringly on their male co-anchors. Remember, this is a Murdoch enterprise, and Brit tabloids always have their Page 3 girls. The problem with the Picasso painting is that a) the models aren’ t on the Fox payroll, b) they’re dark haired and ethnic, and c) Picasso was a Commie, so this is a good time to take a stand for Christian, conservative morality.

    2. Nice try, Ricky.
      It’s common knowledge that no one in the Fox 5 New York Spin Room goes to the can without a pass from Massah Ailes.
      Massah Ailes rules Fox – all of Fox – with an iron fist. Dissent – much less independent lavatory use – is not allowed.

  3. Funny, when I lived in France an art historian friend had grammar school kids go to the Picasso museum and do drawings from the Picassos. Even (gasp) nudes. Curiously enough the kids had a great time- their drawings and their takes on Picasso were fabulous and at the end the kids’ works, along with Picasso’s, were published together in a series of lovely books. Fox’s censorship is an embarrassment both to them and to the US. Fox should aspire more to be civilized, and as mature as the grammar school kids in France.

  4. Maybe FOX would approve of depictions of women totally covered from head to toe? Maybe their Saudi masters would be pleased?

  5. The blurring job FOX did makes the painting difficult to masturbate to. Difficult, but not impossible.

  6. I’m sure many a man are glad they don’t blur the up skirt shots of the newz hosts that bring them their drooling for their daily brain wash sessions.

  7. It’s only fair that they blur the clearly sexually suggestive ‘O’ in the word Fox.

      1. You think Massah Ailes and Da Bank Murdoch don’t control both?
        Wake up.

  8. I don’t know bleep about art, but I do know this much:
    You. Do. Not. Censor. Picasso.
    Be like taking a whiz on a Mona Lisa. Or burning Shakespeare’s “Othello”.
    Yet Fox and Roger “On His Third Wife” Ailes and Rupert “Off His Third Wife” Murdoch thinks this is acceptable for its Chief On-Air Nighttime Cupcake?
    http://www.gq.com/news-politics/politics/201012/megan-kelly-fox-news-photos
    Censor Picasso.
    Sell The Blonde in the Negligee.
    Who’s Blurrin’ Who, Fox?

  9. It seems that Fox is a buzz word for the Hyperallergic readers : )
    I agree that blurring parts of paintings and sculpture is idiotic, but if I had a penny for all the dumb things done on all the media, I’d have all the pennies everywhere.
    Relentlessly singling out Fox is part of an agenda that tears this country apart.

    As for this Picasso painting, I wouldn’t even pixelate it, I’d ignore it as an ordinary piece of crap.
    I do like Les Demoiselles d’Avignon though, a lot.

    1. “…but if I had a penny for all the dumb things done on all the media”
      Ah, the “Well, The Bad People Do It Too, Mommy!!!!!!” Defense.
      Very substantive. Leadership not from behind, but from the lowest common denominator. Fox and Conservatives like yourselves skewer the “Evil Mainstream Media” for its numerous flaws – and then use the poorest actions of the “Evil Mainstream Media” as your defense for repeating those same errors in judgment.
      I’ll end this post now. Know you’re already yelling, “Make it stop, Mommy! Make the Bad Man stop picking on me!!!!!!!!”
      Time for milk and cookies.

        1. “Relentlessly singling out Fox is part of an agenda that tears this country apart.”
          Who’s relentlessly singling out whom, Pixey?
          For lots and lots of offshore dinero…
          If you and the Foxies singled out to any greater degree, this would be a land of one Conservative and 9 billion mirrors.
          Of course, that means you’d have all the dinero, so there is that to ponder…

  10. The twisted morality of the Right which sees no problem with torture images can’t reconcile the Female body.

  11. In the words of Tina Belcher, a character on the Fox cartoon Bob’s Burgers: “Butts, butts, I love butts.”

  12. Many Fox stations are over the air broadcast subject to FCC regulation
    and censorship. Remember the Superbowl halftime flap over Janet Jackson
    flashing her boob? 😉

      1. Oh, you mean the tiny one at the bottom that makes this entire post moot?

        Yeah, I read it. Still doesn’t change the dishonest original intention of the original post, now does it?

        Edit: Also, based on the replies here, you aren’t the type of people who care about things like “dishonesty”.

          1. Yes, Mr. Vartanian, I see where you put “Fox 5 News, the New-York based Fox affiliate,” in the post. However, what did you say IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT?

            “Fox, on the other hand, seems to have only made the abstracted breasts of Picasso’s women more suggestive for those innocent minds the channel wishes to protect.”

            Not Fox5. Just Fox.

            Oh, and that bit about the Fox-based affiliate was added later, or else this would be unnecessary: Correction: A previous version of this article did not make clear that the news was broadcasted on the Fox5NY affiliate. This has been amended.

            Edited to add some spacing, so it’s a bit clearer.

    1. ps: but “oh wow, the eastern countries are so repressive, we need to “civilise” them!”
      …yeah..

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