On Wednesday, the art world’s current inescapable and divisive topic of conversation crossed over into daytime television as Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, and the other co-hosts of The View weighed in on the controversy surrounding Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, “Open Casket” (2016).

In their five-minute discussion, the co-hosts never name the artist Hannah Black, but react to her open letter, calling for the painting’s removal and destruction. They seem to come down unanimously in favor of Schutz’s painting, evoking precedents from the Nazis’ targeting of “degenerate” art and Norman Rockwell’s “The Problem We All Live With” (1964) to the writings of Mark Twain and the outcry against Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary” (1996). “You may be an artist, but you need to grow up,” Goldberg says, seemingly addressing Black. “If you are an artist, young lady, you should be ashamed of yourself. Because if somebody decides they don’t like your art, then what?”

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...

One reply on “Whoopi Weighs in on Emmett Till Painting as Schutz Storm Reaches Daytime TV”

  1. When The View is more clued into art Ethics than art press and administrators. What does that say? Bravo to The View!

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