On Tuesday, Sean Hannity’s official website posted an article that suggested Barack Obama’s Smithsonian portrait included “secret sperm cells.” The website removed the post shortly after it was published…but not before Hannity promoted it on Twitter.
As pointed out by BuzzFeed, Hannity shared a now-deleted tweet that linked to an article titled PORTRAIT PERVERSION: Obama Portrait Features ‘SECRET SPERM,’ Artist Joked About ‘Killing Whitey.’ The story, which was written by “Hannity Staff,” addressed the “shocking allegations” that artist Kehinde Wiley had incorporated a sexual innuendo hidden on the temple of Obama’s head.
Controversy surrounding Kehinde Wiley’s wildly non-traditional portrait of the Commander-in-Chief broke out within minutes of its unveiling; with industry insiders claiming the artist secretly inserted his trademark technique-concealing images of sperm within his paintings.
The article cites a 2008 piece by the New York Times that addresses Wiley’s approach to art as well as its reoccurring themes:
His portraits initially depicted African-American men against rich textile or wallpaper backgrounds whose patterns he has likened to abstractions of sperm. Some of the subjects were famous (rap and sports stars), others not.
And, yeah. That’s pretty much where the “shocking allegations” stop. The article also mentioned a 2012 interview in which Wiley explained his controversial painting of a black woman serving a white women’s severed head. “[It’s] sort of a play on the ‘kill whitey’ thing,” he told New York Magazine about the artwork. He went on to say that the painting was “a riff on classical depictions by Caravaggio and Gentileschi, of the biblical story of Judith beheading Holofernes.”
It’s obvious why Hannity’s staff chose to include the irrelevant “kill whitey” quote in their article. So, we’ll just move right along.
After the post was taken down from Hannity’s website, the conservative TV host released the following statement to BuzzFeed: “Earlier today my web staff posted content that was not reviewed by me before publication. It does not reflect my voice and message and, therefore, I had it taken down.”
An archived version of the story is available to read here.