A statue of Harambe, the beloved Cincinnati Zoo gorilla who was shot to death in 2016, has been erected on Wall Street, opposite the iconic Charging Bull.
Photos of the 7-foot-tall bronze statue have circulated widely on social media since Harambe’s appearance Monday.
Someone has placed a massive gorilla and a lot of bananas in front of the Wall Street bull.
We live in wild times. pic.twitter.com/b7B4h1kUFV
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) October 18, 2021
The Sapien Network, the activist social media platform behind the statue, said in a press release that Harambe “represents the millions of everyday people who struggle under a system that enriches wealthy elites and leaves the average person behind.”
- Ankit Bhatia and Robert Giometti, the Sapien Network’s co-founders, also said the statue is meant to show how Wall Street has gone “bananas.”
MEME OF THE YEAR
Harambe became a cultural phenomenon following his controversial death at the hands of zookeepers, who were concerned after a 3-year-old boy got into the gorilla’s enclosure.
The internet was inundated with Harambe memes, more than 500 million people signed a petition seeking “Justice for Harambe” and 2% of Texans backed the gorilla for president, per an August 2016 Public Policy Polling survey.
- But some liberals deemed Harambe-mania racist or dismissive of social justice.
- Ryan Milner, an associate professor of communications at the College of Charleston, warned The New York Times at the time: “It becomes a farcical way to skewer that social media activism rather than actually going after social media advocacy.”