The Great Puppetmaster
Region: North America
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Confronting Bodies: Borders Bookstore customers, Borders general manager
Date of Action: March 2005
Location: Borders Bookstore, York PA, USA
Description of Artwork: A painting depicting President Bush as a puppet manipulated by his advisors. (As no artist is identified, it is unclear which painting it is, as there are several different ones.)
The Incident: After three customers complained about the painting, the general manager of the Borders Bookstore decided to remove the painting from display, cutting short the month the artist's work was supposed to be presented. Borders claimed the removal was to "make every customer comfortable" and the store's policy is to ban "anything that is obviously offensive to the normal community standard."
Results of Incident: Other, non-complaining customers recognize the potential this standard has for the removal of nearly anything in the store that may offend a small group of the community.
Source: York Daily Record, www.ydr.com