A riveting clothing advertisement on a Times Square billboard depicts a female Marine veteran in athletic wear hogtying a man who appears to be President Donald Trump in front of the White House.
The 30-foot-high ad features a Trump look-alike being trussed up with red, white and blue rope as the vet steps on his face. The ad was unveiled in Manhattan last week by Oregon-based athletic clothing company Dhvani.
Dhvani called the ad “metaphorical,” adding on Twitter that it “does NOT and will NEVER condone violence of ANY KIND.” It’s intended to “artistically express the frustrations we believe many women share,” the statement added.
It’s an attack on the Trump administration’s blocking federal funds to Planned Parenthood health providers who refer patients for abortions, Dhvani CEO and founder Avi Brown told The Associated Press.
“We are on the right side of history,” Brown declared. “The billboard is an expression of our First Amendment right. Its art is a symbol ... This is about taking our country back.”
Other ads in the Dhvani campaign show clothing models taping Trump’s mouth — a reference to the Trump administration’s gag rule blocking reproductive health care information.
“He unilaterally has created a gag rule that you cannot refer patients with reproductive information about abortion, sex ed, and contraception,” Brown told AP. “He’s gagging doctors and nurses, and telling them what they can and cannot tell patients.”
“This is about giving a voice to women,” Brown told The Washington Post. “Our intent is for our brand to stand for progressive change in the face of what we perceive to be steps backwards in the evolution of our country.”
The model in the Times Square ad is Michal Mesa, a Marine Corps vet and middle school teacher, according to Brown.
The campaign has elicited widespread support — and fury — on social media.
Donald Trump Jr. called on the media to express outrage over the billboard.
He was referring in his tweet to previous coverage of a graphic video, played recently during a conference at Trump’s Miami golf resort, depicting a fake Trump stabbing and shooting members of the media and political opponents.