Defacing of Cerne Abbas Giant by Amazon Provokes National Trust Wrath
A movie PR team at Amazon have defaced a British monument to increase box-office takings for their new Borat film. The National Trust claims they willfully “defaced” the iconic English monument. The Cerne Abbas Giant is a 55-meter-high (180 ft) scheduled monument, a chalk hill figure located near the village of Cerne Abbas in Dorset, England. Depicting a nude male figure with an erection, and another large club in its right hand, the giant’s outline is formed by shallow trenches cut into the hill side which are backfilled with light chalk rubble.
Managed by the National Trust, English folktales suggest the giant is a deeply-ancient Celtic fertility god with the power to make childless women pregnant. However, historians and archaeologists say the first written reference to the giant only dates to 1694 AD, and that the Giant must have been created in the seventeenth-century. Either way, the figure is an iconic monument of British heritage and this is why Amazon’s defacing of the monument has caused outrage within the National Trust.
Let’s Dress Up That Stupid Giant
In a stunt that can only be described as exceptionally shallow, and painfully obvious, a huge face mask was recently stretched over the Cerne Abbas Giant’s genitals with the slogan: “Wear mask. Save live.” The mask represents the mankini worn by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in his 2006 movie Borat, and it is thought that this latest PR stunt was executed by the producers of Cohen’s new movie on Amazon. However, a spokesperson for the National Trust says the organization “did not give anyone permission to alter the figure,” and according to the Daily Mail the charity have slammed Amazon’s “defacement” of the famous Cerne Abbas Giant chalk figure.
- The Cerne Abbas Giant: Drawing of a ‘Rude Man’ Erects Folktales of Fertility Enhancement
- Research Shows Cerne Abbas Giant Chalk Figure Is NOT Ancient
- Like New: Locals and Experts Re-Chalk a ‘Rude’ Giant on a Hill
The PR stunt coincides with the new Borat sequel which began streaming on Amazon Prime Video this week. This is only one of the marketing efforts by Sacha Baron Cohen’s team that have appeared on landmarks across the UK wearing medical face masks, styled like a mankinis, to promote his film's release. Earlier this week a huge inflatable Borat was floated down the River Thames in London and the the mask (mankini) appeared at Edinburgh Castle and Arthurs Seat, the Tower of London and the Angel of the North in Newcastle, but officials at the National Trust, who protect the Cerne Abbas Giant, are “furious” as they were never approached for permission to alter the heritage figure.
We Don’t ‘See’ Any Value Here, So Defacing Is Fine
The giant hillside figure was taken over by the National Trust in 1920. A spokesman said the organization explains that they “do not encourage the defacing of the Cerne Abbas Giant as any such action may damage this fragile site, whether by someone physically attaching something to him or giving the impression of having done so, may encourage others.” Furthermore, the chalk which forms the giant figure is carefully replaced every decade and the more the ground is disturbed the quicker the Giant erodes away. Categorized as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the chalk giant is located within a Site of Special Scientific Interest as an important chalk grassland filled with wild flowers, butterflies and other wildlife.
The new Borat film is titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and it is a follow up to Cohen's 2006 movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, for which the comedian was criticized for making a fool of every day American folks, rather than the celebrities who are generally the focus of the Cohen’s jokes. However, to Amazon staff, this whole ordeal will be celebrated as another great PR effort and the Cerne Abbas Giant, like all the everyday American people victimized by the comedian, is just cannon-fodder on his road to Hollywood fortune.
By Ashley Cowie