THE FIVE

Is this mural 'offensive'?

Student forced to defend artistic vision approved by school

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," April 10, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So, apparently, a mural at Rhode Island high school has been deemed offensive. What is perverse about this paint job? Well, it depicted a man's life, seen there, from youth to adulthood, standing with a woman and a child, wedding rings above their heads. I know, it's disgusting.

The mural was to be painted inside Pilgrim High School. But the young artist Liz Bierendy was told there'd been a complaint. Apparently, the mural didn't reflect life experiences of all the kids at the school.

It was only one complaint, but today that's all it takes to get the offending art painted over, which it was. And why shouldn't it be? Thinking that marriage is a life goal. Hasn't she seen "Sex and the City"? Settling down is for suckers.

Bierendy thinks it was the wedding ring's religious undertones that was offensive. That's the part that was painted over. But later, an official insisted the mural be returned to its original state. Whatever.

The fact is we live in a time where suggesting that a stable environment might be good is now seen as hurtful and it's hurtful because so many people don't live that way anymore. Would they have questioned the mural if it were two gay centaurs kissing passionately over a rainbow? That's on the ceiling of my bonus room and I've had no complaints.

Which leaves to my point, if you want traditional families to survive, it's time to champion them as an alternative lifestyle. Make it sound edgy, rebellious and different, because these days, it's true.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: You definitely have to explain the bonus room.

GUTFELD: You don't know what a bonus room is?

BOLLING: I kind of do because I think we had this discussion in a break. But I'm sure most people don't know.

GUTFELD: A bonus room is what a real estate agent tells you to get you to buy a house. And it's a room you don't need. They go, come over here, we're going to show you a bonus room. And it's usually a windowless room.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: They don't exist in New York City.

GUTFELD: They don't. Your studio apartment is the bonus room. The extra room is outside. Where the homeless guy sleeps.

BECKEL: It's the closet

GUTFELD: It's the closet.

So, this 17-year-old a girl, I want to roll a tape of her, commenting on what she thought she was doing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like I feel bad, because I didn't mean to offend anyone. That's just how I viewed life's going on, like after college, you get a job and get settled down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: That is outrageous.

GUTFELD: It really is!

PERINO: I mean, when you first turn the story around and I was reading it waiting for catch. And then there was a subliminal message or then there was something. But instead, it was just, she wanted what I thought was the American dream.

GUTFELD: But, you know, even if it's not the American Dream for everybody, the fact that a single complaint. Nothing is immune now to whining or complaining. I think we called the school. We didn't hear back from them. But they at least -- somebody stood up, Eric, and said let it go. It's not the most beautiful mural out there.

BOLLING: Are you sure there wasn't a message painted in there? Remember, there was a guy who sent the picture of THE FIVE. He painted them. Remember?

GUTFELD: Yes.

BOLLING: And we looked at it -- and we're going to show it on camera and then we looked and in the mirror, a window, there was a drone flying at the World Trade Center. We could barely see it. Remember?

GUTFELD: You were also wearing a thong. I remember.

BOLLING: Yes. You didn't have to point it out.

TANTAROS: It's actually my screen saver. It really is.

BECKEL: You know what drives me crazy about this is, it looks she actually knew what she was doing. And to take something that is artistic and bum it out what she does like that -- if it was a mural about me, we have gone past wedding rings to divorce court.

PERINO: It goes all the way around the building.

BECKEL: Right. It could have kept going an going and going.

But I think it's a good idea to say let's stop at marriage and wedding rings. This idea we really like to see happen.

In my case, I got golf lessons from my professional golfer wife. It cost me half a million lessons.

GUTFELD: Here's the thing -- we go to Andrea real quick -- you know, it seems to be rude to say intact families are good. There are so many families that aren't intact. Should that prevent from actually saying it's beneficial?

TANTAROS: No, no, think about what they are saying. All of a sudden, marriage has become somehow offensive?

And we're having these national dialogues, which are crazy, about whose feelings we're hurting by talking about marriage. Single motherhood, single parent families are courageous and among the toughest job in the country. But it's the quickest path and that this is statistically proven to poverty, being alone.

Anyone who can do it should be applauded, but we should not be somehow glorifying that it's somehow as an easy task, and demonizing marriage.

BECKEL: I think about your ferrets.

TANTAROS: That his ferrets.

BECKEL: They got problems.

PERINO: They smell.

GUTFELD: They don't smell. I keep them --

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: I bathe them every day. Why are you guys attacking my ferrets all of a sudden?

TANTAROS: They're married.

GUTFELD: OK. All right.

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