Michelangelo’s David itself ended up having the final word on the controversial ouster of a Florida principal after parents complained about children having been shown a picture of the Renaissance sculpture.
The marble masterpiece made a surprise appearance on the latest episode of Saturday Night Live—full frontal, as God and artist intended—to shame the body-shamers.
“Those parents are ignorant prudes… I’m the world’s greatest sculpture and I’m a very pretty boy,” David said during the show’s “Weekend Update” segment. He exclaimed: “I’m proud of my tiny shiny penis and my stone pubes. I got nothing to hide.” He then began to rise from his seat, determined to let the splendor of his appendage settle the censorship debate.
“One parent said it was ‘pornographic,’” the host, Michael Che, replied. “It’s art,” David scolded with a slow roll of his eyes.
The real-life drama began after Hope Carrasquilla, the now-former principal of Tallahassee Classical School led a class on Renaissance art to sixth graders. Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus—both nude and name-checked by David in the skit—where also included in the syllabus. Carrasquilla told HuffPost that the standard protocol is to notify parents ahead of lessons on classical artwork, but due to a “series of miscommunications,” the picture was unveiled without warning.
The school follows the “classical education curriculum model,” a pedagogical model stresses that the “centrality of the Western tradition,” or, as the Tampa Bay Times describes it, “a historical focus on white, Western European and Judeo-Christian foundations.” The model is popular in Christian charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated.
In an interview with Slate, the chair of the school’s board, Barney Bishop III, said “Showing the entire statue of David is appropriate at some age… We’re going to figure out when that is.”
On SNL, David replied: “I am from the Bible, okay? I killed the giant Goliath with a tiny rock and my dong out.” Amen.
See the skit below: