Memphis airport removes Asian Elvis artwork after complaints

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Controversy is swirling around Memphis International Airport after an from the airport. 

The airport removed the work purchased from local artist Tommy Kha after “a lot of negative feedback from Elvis fans,” the airport said. Kha and the UrbanArt Commission opposed the removal of the work, in particular, because of anti-Asian comments made about the work on social media.

“We are opposed to Tommy Kha’s installation being removed from display, especially considering the openly racist comments made online in the development of this situation,” the UAC said in a social media post. “Airport leadership has chosen to remove an artwork from a Memphis artist, for reasons that we adamantly disagree with.”

In a statement, Scott Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority, said a “small number of comments” mentioned Kha’s race and that he found those comments unacceptable. He said those anti-Asian comments were not the basis for removing Kha’s piece from the concourse. 






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