Tags: hope | photo | parodies | obama | fairey

'Hope' Photo Parodies Mock Obama After NSA Scandal; Fairey Approves

By Clyde Hughes   |   Friday, 28 Jun 2013 01:09 PM

Revelations about the National Security Agency's domestic online and phone information gathering programs have not only led to national backlash of the covert surveillance, but also humorous remakes of Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster made famous during President Obama's 2008 campaign.

One of the parody posters says "Yes We Scan" and shows Obama wearing headphones. Another says "Yes We Can ... Read Your Emails." These parodies have won the approval of the original artist, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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"I have never been an unconditional Obama supporter or cheerleader," Fairey told the Los Angeles Times' David Ng in a statement. "So I'm pleased to see people subvert my Obama images as a way to critique him and demonstrate the wide gap between some of his promises and actions."

In a blog post on ObeyGiant.com, Fairey expressed disappointment with the NSA program, writing its continued operation "only dims my view of the Obama administration further."

Fairey gave full support to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. 

"People accusing Snowden of being a self-serving narcissist need to consider that he had nothing to gain, but much to sacrifice for exposing a program he thought most Americans would oppose if they knew," Fairey wrote in the post. "His job, ridicule from nationalists, and freedom in his own country. Saying that by fleeing to Hong Kong, Russia, Cuba, Ecuador, etc. ... that Snowden is cavorting with U.S. enemies, is absurd."

The "Hope" parodies were a creative chord among like-minded artists, Justin Ray, of Complex magazine, wrote.

"The parodies are being shared throughout the web and change phrases within the poster with a National Security Agency spin," Ray wrote.

In 2012, Fairey was sentenced to two years' probation in U.S. District Court in Manhattan for criminal contempt after admitting to destroying and fabricating evidence related to a civil lawsuit brought by The Associated Press in connection with his "Hope" poster.

The 2011 civil lawsuit, which focused on whether Fairey violated copyright laws with his Hope poster based on an Associated Press image of the president, was settled out of court, the Huffington Post reported.

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