Sean Hannity Deletes Bizarre Post About Obama Portrait

Rumors of hidden images
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2018 4:56 PM CST
This image provided by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution is of the official portrait of former President Barack Obama.   (Kehinde Wiley/National Portrait Gallery via AP)

(Newser) – People have thoughts about the new Obama portraits, and some are weirder than others. On Tuesday, Sean Hannity's website pushed perhaps the weirdest of all—that the portrait contained hidden images of sperm. The Week quotes from the since-deleted page: "Controversy surrounding Kehinde Wiley's wildly non-traditional portrait of the commander-in-chief broke out within minutes of its unveiling, with industry insiders claiming the artist secretly inserted his trademark technique—concealing images of sperm within his paintings." And a since-deleted Hannity tweet read, "Obama's portrait - a stark contrast to predecessors with inappropriate sexual innuendo," per Newsweek.

The allegation drew quite a bit of attention, and apparently Hannity himself was surprised. "Earlier today my web staff posted content that was not reviewed by me before publication," he said in a statement. "It does not reflect my voice and message and, therefore, I had it taken down." The sperm rumor apparently began circulating on 4chan, and the Daily Beast appears to have tracked down the original source, a 2008 article in the New York Times about artist Wiley. That article says his portraits “initially depicted African-American men against rich textile or wallpaper backgrounds whose patterns he has likened to abstractions of sperm.” This tweet shows the image making the sperm-conspiracy rounds. (Read more Sean Hannity stories.)

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