Danish artist excluded from museum after calling party leader “racist”

Controversial speech was to be part of an exhibition

The Copenhagen workers’ museum, Arbejdermuseet, has decided that a recorded speech made by the artist Emil Elg will not be part of an exhibition, as had been planned.

In his remarks, Elg called Socialdemokraterne leader Mette Frederiksen a “racist”.

“Mette Frederiksen is racist, and her so-called social indignation comes exclusively for the benefit of white Danes,” said Elg, according to Information.

“Frederiksen and the leadership of her party are racists, and this will become more clear in the years to come as her party will increasingly work with Dansk Folkeparti.”

Arbejdermuseet director Søren Bak-Jensen said that Elg’s remarks have no place in the museum.

“Emil Elg was invited to contribute to the exhibition,” Bak-Jensen told Information. “He then used the opportunity to make what we think are unjustified, violent personal attacks that violate libel laws.”

Bak-Jensen said that Elg’s remarks were also “unrelated to the idea of the exhibition, so we have stopped working with Emil Elg”.

Elg said that he expected that his speech would arouse strong emotions and engender debate, but called his banishment an “overreaction”.

“I am sorry that the director has reacted so violently,” he said. “I think it’s interesting that it takes so little before the freedom of expression is reduced to absolutely nothing.”

READ MORE: DF’er acknowledges that some in the party are racists

Elg said that he was aware that he was probably violating libel laws.

“My intention was to show why the libel laws are problematic because they prevent you from using examples of racism to discuss racism in our society,” he said.