If you watched “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” last night, you would have seen the celebrated comedian make fun of Philadelphia’s “Rocky” statue — but it was all in the name of making a great argument about monuments, namely those honoring the Confederacy.
In the clip, Oliver reveals that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), there are 1503 Confederate memorials in the United States, with 718 of them being statues and monuments and 10 being the names of US military bases. It even turns out that the majority of these memorials were erected “decades after General Lee’s surrender,” according to the show.
Oliver goes on to state that the purpose of these memorials and monuments is to send a message, and in the case of commemorating the Confederacy years later, the purpose is to send a hostile message to African Americans.
That’s when the “Rocky” statue comes into play. What’s the message that it sends to people about Philadelphia?
“The most notable thing about our city is a fictional character,” Oliver jokes.
You can watch the full video below.