Did Maryland Billboard Call Biden and Harris ‘S— Heads’?

A roadside billboard in Calvert County that is known for divisive political messages attracted attention once again in May 2021.

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Image via The White House/Flickr

Claim

In May 2021, a billboard sign in Calvert County, Maryland, featuring caricatures of U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris read: "DON'T BLAME TRUMP! You are stuck with these two shit heads!!!"

Origin

In May 2021, local and international news outlets reported on the erection of a sign in rural Maryland that used obscenities to criticize U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris

On May 5, for example, Washington, D.C., Fox affiliate WTTG published an article with the headline “Controversial billboard in Calvert County causing a stir,” which went on to report that:

A controversial billboard is causing a commotion in Calvert County. Located near the intersection of Route 4 and Bowie Shop Road in Huntingtown, it depicts President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in cartoon feces. The sign then says, “DON’T BLAME TRUMP! YOU ARE STUCK WITH THESE TWO (expletive) HEADS!!!”

Similar articles were published by WTOP and the London Independent

Those accounts were accurate. The sign was erected on a billboard in early May 2021, and according to multiple photographs and video footage, it showed caricatures of Biden and Harris and read:

DON’T BLAME TRUMP!

You are stuck with these two shit heads!!!

From all your deplorables in Calvert County

The following segment, broadcast by WTTG on May 4, shows video footage of cars passing the billboard:

It’s not clear exactly when the sign was first erected, but it was referenced in a May 3 statement from the Calvert County Democratic party, whose chair Jeanette Flaim said: “The obscene imagery and language displayed on this latest sign is deeply disturbing.” A spokesperson for Calvert County Sheriff’s Office told Snopes that the sign was still being displayed as of May 11, 2021. 

In a statement posted to Facebook, the county government stated that it was prevented from taking down the sign, despite its “provocative” content, because a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert meant Calvert County ordinances had to be changed and could not regulate signs based on the content of their messages, as opposed to other considerations such as size and placement. 

In May 2018, the same billboard was the subject of widespread controversy when it displayed a sign that read:

“Hey liberals, better get your guns if you try to impeach President Trump. From all of your deplorables in Calvert County.”

On that occasion, the billboard’s owners voluntarily agreed to remove the provocative sign, after being contacted by local government officials and local law enforcement.