In the run-up to Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, Sabo took a page from Frances McDormand’s Oscar-nominated film.
In these three billboards inside Hollywood, California, the conservative street artist and provocateur reminded Tinseltown early Wednesday that it had been complicit in the decades of sexual abuse from Harvey Weinstein and a host of other powerful men.
The billboards read “And the Oscar for biggest pedophile goes to…”; “We all knew and still no arrests” and “Name names on stage or shut the hell up!”
Sabo was riffing off the film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which was nominated for seven Oscars, including best film, best script and three acting nominations.
McDormand’s character starts the film by posting three billboards accusing the town sheriff (played by Woody Harrelson) of ignoring sex crimes. The billboards read “Raped While Dying”, “And Still No Arrests?”, and “How Come, Chief Willoughby?”
Sabo told EW that the parallels between the film and the current situation in Hollywood came to him with the movie’s second billboard — “And still no arrests?” a fact that applies to the Hollywood sex scandals.
Wearing a certain dress color, as happened at the Golden Globes last month, isn’t enough, Sabo says.
“If these people are truly serious about what they’re doing,” they will use the Oscars to name names, Sabo said, rather than “act as if nothing was going on and nothing happened, and they would have their show and be done with it.”
“Instead of putting down Trump during the show, how about you hold your own industry’s feet to the fire?” he added.
Sabo’s billboards used the same red-and-black color pattern and font that McDormand’s character used.
The billboards were spaced a few hundred yards apart on a single road going through Hollywood, again mimicking the pattern in the film.
However Sabo put the enormous curtain-like overlays over commercially-purchased billboards, obscuring the companies’ ads.
That detail differs from the film. McDormand’s character legitimately purchased the ad space from the billboard company and the police were powerless to remove them legally.
According to Reuters news agency, Los Angeles officials “began taking down the billboards late Wednesday morning.”
• Victor Morton can be reached at email@example.com.
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