The Iconic Hollywood Sign Altered – Again!
One of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, the popular sign “HOLLYWOOD” was ahem, edited this New Year’s eve. Residents of L.A woke to find the prominent American cultural icon changed to read “HOLLYWeeD.”
Sometime overnight, a prankster used giant tarps to turn the iconic sign’s two white Os into Es. The person scaled the protective fence surrounding the sign above Griffith Park and then clambered up the two giant letters to drape the coverings. The vandal, dressed in all black, was recorded by security cameras and will likely get off on a misdemeanor trespassing charge.
Media speculation is that the prank supposedly commemorates the electoral passage of Proposition 64 in November, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana in the state. By late morning however, the sign had been changed back to its original status.
The Hollywood sign was erected in 1923 and originally said “Hollywoodland,” to advertise a new housing development in the hills above Los Angeles. The iconic sign is often targeted by vandals and even the current incident is a repeat of one from the past.
The sign has been altered to read “Hollyweed” before - back in 1976 - after the passage of a state law relaxed rules concerning marijuana. The prankster, Danny Finegood was actually cheered on by his parents, who were “very proud” that he had come up with the idea, and the stunt reportedly earned him an A grade in his class assignment.
He again changed it in 1987 to “Ollywood,” in protest over the positive treatment meted out to Col Oliver North, a marine at the center of the Iran-Contra scandal. He didn’t stop even after, also changing the sign to read “Oil war” in 1990, in protest at the first Gulf war.
In addition, the sign has over the years read GO NAVY, RAFFEYSOD, FOX, CALTECH, OLLYWOOD, HOLYWOOD, PerotWood, GO UCLA, SAVE THE PEAK etc. These were for various reasons including political protest, film promotions and once even for a visit from the Pope.
The suspect this time around remains at the large. LAPD was quoted as saying that it could be a New Year prank or the work of a "thrill seeker". LAPD is reviewing security footage to try to track down the trespasser but had no suspect in sight yet.
If this portends the kind of year 2017 is bound to be, we sure can’t wait any more!