CREDIT: NBC LOS ANGELES
It’s no secret that the Hollywood Sign has been defaced both to the delight and dismay of onlookers. In 76’ HOLLYWeeD adorned Mount Lee, marking the decriminalization of marijuana. In late 2016, California passed Proposition 64 with a 57% vote, approving marijuana for recreational use among adults. Shortly after on January 1st, 2017, the sign was again illegally modified to read HOLLYWeeD. Sparking an array of responses from dismay to adoration, the events brought great controversy to Hollywood and the film industry.
The Hollywood Sign has been modified multiple times to honor occasions such as Easter sunrise service (HOLYWOOD), the Army-Navy’s first and last West Coast football game (GO NAVY), and efforts to protect the land surrounding the sign from real estate developments (SALLYWOOD, SAVETHEPEAK, and hilariously, SAVETHEPOOD).
Though controversy and giggles erupted after several of the sign modifications, backlash ensued when an almost 23m tall cutout of Holli Would graced the ‘D’ of the Hollywood Sign in 1992. According the Times, Paramount Pictures forked over equal amounts of $27,000 to Rebuild L.A. and the City of Los Angeles to temporarily install the sexy cartoon cutout promoting the movie Cool World.
A year earlier, 10 protestors altered the landmark to read OIL WAR in protest over the deployment of US troops to the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia. Shortly after came the end of the Gulf War and a yellow ribbon was placed around the Hollywood Sign.
Though the Hollywood Sign has been modified both legally and illegally, the honor and prestige the landmark represents has remained unaltered. It’s the pride residents and movie buffs hold for the original Hollywood Sign that give pranksters and major companies the fuel to spark controversy. With the 100-year anniversary of the HOLLYWOODLAND sign inauguration quickly approaching, we can expect that the icon hasn’t seen its last momentary alteration.