A California-based street artist hijacked three billboards Wednesday in Los Angeles to attack the entertainment industry for what he says is their complacency in shielding Hollywood’s pedophiles.
Just days before Sunday's 90th Academy Awards ceremony, the conservative provocateur who goes by the pseudonym Sabo covered three consecutive billboards on Wilshire and La Brea with strong messages for Tinseltown in the wake of recent sexual harassment allegations that have rocked the industry.
"And the Oscar for the biggest pedophile goes to…" the first billboard said.
"We all knew and still no arrests," read the second.
"Name names on stage or shut the hell up!" said the last.
Sabo is the latest party to co-opt the signage in the Oscar-nominated movie "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" for a political purpose. The signs mimicked the red-and-black style seen in Martin McDonagh's award-winning film about a women who leased three billboards to demand justice for her daughter’s murder.
Sabo told NBC in an email that Hollywood is "crawling with pedophiles" who are being shielded by celebrities because of their power and influence in the industry. He said he hopes the stunt compels attendees of the movie industry’s biggest night to use their platform and "name names on stage" or "shut the hell up."
"The industry sat on the knowledge of the casting couch for decades. The #MeToo movement busted that story wide open. I want to do my part to convince people to do the same with pedophilia in this town,” Sabo said, adding that "if celebrities feel the need to go on their witch hunts, then for God's sake use your platforms to do it.”
Because his street art is guerrilla in nature, Sabo said he raised money to create the overlays — measuring 48 feet across and 14 feet high — by putting a call out to a group of loyal fans who donate through his website,unsavoryagents.com, "if and when" he asks.
With the help of a six-member crew, Sabo went to work in the pre-dawn hours early Wednesday putting up his billboards less than two miles from the site of the Oscars. They were removed by city officials a few hours later.
The Weinstein Ripple Effect
In November, Sabo altered a billboard for the movie "The Greatest Showman" by replacing an image of actor Hugh Jackman with one of former Sen. Al Franken. Franken appeared to be grabbing Zendaya, Jackman’s co-star in the film.
Sabo told Business Insider at the time that the stunt was in response to Franken's refusal to step down" following numerous sexual misconduct allegations against the Minnesota senator. Franken resigned from the Senate on Jan. 2.
The artist also claimed responsibility for posters that popped up around Los Angeles depicting Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep as an enabler of Harvey Weinstein, calling it revenge for Streep's past criticism of President Donald Trump.