With just days left until Oscar Sunday, preparations are in full swing to get the Dolby Theater ready for the The Academy Awards, but just a few miles south, a street artist is paying homage to a Best Picture nominee while also protesting injustice. A notorious street artist known only as Sabo has hijacked three consecutive billboards on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles, which he used to call out those who enabled sexual predators and pedophiles for years. The three billboards were fashioned quite similar to those purchased by Frances McDormand’s Mildred in the Best Picture front runner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
The first hijacked billboard, which appeared near the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and LaBrea Avenue early yesterday morning, read, “And the Oscar for biggest pedophile goes to…” The second appeared a few hundred yards north of the first, reading, “We all knew and still no arrests.” The third surfaced a few hundred yards north of the second, reading, “Name names on stage or shut the hell up!” All three billboards mirror the same arrangement as the billboards in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, with the same solid red backdrop and black text, except, unlike Mildred, Sabo seemingly didn’t pay for these billboards himself.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Sabo, who revealed that he hired a crew of six men to help with the installation of these three billboards. Sabo manufactured fake overlays that spanned 48 feet long and 14 feet high, which covered the billboards, which, before early Wednesday morning, when the billboards were hijacked, were used for legitimate advertisements. It remains unclear if Sabo will have anything else up his sleeve between now and Oscar Sunday.
While there are no direct quotes from Sabo, the artist told THR that this hijacking of three billboards in one day was his greatest mission yet. He added that the signs were meant to criticize those who have sheltered and enabled the widespread incidents of sexual misconduct with their silence. The artist also added that he wants celebrities to refrain from preaching during their acceptance speeches, for this one year only, at least. Whether or not Sabo’s work will strike a chord with Oscar-goers, but given the rise of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, sexual misconduct in Hollywood will certainly be a hot-button issue during the awards ceremony, which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is up for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Frances McDormand), two for Best Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell), Best Original Screenplay (Martin McDonagh), Best Original Score (Carter Burwell) and Best Film Editing (Jon Gregory). After winning Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is considered the front runner to take home Best Picture at the Oscars, which airs Sunday, March 4 at 8 PM ET on ABC. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on these billboards earlier today, which you can check out below.
Great Hollywood billboards by Sabo, just in time for the Oscars. pic.twitter.com/ZYMnANivDF
— An Open Secret (@AnOpenSecret) February 28, 2018