Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Enterprising influencers arrested after changing Hollywood sign to "Hollyboob"

Illustration for article titled Enterprising influencers arrested after changing Hollywood sign to "Hollyboob"
Photo: Aaron P./ Bauer-Griffin (Getty Images)

The Hollywood sign is old and boring. It’s in need of sprucing up and, since the city of Los Angeles doesn’t seem willing to handle that itself, it’s been left to creatively-inclined trespassers to stare up at the giant letters, imagine ways they could be improved, and then enact that change themselves. In 2017, that involved a guy messing with the sign so it read “HOLLYWEED.” Yesterday, that involved a group of people changing it to “HOLLYBOOB.”

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As the Los Angeles Times reports, “five men and one woman [were seen] on video surveillance about 1:15 p.m.” yesterday altering the sign with a tarp and “a strategically placed white dash” so it yelled “HOLLYBOOB” down at the city below. The LAPD scrambled to address this unsanctioned tomfoolery by dispatching a police helicopter, officers, and park rangers. The group was arrested and “cited with misdemeanor trespassing and released.”

The “HOLLYBOOB” creators were first reported by police to have been trying to spread “a breast cancer awareness message.” But, since the LA Times story’s publication, the truth-seekers at The Daily Mail have explained that the whole thing was actually model/influencer Julia Rose’s “protest over censorship, after her Instagram account, with five million followers, was suspended this year for nudity.” Rose has since started a new website whose logo she wears on a shirt in a photo and clip of her arrest she tweeted out, which turns the whole stunt—initially appealing just because the giant word “HOLLYBOOB” is funny—into a less funny promotional device.

Rose frames it all as part of a longer war against the institutions that would bar her from showing her boobs. After flashing a Yankees pitcher with another influencer in the past, Rose was banned from Major League Baseball stadiums “indefinitely.” Then Instagram suspended her for nudity. Then the site she founded “got disabled this year due to nudity.” With nowhere else to turn, Rose recruited a famous YouTube prank guy devoted to her cause (“She inspired people with her content and Facebook didn’t give her any warning or anything and just took away her livelihood,” he told The Daily Mail. “It will make you lose sleep.”) and created “HOLLYBOOB.”

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“This was to show them that I still have a voice,” Rose says, adding that she thinks “they’re discriminating against my accounts.”

You could dwell on that discrimination for a while, most evident in the arresting officers who were apparently “super nice,” or, instead, just look at photos of “HOLLYBOOB” in big letters and giggle.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.