Hollywood billboard defaced to call out Epstein, Polanski

The renamed Once Upon A Time In Hollywood billboard with the faces of financier Jeffrey Epstein and director Roman Polanski.
The renamed Once Upon A Time In Hollywood billboard with the faces of financier Jeffrey Epstein and director Roman Polanski.PHOTO: UNSAVORYAGENTS/ HOLLYWOOD

LOS ANGELES • Once upon a time, there was a billboard promoting Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

But the advertising channel in Los Angeles was hijacked by an activist last week, who renamed the movie on it as Once Upon A Time In Pedowood.

The images of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, who star in the film directed by Quentin Tarantino, were replaced by those of Jeffrey Epstein and Roman Polanski.

Financier Epstein is accused of paying young women for sexual gratification, while director Polanski is a fugitive wanted in the United States for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Trade publication Hollywood Reporter said the swop was done by a street artist known as Sabo, whose grievances include the movie industry still having links with Polanski.

Epstein has also rubbed shoulders with movers and shakers in Hollywood.

Another advertisement displayed around Hollywood was replaced by one that featured the images of Epstein and director Woody Allen, who was said to have abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, when she was seven.

"I felt they should all share a billboard to highlight a problem that has plagued Hollywood for decades - the abuse of children," Sabo said.

The marketing distraction did not harm Once Upon A Time In Hollywood at the box office. Over the weekend, it came in at No. 2 in North America, netting more than US$40 million (S$54.9 million).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2019, with the headline 'Hollywood billboard defaced to call out Epstein, Polanski'. Print Edition | Subscribe