Residents of Los Angeles awoke this past Sunday morning wondering if their city had gone to pot as its famous “HOLLYWOOD” sign transformed to read “HOLLYWEED”.
It was close to midnight that security cameras captured the daring prankster who committed the act, a lone man dressed in all black, climbing the fence that guards the sign, according to Sgt. Guy Juneau of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Security Services Division.
The prank comes shortly after California voters passed Proposition 64 in the November election to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and hemp in the state and two weeks before presidential elect Donald Trump is set to be sworn into the White House.
A similar prank was carried out on Jan. 1, 1976, after restrictive marijuana laws enacted by the Nixon administration went into effect in the state, reported the LA Times.
To mark the occasion, two men infamously draped the two O’s in ‘wood’ with E’s to make it ‘Hollyweed,’ wrote the LA Times.
Last Sunday’s “performance artist” apparently had the same concept, as he placed two tarps over the “O’s” in Hollywood, transforming the sign to read “HOLLYWeeD.”
Sgt. Guy Juneau said the man scaled a protective fence surrounding the sign above Griffith Park and clambered up each giant letter to drape the coverings. He is being investigated for misdemeanor trespassing, although the likelihood of him ever being caught is slim to none.
Hikers and tourists in the hills spent the morning snapping selfies of themselves in front of the altered sign before park rangers began removing the tarps.
“It’s kind of cool being here at the moment,” Bruce Quinn told KABC-TV. “I thought we came to see the Hollywood sign, not the ‘Hollyweed’ sign. But hey it’s OK with me!”
Police are calling it a New Year’s Eve prank, Juneau said.
Glad to see someone still has a sense of humor.
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.