Three Los Angeles billboards were temporarily hijacked this week by controversial street artist Sabo. In a nod to Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Sabo covered the billboards with his own signs that read: “And the Oscar for biggest pedophile goes to…,” “We all knew and still no arrests,” and “Name names on stage or shut the hell up!” The signs featured the same red background and black bold text that Frances McDormand’s character uses in the film.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sabo explained his intentions: “My ultimate goal for these billboards is that maybe I might break the actors’ façade during the [Oscars] show because I know that if they had it their way, they would act as if nothing was going on and nothing happened, and they would have their show and be done with it.”
Sabo purposely used the word “pedophile” to shine a light on another dark issue most people in Hollywood “dare not speak of,” but the billboards were also meant to encourage actors and artists to speak out against sexual abusers on Oscar night as well. According to Sabo, “if these people are truly serious about what they’re doing” in the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, then they should have no problem being vocal on the Oscars stage.
“Instead of putting down Trump during the show, how about you hold your own industry’s feet to the fire?” Sabo added.
— unsavoryagents (@unsavoryagents) February 28, 2018
The artist has made headlines in the past for targeting Hollywood through various street art campaigns. Last year, Sabo was part of a group effort that put up the “She Knew” posters implicating Meryl Streep in being complicit with Harvey Weinstein’s abuse. The artist also addressed the groping allegations against Senator Al Franken by editing him into a billboard for “The Greatest Showman” where he could be seen grabbing Zendaya.
Sabo isn’t the first person to take inspiration from McDonagh’s movie. An activist group in London put up mobile billboards pressuring Parliament to investigate the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 71 people in June 2017. Following the Parkland, Florida high school shooting, the activist group AVAAZ used mobile billboards to criticize Marco Rubio over his thoughts on gun control.