This Is a Victory We Needed Today

[Content Note: Rape culture.]

Yesterday, I wrote about the Hollywood and Highland Casting Couch, a literal monument to the rape culture in Hollywood. I ended that post by saying: "Get rid of it. Now."

This morning, John Ennis tweeted at me with some good news (which I'm sharing here with his permission):


John told me he'd headed over to the spot with the intention of putting crime scene tape around the hideous spectacle in an act of protest, but discovered instead upon his arrival that the thing had been removed altogether. He writes:
When I saw Shakestweetz's post that there was a literal monument to the casting couch at tHollywood & Highland shopping center in the heart of Hollywood, I was disgusted. It was like a tasteless joke from a movie, and yet, there was a "Road to Hollywood" mosaic with a trail leading to a daybed. Its reputation wasn't bad; instead it was apparently now part of the promise of La La Land.

This can't go on, I thought to myself, and knew I would have to do something, because I drive right in front of that place every morning.

image of a package of crime scene tape

I got a couple rolls of crime scene tape to wrap round the area, figuring it would make a powerful statement without doing any permanent damage. I parked across the street so that I would be able to slip away quickly. I arrived at the shopping center, which is designed after a set of Egypt that was built there for a movie in the 1930's, quickly scoping security.

I looked around. Where was it? I finally saw the tile that said "The Road to Hollywood," but there was no big casting couch there. Around the corner, fifty feet away, in an atrium to the side by an elevator, I noticed a huge blue tarp over a large rectangular block. I looked closer. It had a sloping end, like the backing of the day bed seen in the photo. I ran my hand over it; it was a solid piece, not a pile of materials.

I lifted up the tarp and took a picture of the structure. It was beige like the day bed in the photo. I went back to the mosaic ground. I could see marks where the legs of the day bed had been.

Did that happen? Did someone at Hollywood & Highland realize how bad this was, like a Confederate monument? Or better yet, do they follow Shakestweetz?? Let's take this as a promise of a new day in Hollywood.
Yesterday, when I called to confirm the thing was still there, my pretext for calling was that I was coming for a visit soon and wanted to make sure I could see it on my trip. There was no indication it wouldn't be there, and the person to whom I was speaking was real excited to confirm its existence. Even this week.

Today, it's gone.

I called again this morning, asking to confirm that the Casting Couch statue had been removed. I reached the same person who'd been so cheerful yesterday. "No comment," was the terse reply, before she hung up on me.

image of me in my backyard, holding up a celebratory fist, to which I've added text reading: 'YES!!!'

It's a small victory, but the symbolism is satisfying — and I'll take whatever the fuck I can get this week.

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