With 2016 hyperbolically labeled the “worst year ever,” most people were looking forward to resetting with a fresh start in 2017. Possibly, the turning of a new year, could help us all move forward. So imagine the delight of comedy and cannabis lovers alike when they awoke to the famous Hollywood sign altered to instead read, Hollyweed.
The sign change is believed to show support for California’s recent passing of Proposition 64, which will legalize recreational marijuana usage in the state. Though there’s still some red tape to manage before Californians can enjoy their cannabis, it still served as inspiration to celebrate early.
Sgt. Guy Juneau with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Security Services told CBS2 the incident unfolded around midnight Saturday after a thrill-seeker climbed the mountain and threw two tarps over the “O’s” to make them appear like “E’s.” It was caught on city surveillance cameras.
Here’s what else you need to know about the “Hollyweed” sign change.
Celebrities Loved It
According to TMZ, Zach Fernandez could be behind the stunt. Fernandez goes by “jesushands” on his social media and has been bragging about the mission being “completed.” Close examination shows one of the tarps bearing a “jesushands” tag.
Understandably, the Hollywood Sign Trust wasn’t too ecstatic about the sign change. Chris Baumgart, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, told the Hollywood Reporter that survelliance and security changes would be taken.
This is more than preventing pranks or trespassing at the sign. Our concern is the safety of the neighborhood and the trespassers that put themselves at risk because it is extremely unsafe to be on the sign, let alone traversing the treacherous hillside that is home to those 9 famous letters.
If anyone knows about changing and/or vandalizing the Hollywood Sign, it’s BoJack Horseman. Fans of the show will remember the character drunkenly pilfering the “D” to show his love for Diane, and the town renaming itself “Hollywoo” ever since. But BoJack doesn’t want to take credit for the “Hollyweed” change.
The OG Hollywood Sign Prankster
This is not the first time the Hollywood Sign has been changed, nor is it the first time it’s been altered to read “Hollyweed” on New Year’s Day. Daniel Finegood, then an arts major at Cal State Northridge, thought to change the sign as a school assignment on Jan. 1, 1976, when the state’s relaxed marijuana laws came into effect. Finegood got an A on the assignment.
Changing the Hollywood Sign became a recurring bit for Finegood, who altered the sign multiple times over the years.
The prankster and friends obscured consonants to coin Holywood for Easter later that year and Ollywood to protest the hero worship of Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North during the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987.
In his final round of wordplay, Finegood made a political statement against the Persian Gulf War by draping plastic sheeting over the 50-foot-high letters to form Oil War in 1990.