As Hollywood prepares for the Academy Awards aka Oscars 2018, a massive golden couch has created a huge buzz online. Days before the grand night, when the biggest stars will walk away with their golden trophies in hand, someone placed a “casting couch” near the venue with the statue of Harvey Weinstein seated on it. A bathrobe-swaddled Weinstein figure, sitting arms spread on a golden chaise lounge has been set on the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard that is now a big hit among tourists.
As celebs have brought the #MeToo and #TimesUp protest on the red carpet in the recent award shows — right from the Golden Globes to BAFTA — they are expected to show a similar solidarity at the Oscars as well. Surprisingly, even before glamours divas set to make their protest count, two artists — Los Angeles street artist known as Plastic Jesus and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe — collaborated to put up the golden statue.
The life-sized Weinstein sculpture, displayed on Thursday (March 1) on Hollywood Boulevard near Elvis Presley’s statue, aims to highlight the series of sexual misconducts that have tainted the entertainment industry and the exposed studio mogul’s role in it.
“There’s so much about Hollywood that’s great and celebrated in the Oscars, but there’s also this underbelly of darkness within the industry that we often sweep under the carpet or ignore,” Plastic Jesus, formerly a London-based photographer told news agency AP.
The phrase “casting couch,” used to describe the demand of sexual favours for work, may seem a relic of a bygone era but is “still very much a part of the Hollywood culture,” he added.
In the run-up to the 2018 Oscars, British artist Plastic Jesus puts a statue of Harvey Weinstein, in a bathrobe on a sofa, on Hollywood Boulevard. The artist is denouncing the culture of silence that allowed the abuse to go on for so long. pic.twitter.com/UY51tgTMGm
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 2, 2018
The guerrilla artist has always worked with contemporary and relevant issues that concern people. As photos of the “casting couch” spread on Twitter, it drew a lot of attention from the users.
The only part of the #Oscars that’s relevant and exciting: Plastic Jesus always does something unique in response to em. He’s the artist we can thank for the phrase: “stop making stupid people famous.” If only… #Word #Art https://t.co/0b8sNQyJ0a
— Sammy Younan -28- (@mypalsammy) March 2, 2018
Casting Couch = worst kept secret in Hollywood since the 1st silent film 1908
— Rich (@Rich_Bruklis) March 2, 2018
That’s one hell of a powerful indictment. Bravissimo!
— #FlyEaglesFly Champs (@Joystik_thePony) March 2, 2018
Gold #HarveyWeinstein statue in an open bathrobe on a casting couch.
I love art more than anything.https://t.co/mklZ3lBprW
— Duncan (@duncanjayr) March 2, 2018
Great idea, but seems he has enough sexual abuse problems in his own country to tend to. I’m just saying.
— SUGAR THEGIRL (@SUGARTHEGIRL) March 2, 2018
I understand your goal, but why give this narcissistic bully any more attention? He’ll probably see this and it’ll make him feel like a god or something.
— Danielle Lorraine (@MsDaniLorraine) March 2, 2018
What are your thoughts on it? Tell us in the comments below.