KUALA LUMPUR : A pair of American social media influencers were not happy with Instagram’s censorship policy so they decided to give the iconic Hollywood sign in Los Angeles a “boob job”.
The pranksters were arrested on Monday after the sign was changed to “Hollyboob”.
Instagram model Julia Rose said she staged the protest after being banned from the photo-sharing platform that claimed she violated its policies by posting nearly nude images.
The influencer, who received a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball for flashing her breasts during the 2019 World Series, told LA Times she came up with the stunt after Instagram banned her personal and company accounts due to nudity.
The 27-year-old Los Angeles resident runs Shagmag, a digital pornography magazine that brands itself as the modern answer to Playboy.
Rose, who has six million followers combined, said she lost followers and a portion of her livelihood when her accounts were shuttered.
She then called on YouTuber Jack Tenney of JoogSquad fame to pull off the protest, confessing to LA Times they had made multiple attempts previously but failed because the “B” tarps were too heavy.
“Everyone loves a good prank.
“It’s always good to make people laugh and make people smile,” Tenney said.
Rose justified the prank on the basis of censorship bias, saying Instagram and its parent company Facebook target influencers more than established brands such as Playboy.
Following the alteration of the alphabets and the arrest of Rose and Tenney, The Hollywood Sign Trust thanked the LAPD and LA Park Rangers for taking swift action.
The two influencers have been charged with trespassing but not vandalism as the sign wasn’t damaged.
To prevent the sign from being toyed with, security measures such as video monitoring have been put in place to protect it.
“There are those who think modifying the Sign is fun, but this renowned icon should be appreciated, not demeaned,” the Trust posted on Twitter.
The stunt also inadvertently raised awareness for breast cancer, which Rose said was “awesome”.
The recent prank is just one of many occasions where the iconic Hollywood Sign was modified to make political statements and promote films among other reasons.
For instance, the sign was changed to “Hollyweed” from the 1970s up to 2017 to celebrate relaxed marijuana laws and its full legalisation in the state of California.
BY : MELANIE CHALIL – MALAY MAIL