Those who were eager to take their pictures against the iconic "Hollywood" sign synonymous with international celebrities may have been disappointed. Pranksters have successfully turned "Hollywood" into "Hollyboob" and authorities were not very happy.
A number of pranksters were arrested and charged on Monday after they took great lengths to change the two letters, "W" and "D" and turned them into the letter "B." Instead of "Hollywood," tourists and locals alike were greeted with "Hollyboob."
The prank was done early in the morning of Saturday and park rangers quickly sprang into action. However, a number of social media users were quick to capture a shot of the "new" and funny landmark and immediately posted them on social media.
LAPD Capt. Steve Lurie, the area commander in Hollywood, said that LAPD security personnel were able to observe five men and a woman at around 1:15 p.m. through video surveillance, reported L.A. Times. A police helicopter responded. They were then observed to have moved back down from the hill. At the Mulholland Highway, officers and other park rangers were waiting for them and arrested them.
Lurie revealed that the six pranksters will be cited with misdemeanor trespassing. However, they would also be released. They could not be charged with vandalism because the sign was not damaged.
The Hollywood Sign Trust is the one privately maintaining the sign and the area is not accessible to the public. The site is surrounded by Griffith Park.
"It's unfortunate that such an important icon for the city of L.A. is not being appreciated," Mark Panatier, the chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, told L.A. Times. Despite this, he still expressed gratefulness for the quick action of the LAPD.
"This is an icon that's there for visual reinforcement of the importance of Hollywood, not just for the city of L.A. but to the world," Panatier said. The sign needs to be upheld and not demeaned, the trust's representative added.
Deadline reported that the elaborate prank was a part of efforts to bring more awareness for breast cancer.
The recent incident involving the Hollywood sign is not the first. Back in 2017, on New Year's Day, the sign was also subjected to a similar prank. It was mischievously changed to read "Hollyweed."