Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio no longer appear on several ads in Hollywood for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as a conservative street artist has swapped their images with those of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and film director Roman Polanski.
The giant billboard at Pico and La Cienega had been rented by Sony to advertise the Quentin Tarantino movie that opened Thursday night, but Friday morning not only have the photos of the actors been altered, but also the film’s title, which now reads: “Once Upon a Time in Pedowood.”
The artist behind the alterations goes by the name Sabo, and he says that the faux ads are meant to insult the entertainment industry for embracing Polanski, who plead guilty to sex with a minor four decades ago, and, to a lesser extent Epstein, who was arrested July 6 for sex trafficking of minors.
He also noted that the backdrop of the movie is the 1969 Charles Manson murders, where the most high-profile victim was Sharon Tate, the actress who was married to Polanski at the time.
Epstein wasn’t as well-known among the public as Polanski until his recent arrest, but he was a frequent guest at entertainment industry events on both coasts, even throwing dinner parties at his New York mansion attended by the likes of Katie Couric, Charlie Rose, Chelsea Handler and George Stephanopoulos.
Beyond the billboard, there are ads at numerous bus stops, some on benches and others behind glass. Insiders say a street crew worked through the night to get the phony ads in place before the sun rose on Friday.
One bench ad uses an image of Woody Allen instead of Polanski, as Allen was accused of abusing his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, when she was 7.
“I felt they should all share a billboard to highlight a decades-old problem that has plagued Hollywood for decades: the abuse of children,” Sabo said.