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The billboard at Shelbourne and Sunset features an image of Russell Crowe playing Ailes, the man who ran Fox News for two decades before stepping down in 2016 after anchor Gretchen Carlson and others said he sexually harassed them.
While the billboard has always featured the title of the series along with the Showtime logo, underneath that text Wednesday appear the words: “The man who beat CBS every night.” (Showtime is owned by CBS.)
Ailes died in 2017 and the red, white and blue billboard also now features him as an angel hovering above Crowe, his name tattooed on his arms with a thought bubble reading: “Haters gonna hate!”
Other text added to the billboard reads: “Showtime/CBS is Fake News.”
The billboard was altered before the sun came up Wednesday by a group of conservative artist-activists who go by the name The Faction. They are best known as the secretive troupe that laid down dozens of Donald Trump stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last year to more than replace the president’s real star, which has been destroyed many times by protesters.
Members of The Faction told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday that their cherubic version of Ailes is a nod to the artistry of the 1984 Van Halen album cover.
As to why they went through the expense and trouble of severely altering a Showtime billboard, a member said their intent isn’t necessarily to defend Ailes but to indict CBS News and other outlets they deem biased on a host of subjects, including “Russiagate” and coverage surrounding the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings.
“Mainstream media rewrites facts and sells it as history using character assassination … they present lies and innuendo as facts,” the member said.
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