Viacom Removes Cartoon Mermaid Artwork From Building After Complaints

A photo collage in the company's Hollywood headquarters included a shot of a busty mermaid that didn't sit well with all employees.
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In October 2013, tattoo artist Joey Hamilton claimed first place on Season 3 of Ink Master with a finale tattoo featuring a topless mermaid surrounded by fish and a turtle, floating in an intricately designed and colorful underwater scene.

His work — dubbed an "ink masterpiece" by Inked Magazine — was part of a master collage of winning Ink Master tats put on display inside Viacom's newish headquarters in Hollywood. (The corporate conglomerate was home to Ink Master channel Spike TV, which has been rebranded as Paramount Network.) 

However, as Hollywood's culture has shifted in the wake of numerous sexual misconduct claims, so have sensitivities around all things, which now includes artwork. A source told The Hollywood Reporter that the image has been removed following an employee complaint, a move confirmed by a company spokesperson.

"We would've taken this action five years ago or five months ago," said the rep.

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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