West Hollywood calls for Donald Trump's Walk of Fame star to be removed
Donald Trump might not be an inspiring president, but he's definitely inspiring a lot of protests. In Washington, D.C., hundreds of thousands of people attended the March For Our Lives to demand Congress pass adequate gun control legislation. In London, the Brits greeted the president by flying a giant blimp depicting Trump as an angry baby. And in Los Angeles, vandals have obliterated his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame twice.
The first vandal, James Lambert Otis, smashed Trump's star with a sledgehammer in October 2016. Otis claimed he destroyed the star to show his support for the various women who have accused the president of sexual harassment. Otis pleaded no contest to one felony count of vandalism. He was sentenced to three years probation, 20 days Caltrans work, and had to pay $4,400 in fines.
Donald Trump's star was replaced, only to be destroyed again by a man with a pickaxe. The incident took a place a couple weeks ago, and was even captured on camera. Police arrested the man, who has been identified as Austin Clay. Clay has been charged with one count of felony vandalism, and guess who paid his $20,000 bail? The first vandal, James Lambert Otis. Vandals gotta stick together!
On Monday night, the West Hollywood City Council unanimously approved a resolution urging Trump’s star be removed from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "Getting a star is a privilege; it’s not a right," said West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore John D’Amico. "You have no right to a star on Hollywood [Boulevard] just because you’re famous."
Trump was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on the Miss Universe Pageant (and, one assumes, his hit reality show The Apprentice). John D’Amico and Lindsey Horvath introduced the measure during a City Council meeting. They think Trump's star should be removed due to his "disturbing treatment of women and other actions that do not meet the shared values of the City of West Hollywood, the region, state, and country."
"Having a ‘star’ on the Walk of Fame is a privilege that is highly sought after by those in the entertainment industry, allowing Mr. Trump to continue to have a star in light of his behavior toward women, particularly in the #timesup and #metoo movements, should not be acceptable in the Hollywood and entertainment industry communities."
One West Hollywood resident disagreed with the resolution, saying, "Please leave the star alone. He earned it, he deserved it when he got it. There are the Trump haters who just want to destroy everything to do with him. For the person to go there and destroy his star is absolutely disgusting and very rude."
Austin Clay, who destroyed the star in late July, was at the meeting as well. He defended his actions, stating, "I think it’s important to take a stand against those we believe are fraudulent. I think the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce can really take a stand against him right now by removing his star." Another resident of the city, James Wen, argued, "This is our commander in chief.... When a commander in chief, when a general is not becoming of their position, they are either asked to resign or a star is removed."
Even Luke Skywalker got into the fray. Actor Mark Hamill tweeted, "How about replacing it with someone who really earned it? Like Carrie Fisher?" (Wait, Donald Trump has a star and Carrie Fisher doesn't?!)
But don't get too excited, Trump critics. The Walk of Fame is the property of the City of Los Angeles, not the City of West Hollywood. West Hollywood has no power there. They just voted to ask the City of LA to consider removing Trump's star. However, they have never removed one of the 2,500 stars on the Walk of Fame before. For example, Bill Cosby's star is still there, despite his crimes, and calls to get rid of it.
"The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a registered historic landmark," explained Leron Gubler, the president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. "Once a star has been added to the Walk, it is considered a part of the historic fabric of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Because of this, we have never removed a star from the Walk."