(NEW YORK) — They were stripped after less than 10 hours, but the three billboards accomplished their objective.
“Pretty much, people go to see them, so I made my point,” a 50-year-old artist and Marine known as Sabo told ABC News.
He reflected on the guerrilla tactics he used to post the billboards while watching the Oscars with friends at his Los Angeles home on Sunday, saying that they were counting the times host Jimmy Kimmel slighted conservatives.
“It was the closest I could get to the Oscars,” said Sabo, adding that he and six accomplices targeted those billboards because “they were the safest and the closest,” and that the scheme took seven hours.
The three messages lambasting the entertainment industry’s pervasive history of sexual assault and misconduct were printed in black capital lettering on red cloth and draped over massive signs near Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue last week.
One read: “AND THE OSCAR FOR BIGGEST PEDOPHILE GOES TO…”
Another: “WE ALL KNEW AND STILL NO ARRESTS”
And the third: “NAME NAMES ON STAGE OR SHUT THE HELL UP!”
The ploy channeled the character of Mildred from the film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” a character for which Frances McDormand won Best Actress.
Although the draperies weren’t up half a day, Sabo, a fan of Gary Sinise and Clint Eastwood, said the point was to dare speakers at the Academy Awards to name alleged perpetrators in the industry.
“Each sign makes the individual view it, and throw out a name,” he said, adding that the purpose was to wrest power from a few. “These people had their time in the sun in terms of controlling the narrative, and we’re taking back the narratives from people of power.”
Sabo said that those in Hollywood who took advantage of victims “should go to jail,” meanwhile “of course people will say I should be arrested” for his political statement.
“What I do,” he added, “I straddle the fence and it’s not just this project.”
So far, Sabo, who said he spent four years in the Marines and that his moniker refers to bullets fired by an M60 tank, has received some threats from people and even from fellow artists, but he none of them have followed through.
“They know I’m not a joke,” he said.
As for the lineup of films and actors up for consideration on Sunday night, he wasn’t too impressed.
“They all kind of suck this year,” he said.
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