Hollywood & Highland Removing Elephant Statues Honoring Legacy of Racist Director D. W. Griffith

Hollywood & Highland center (YouTube/screenshot)

The giant white elephant statues at the Hollywood and Highland Center, a popular tourists’ destination in Los Angeles, are in the process of being taken down this weekend. The Los Angeles Times reports that the statues, which overlook a plaza of the center featuring many shops and restaurants, are being taken down because of their association with “Birth of a Nation” filmmaker D.W. Griffith. The statues are part of the center’s tribute to the Babylon set from the director’s 1916 film “Intolerance,” which Griffith made in part in response to criticisms over the racist stereotypes depicted in “Birth.”

“All of the faux Mesopotamian elements will be taken out or altered in favor of a design developers hope will be more timeless as part of a $100-million makeover of the mall announced last year that is set for completion next summer,” the LA Times reports.

Los Angelinos have previously called upon the center to remove the elephants because of their homage to Griffith.

“This is a real opportunity to move away from the clichés of Hollywood, red velvet ropes and big studios,” Chad Cress, chief creative officer for co-owner DJM, told the LA Times. “The Hollywood of the future really needs to stand for something that is more inclusive of what our culture looks like today.”

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SOURCE: IndieWire, Ryan Lattanzio

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