“You take away one and we’ll replace it with at least thirty” seems to be the motto of a conservative street artist who took it upon himself to replace U.S. President Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame star that was destroyed last month by a pickaxe-wielding vandal – not for the first time, though.
The Trump-supporting street equivalent of Van Gogh spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on condition of anonymity, telling the entertainment publication that his decision was motivated by last month’s defacement of the president’s original star.
The other factor that influenced his actions was the West Hollywood City Council’s recent decision, a unanimous one, to push for the removal of Trump’s star because of allegations of disrespect for women against him, as well as his take on climate change.
The anonymous artist defiantly told THR that he and his like-minded team members, who call themselves “The Faction,” were up to the task and would plant 30 stars each time a Trump Walk of Fame star was removed or destroyed.
“Rip up the president’s Walk of Fame star or try to have it removed — like you’re the mayor of West Hollywood or something — and 30 more will pop up,” he told THR.
In fact, “The Faction” even posted a couple of tweets to drive home their point.
“Take down his star, and we will descend upon you with 30 fresh new stars,’ read one of the tweets, closing the message with, “We are MAGA Legion.”
Take down his star, and we will descend upon you with 30 fresh new stars.
We are MAGA Legion. pic.twitter.com/vsPLW0ohdn
— The Faction (@TheFaction1776) August 9, 2018
The Faction followed it up with another tweet that said:
“Keep taking down the @realDonaldTrump star, and we will further spread Trump Derangement Syndrome by installing a never-ending stream of stars.”
— The Faction (@TheFaction1776) August 9, 2018
The seriousness of the die-hard Trump-supporters can be gauged from the fact that they were happy to shell out $1,000, part of it coming from “a young and anonymous entrepreneur,” to have the fake stars printed on floor vinyl.
The Faction members then laminated the vinyl stars before affixing them on unpopulated squares on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the adhesive backs of the vinyl making the job relatively easy for them.
According to one onlooker, at least one of the replicas was placed on disgraced celebrity star Kevin Spacey’s star.
Street artist created dozens and dozens of replicas of President Trump's Hollywood star, then went to the Walk of Fame and placed the Trump stars overtaking the stars of pedo celebrites like Kevin Spacey, Rob Reiner and Jimmy Kimmel. pic.twitter.com/ZaZ3oWMYs3
— Josh Gremillion (@joshgremillion) August 10, 2018
Fearing intervention from onlookers, the anonymous artist and his merry gang kept the stars covered until they were all in place.
“I didn’t want to get hit over the head from behind. We thought Trump Derangement Syndrome was a joke, but I’m pretty sure it’s real,” he told THR, adding that the fake stars were good for the next ten years if nobody peeled them off.
But peeled off they were!
A “Ripley Believe it or Not!” employee told THR that the stars were peeled off because of apprehensions of a repeat of last month’s pickaxe incident, as that would not only destroy the stars but the Walk it was placed on, as well.
“We didn’t want to have what happened to the old star here. Not only would the star be destroyed, but it would damage our property,” he said.
“We started at 5 o’clock in the morning and we’ve found about 50 stars,” said a member of the cleaning service responsible for the Walk Fame’s graffiti- and vandalism-related issues, reported THR.
Last month a man surrendered himself to the police after vandalizing Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which the president had been honored within recognition for producing beauty pageants.
“He was selected for his producer job for his Miss Universe shows,” Walk of Fame spokesperson Ana Martinez explained to Christopher Zara of Fastcompany.com in an emailed response to his query in that regard.
According to eyewitnesses, the vandal unleashed his fury on the Trump star, attacking it with a pickaxe, which he had brought hidden in a guitar case, in the wee hours of the morning of July 25.
— JASMINE VIEL (@jasmineviel) July 25, 2018
Reports are coming in that someone has stolen President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. pic.twitter.com/vgDVg9rRY4
— Greg Angel (@NewsGuyGreg) July 25, 2018
So this just happened again… somebody used a pick axe to destroy Donald Trump's star on the Walk of Fame. Still trying to learn more, but we know it's been vandalized multiple times, just never on this level. @NBCLA 📸: Victor Park/Loudlabs pic.twitter.com/lzq7YrsSRV
— Jonathan Gonzalez (@JonathanNBCLA) July 25, 2018
The man didn’t bother to take back his weapon of vandalism with him, leaving it behind at the crime scene, as can be seen in the picture accompanying the tweet immediately above.
As mentioned at the outset, this wasn’t the first incident of a vandal attacking the Trump star on the Walk.
Back in 2016, a man smashed the Trump star to express his disgust of the president bragging about his sexual escapades, revealed in an “Access Hollywood” recording.
While both the attacks involved pickaxes, the 2016 attacker used a sledgehammer as well.