Harvey Weinstein 'Casting Couch' statue debuts ahead of Oscars

A dog named “Sassi” sits next to a golden statue of a bathrobe-clad Harvey Weinstein, seated on a couch on the sidewalk along Hollywood Blvd., in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 1, 2018. The piece, titled “Casting Couch,” is a collaborative effort between a Los Angeles street artist known as Plastic Jesus and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe, creator of the nude Donald Trump statue. Plastic Jesus says the art work was meant to shine a light on the entertainment industry’s sexual misconduct crisis and the disgraced movie mogul’s prominent role in it. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES — A golden statue of a bathrobe-clad Harvey Weinstein, seated regally atop a couch with an Oscar in hand, took up temporary sidewalk residence close to the site of Sunday’s Academy Awards.

“Casting Couch” is a collaborative work between a Los Angeles street artist known as Plastic Jesus and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe, designer of 2016’s nude Donald Trump statues placed in major cities of the United States.

The life-sized Weinstein sculpture, displayed on Thursday on Hollywood Boulevard, aims to spotlight the entertainment industry’s sexual misconduct crisis and the disgraced studio mogul’s role in it, Plastic Jesus said.

“There’s so much about Hollywood that’s great and celebrated in the Oscars, but there’s also this underbelly of darkness within the industry that we often sweep under the carpet or ignore,” noted Plastic Jesus, formerly a London-based photographer.

The phrase “casting couch,” used to describe the demand of sexual favors for work, may seem a relic of a bygone era but is “still very much a part of the Hollywood culture,” he said.

Plastic Jesus said he and Monroe first considered a standing Weinstein statue but quickly decided to incorporate a chaise lounge. The project, made of fiberglass and acrylic resin, was in the works for two months.

It will be on display this weekend, weather permitting.

Visitors to the sculpture were sitting next to the faux Weinstein and taking selfies, turning it into an interactive installment, Plastic Jesus said.

It also expands the symbolism, he said.

“For many, many people, aspiring actors and actresses, that would have been their dream to be close to Harvey,” but that reality has proven a nightmare for some, the artist said.

Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or sexual assault, including rape. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex but apologized for “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past.”

Plastic Jesus has created a series of Oscar-timed statues, including one last year of Kanye West in a crucified pose and titled “False Idol.”                   /kga

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94

advertisement
advertisement