Source - For the first time in its history, the 93rd Academy Awards is being held at Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles.
It’s an area that is plagued by homelessness. But come Oscar Sunday, the homeless will not be seen anywhere near Union Station.
"They came to us about a week ago saying that we had to move by Friday 6 p.m. because they were trying to clean up for the Oscars and they told us if we didn’t move, they were gonna just demolish our stuff," says DJ, a man living in a tent in downtown Los Angeles.
DJ says the city did offer an option.
"They forced us to go to the Grand Hotel on 3rd and Figueroa and they kicked everybody out of Union Station so it looks better for the image," says DJ.
Not exactly a surprise to Andy Bales of Union Rescue Mission. Bales says anytime there is a big national event, Los Angeles tries to sweep its homelessness problem under the rug.
"We shouldn’t be about putting on a good show, we should be about doing good for our brothers and sisters, our neighbors who are suffering on our streets," says Bales.
You can cry us a river, DJ. Call yourself a whaambulance, Andy Bales. Just because one of you is living in a tent and the other runs a rescue mission in the city with the fourth biggest homeless population on the face of the Earth doesn't give you the right to kill the Academy Awards' buzz.
You can sleep on the sidewalk any time. Hollywood gets one night to celebrate itself. The least you can do is clear out so the Beautiful and the Glamorous don't have to look at you. It's a small price to pay for the sacrifices they make every day, providing the world with unforgettable, original entertainment like Transformers sequels and "Godzilla vs. Kong."
From what I understand, you can pretty much boogie board from Union Station to Rodeo Drive on the thick layer of human feces in from all the homeless encampments. Do these people expect starlets to wade through that river of shit in their Gucchi pumps on the biggest night of the year? As if. It's not like they can take their private jets from their gated homes right to the theater. They've got to climb out of chauffeur driven Cadillac Escalades on Oscar Night like the rest of us. Which loses its appeal if the red carpet is within visual range of a tent city filled with the mentally ill. And why would anybody want to subject our best and brightest stars to that? Come back tomorrow, hobo.
Besides, nobody has done more for the plight of the homeless than the motion picture industry. I mean, have these people not seen "Nomadland"? To be honest, I haven't. And I don't know anyone who has. But I think Frances McDormand breaks out of her usual role as a defiant, disaffected, angry, alienated middle aged woman to play a defiant, disaffected, angry, alienated middle aged woman who lives in a van. And that won Best Picture. What more could the DJs and Andy Bales of the world ask for than movies about fictional homeless people winning prestigious awards?
Isn't it enough for the homeless that they get portrayed as hilariously wacky schemers like Eddie Murphy in "Trading Places"? Or colorful eccentrics like Michael J. Pollard in "Scrooged"? Plucky underdogs with hearts of gold like Will Smith in "Pursuit of Happyness"? What more do you want?
Newsflash, hotshot: Hollywood is here to make entertainment, money, and speeches at awards shows about solving the world's problems. Not actually solve the world's problems. The least you can do is give them some space and not get your homeless cooties all over their designer outfits, Patek Philippe watches and blood diamond necklaces. So just keep this in mind for next awards season so the city of Los Angeles doesn't have to go through all the hassle of hassling you. Just go quietly and bother your fellow Poors.