September 13, 2013
La Brea ‘Eastbound & Down’ billboard removed after Orthodox pressure
For the second time in two months, the Orthodox Jewish community in Los Angeles has successfully pressured a major billboard company to take down what some considered offensive advertising.
The latest, a billboard located at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Detroit Street in the Hancock Park neighborhood, was a promotion for the fourth season of the television series “Eastbound & Down,” which airs on HBO. On the billboard was the star of the show, actor Danny McBride, throwing hundred dollar bills in the air with two women behind him dressed in bikinis. To the right read, “You don’t retire from being awesome.”
Hillygram, a listserv read mostly by the Orthodox community on Sept. 10 posted in its news section information as to how community members should write in protest to CBS Outdoor, which owns the billboard.
“We need the community’s help in ensuring that the offensive billboard on the corner of Beverly and Detroit is removed as quickly as possible,” the Hillygram email said. “In the past, the way we succeeded in pressuring CBS to remove the billboard was through swamping them with emails.”
“By sending them hundreds of emails, we were able to show that we were a voice to be reckoned with,” the email continued.
Hillygram’s Sept. 12 email indicated that the billboard was taken down.
In July, the Sephardic Orthodox outreach group Bait Aaron convinced Van Wagner Communications to remove a suggestive billboard posted near the Pico-Robertson neighborhood. It advertised XO energy drink and showed a mostly naked woman.
Tim Fox, a representative for CBS Outdoor, was the contact person for community members who wanted the “Eastbound & Down” billboard taken down. He could not immediately be reached for comment, but an editor of Hillygram, Ben Savit, expressed his gratitude to Fox for working with the community.
“He explained it to us that he had no legal obligation to take it down,” Savit said. “He’s such a nice guy, and he didn’t have to take it down, and he did.”