Entertainment & Arts

The real-life Three Billboards stunts

Covered billboard in Los Angeles Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The red tarpaulins were draped over existing billboards on Wednesday

An American street artist has become the latest party to co-opt the signage featured in Oscar-nominated drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

The artist - known as Sabo - covered three Los Angeles billboards with red tarpaulins accusing the entertainment industry of covering up child abuse.

One billboard read: "And the Oscar for biggest p[a]edophile goes to...", while another claimed: "We all knew."

Another dares winners to "name names on stage or shut the hell up!"

The signs, which appeared on Wednesday morning, were put up to coincide with the Academy Awards on Sunday.

The stunt is the latest in a number of protests inspired by the billboards featured in Martin McDonagh's award-winning film.

Image copyright @unsavoryagents
Image caption The artist known as 'Sabo' posted pictures of his work on social media

In Three Billboards, a bereaved mother puts up hoardings in an attempt to make her local sheriff devote more time to investigating her daughter's murder.

The film's plot encouraged campaigning group Justice 4 Grenfell to create their own billboards calling for action following last year's Grenfell Tower fire.

The banners were driven through central London earlier this month on the eight-month anniversary of the tower block blaze.

Image copyright Jeff Moore/Justice4Grenfell
Image caption The banners were paraded through London on 15 February

Another action in New York circled the United Nations last week, demanding action on Syria in advance of a Security Council vote.

Image copyright Getty Images

In Miami, meanwhile, mobile billboards were deployed to urge Florida senator Marco Rubio to sanction gun reform in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Image copyright Reuters

In Naples this week, activists used billboards to protest against Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy's anti-immigrant Northern League party.

"I said you stink. Now I want your vote. Why not, Southerners?" read the billboards.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption 'Terroni' is a derogatory term for Italy's southern inhabitants

In a similar vein, activists in Malta used red placards to decry the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a prominent anti-corruption blogger.

Image copyright Reuters

Billboards have also been erected in County Galway to congratulate McDonagh on the success of his film - in Gaelic.

The placards said the London-born director, who has Irish parents, was both a "big star of Hollywood" and a "big star of Leitir Mealláin", a village in Connemara.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The billboards were erected outside Leitir Mealláin in Connemara

Earlier this month, Three Billboards star Frances McDormand devoted part of an awards ceremony acceptance speech to saluting the various initiatives.

"I appreciate a well-organised act of civil disobedience, and I am thrilled that activists all over the world have been inspired by the set decoration of the three billboards in Martin's film," she said at the Bafta Film Awards in London.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is up for seven Academy Awards on Sunday, including best picture.

Image copyright 20th Century Fox
Image caption Frances McDormand is tipped to win best actress at the Oscars for her role in Three Billboards

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