The iconic Hollywood & Highland building that hosts the Academy Awards is being renovated; elephant statues and any other faux Mesopotamian elements are going to be removed. The white statues were part of D.W. Griffith‘s film “Intolerance,” which was a response to the backlash he received about his other film, “Birth of a Nation.”
While “Birth of a Nation” remains a film that hit many firsts in the American film industry, it’s also “the most reprehensibly racist film in Hollywood history“. The film was controversial even before it came out as it was based on Thomas Dixon Jr.’s 1905 novel and play, The Clansman.
The renovations to Hollywood & Highland are going to cost around $100 million, and will take until next summer to complete. The center will be renamed Ovation Hollywood, and replace the remnants of Griffith’s film with more modern art deco features.
“This is a real opportunity to move away from the clichés of Hollywood, red velvet ropes and big studios,” Chad Cress, Chief Creative Officer for Center Co-Owners DJM, told the Times. “The Hollywood of the future really needs to stand for something that is more inclusive of what our culture looks like today.”
This is one of those things that is important to do. The movie will still be in our history but now for the right reasons. We really don’t need these images of the past to know that it existed. These statues only served as a reminder that someone with power was able to make terrible things and we let them stand. Now we will be able to enjoy seeing the Ovation Hollywood and know that we not only have moved on but the world is moving on as well.