For the first time in a very long time, Harvey Weinstein won’t be at the Academy Awards, but he will be close by—in a way. On Thursday, the Associated Press reports, a pair of artists placed a golden statue of the disgraced producer on Hollywood Boulevard, just down the street from the Dolby Theatre, where Sunday’s 2018 Oscars will take place. The statue has Weinstein, wearing a gaping bathrobe and slippers, sitting on a couch—the “casting couch.” According to the AP, the statue was designed by artists Plastic Jesus and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe, the brains behind the nude statues of Donald Trump that were placed around the U.S. in 2016.
The artists told the AP that they spent two months crafting the fiberglass and acrylic resin statue, which they hope will continue to shine a spotlight on the entertainment industry’s apparent epidemic of workplace sexual misconduct and Weinstein’s allegedly central role in perpetuating that epidemic. “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,” Plastic Jesus said, adding that the concept of trading sexual favors for film and TV roles on the metaphorical casting couch is “still very much a part of the Hollywood culture.”
The statue will reportedly stay in place through the weekend, if the weather permits, and has already become fully interactive, with many people sitting on the chaise next to Weinstein and taking selfies, according to the AP. Plastic Jesus approves of this reaction to the statue, noting that it actually increases the symbolism of the installation. “For many, many people, aspiring actors and actresses, that would have been their dream, to be close to Harvey,” the artist said.
The provocative statue arrived in Hollywood on the same day that Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel revealed that he would not be mentioning Weinstein or the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements in his monologue, despite the fact that he’ll be addressing an audience filled with the women behind these movements against sexual misconduct. “Here’s the thing: This show is not about reliving people’s sexual assaults. It’s an awards show for people who have been dreaming about maybe winning an Oscar for their whole lives,” Kimmel told ABC News. “And the last thing I want to do is ruin that for someone who is, you know, nominated for, you know, best leading actress or best supporting or best director or cinematographer, or whatever, by making it unpleasant.” He added, “I’m not going to stop any bad behavior with my jokes.”