The city of Los Angeles, California, is facing a backlash, Monday, amid reports it booted dozens of homeless people from the city’s Union Station — and even dismantled an existing homeless encampment — ahead of Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony.
The city also temporarily shut a COVID-19 testing site to accommodate the star-studded awards show, which took place Sunday night, in a hybrid in-person and online format, with celebrities attending in person seated at tables in a makeshift Art Deco ballroom located in Union’s Station’s main hall, rather than at the Dolby Theater, where the ceremony is typically held.
Union Station is a hotbed for homelessness, but city officials reportedly did not want the A-listers attending the relocated Oscars bothered by tents, panhandling, and drug use, according to LA’s Fox affiliate.
“On Sunday, the homeless people, many living in tents near the Union Station building in Downtown LA, were not seen anywhere near the area,” per news outlet Meaww. “According to FOX11, which talked to a person who lived on the street around the area, people like him were allegedly threatened and ordered to leave in the days leading up to the star-studded event.”
“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,” a homeless man known as DJ told Fox11. “They told us if we didn’t move, they were gonna just demolish our stuff.”
“They were coming and harassing us three or four times a day. 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,” he added.
The Grand Hotel is 1.5 miles away from Union Station — a long way for those who might not have reliable transportation.
Members of the Los Angeles city council, though, insist that they worth with community organizations and non-profits to find assistance for members of Union Station’s homeless community and that those living rough near the Oscars venue were given housing options.
“While the 93rd Academy Awards are being held at Union Station this year, and despite irresponsible rumors, NO unhoused residents are being forced to relocate. Since being sworn in, my office has been painstakingly working to house those experiencing homelessness throughout my district and we were able to offer housing options to unhoused residents in the vicinity of Union Station.” one city council member told Fox11.
An Oscars “media representative” also told Fox News “that organizers for the Oscars have worked with several community, county, and city nonprofits to limit disruption for Union Station’s homeless population, including the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and People Assisting the Homeless.”
Twitter, however, did not believe the city’s excuse. Instead, commenters took aim at the Hollywood hypocrisy.
‘So we’re moving the homeless from union station for one evening to make the woke celebrities feel comfortable and try to hide the fact that LA doesn’t have a serious epidemic. So woke. I hope the homeless crash the oscars in full force,” one user noted.
“Hollywood celebs never stop telling us how ‘caring’ and ‘compassionate’ they are until there’s a chance that homeless people ruin their red carpet on Oscars night what a bunch of narcissistic virtue-signaling hypocrites,” another said.
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