In June, Los Angeles police launched an effort to clear Hollywood Boulevard of unlicensed Hollywood character impersonators, making dozens of arrests. These costumed superheroes were one of my favorite parts of the touristy part of Hollywood Boulevard. I loved watching the ridiculous costumed superheroes pose for photos with tourists near the Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Jimmy Kimmel regularly featured these performers on his show, and a documentary was even made about the characters called Confessions of a Superhero (watch it on Hulu for free). Apparently, in recent years some tourists and shop-owners have complained that the costumed characters had become more aggressive and pestered some of the tourists for money/tips. I’ve been around the area a couple times over the Summer, and aside from one lightpole climbing Spider-man, the superheroes were no where to be seen.
The superheroes are fighting back, in court — launching a lawsuit against the city. A half dozen costumed characters showed up in front of City Hall on Tuesday to protest recent arrests by the Los Angeles Police Department.
According to CurbedLA:
Although the City Council is on recess, Superman aka Christopher Dennis showed off his recent arrest citation to the press, while The Hulk aka Joe McQueen, argued that a screening and permitting process should be in place to allow well-behaved characters the right to make an “honest living” on Hollywood Boulevard, a process that would also weed out the more violent performers and those who “don’t know their own character,” according to McQueen. “It hurts me to see a Spiderman who doesn’t know his lines. The tourists will quiz you.” Additionally, he says that some characters are “bringing their own personal problems” to the boulevard. …. Leron Gubler, President & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, says the city has looked into permitting and decided against it. “The general consensus in the business community is that [Hollywood Boulevard] is better off without the characters,” he says, adding that with the addition of the CD vendors, pedestrians are having a difficult time simply walking down the sidewalk. Not that Gubler doesn’t respect some of these long-time performers. “Superman has always been a gentleman,” says Gubler of Dennis. “He’s not caused problems.”
The photo above of Darth Vader approaching police officers in front of City Hall comes courtesy of Gawker.