Marty Shelton, Board Chairman of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, wants to turn Hollywood into a sundown town. According to Marty, nightclub patrons who are “decidedly minority, brown and black, and my guess, from a lower economic strata,” are “not appealing at all” and you won’t find that a wealthy apartment dweller “from Sunset and Vine was at Janes House hanging with the homies.”
Here’s the backstory: Last weekend a bunch of people from the Sunset-Vine BID and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce took what they call a “midnight walk” around Hollywood Boulevard. They wander around the Boulevard from midnight until 3 a.m. so they can see how the other half lives in Hollywood. And they don’t like what they see. They don’t like it one bit.
At the March 17th meeting of the Sunset-Vine BID board of directors, Fabiolus Cucina owner Fabio Conti read aloud from an email that Marty sent to the participants describing his reaction. You can watch the relevant segment here, and there’s a transcription after the break. It’s worth reading or hearing the whole thing, because our poor journalistic tools can’t begin to do justice to the offensive craziness to be found therein.
Marty, here’s a newsflash: the city of Los Angeles is “decidedly minority, mostly brown and black.” That’s the way it is here, and the fact that it’s like that in Hollywood at night is a GOOD thing. The fact that it’s NOT like that in Hollywood during the day is the problem. We know it’s too much to ask of the BID, the Chamber, and their minions that they solve this problem, but it’s not too much to ask that they refrain from making it worse by pushing their apartheid policies on our lovely city. If “brown and black” people don’t “mesh with the new high-income residents coming in along with ofc tenants” then let those tenants live somewhere else, like, I don’t know, Minneapolis. Our city is “decidedly minority” and we LIKE it.
After Fabio read aloud this abhorrent piece of racist posturing, jittery little psychopath and owner of multiple Hollywood-area McDonald’s franchises Carol Massie weighed in with another weirdly delusional take on the subject:
Thus spake Carol Massie: You know, one of the problems, I think, and this is from going to security meetings. I think that the patrons do have a lot of money. And they, that’s why they cater to them, and that’s why some of the nightclubs [unintelligible] these kind of people, because they do have that kind of money, and they pay a lot of money for the drink…for, for, for getting into the building. It’s not so much the drinks cause they do other things instead, because after hours it’s mayhem. But whatever they look like, they have money from somewhere and they’re bringing it to these businesses who don’t really care about anything except that they make a profit.
Carol, here’s a newsflash: your company destroys rainforests, destroys the health of the world’s people, exploits its employees, destroys everything, because it doesn’t “really care about anything except that [it] make[s] a profit.” That’s what McDonald’s does. And “these kind of people”?! And “they do other things instead”?!? And “money from somewhere”?!?! “MAYHEM”???!!?!!
And if you don’t think “these kind of people” are good for Hollywood, why do you keep the drive-through window at your Vine Street restaurant open 24 hours? Who do you think wants an Egg McMuffin at 3 a.m. if not nightclub patrons in Hollywood? Do you “really care about anything except that [you] make a profit?” Put your money where your mouth runs off and stop making money off “these kind of people,” why don’t you? We don’t want to seem naive. Rich white racists are racist, but for God’s sake, don’t talk about it on camera.
This was the jarringly, discordantly, sane point made by Chase Gordon, representing zillionaire real-estaties Avison Young. Here’s a link to the video at 18:42, where Chase responds to the nonsense described above: “I don’t think that we should be, especially public-facing, going out with the distinction of ‘we don’t want lower economic statuses coming and visiting Hollywood.’” Uh, yeah, true that. According to his bio on the Avison Young website Chase is a native of Los Angeles, and maybe that’s why he’s got some moral sense when it comes to “decidedly minority, brown and black” people in Hollywood. Chase, you seem like a good guy, but you’re hanging with the wrong crowd. At least you remember when you’re on tape, anyway.
Fabio Conti: I have, um…uh…Marty Shelton’s notes, and I think that he really describes it: I will add my observation through the lense of a [unintelligible] representative and a person concerned about social and economic inequalities. First, representing [unintelligible] it’s still very scary. As I know the trend [unintelligible] is to stay open later in certain neighborhoods [?] to obviously capture [unintelligible] certain dollars. What I saw was not appealing at all. One, dirty sidewalks. Two, roll-down doors. Three, homeless sleeping in doorways, the hardest problem to probably solve. Four, still a pretty rough crowd on the street. Five, the fact the LAPD had to set up a tactical plan, make the area look like an occupied state of emergency. And six, [unintelligible] side street which acts as the access to parking lots and garages. Second, the makeup of the patrons was decidedly minority, brown and black, and my guess, from a lower economic strata. I am reading this that the Lindsey Lohans of the world are not hanging out at the Rusty Mullet. These bars, nightclubs, are a cheap form…uh…form of entertainment, hanging out, that attracts a lower level clientele, most likely from out of area. I don’t imagine that [unintelligible] apartment dweller from Sunset and Vine was at Janes House hanging with the homies. That means to me that the bars are attracting people that will have really no respect for how our community looks when they leave. Uh…the guy out [unintelligible] in front of the McDonald’s, Steve saw him, we were talking about somebody taking care of the store…Um…based on his assessment I would say that LAPD presence has made things better but they wouldn’t be needed in such force if there wasn’t such a high concentration of [unintelligible] 47 and 48 licenses [unintelligible] to the lower than [unintellible] in our society. In closing, how is this night scene going to mesh with the new high-income residents coming in along with ofc tenants.”
ETA: Somehow the previously deep-linked image of jittery little psychopath Carol Massie was actually removed from archive.org and a new robots.txt file put in preventing the archiving of it. But now that Federal Judge Michael Fitzgerald has explained that all of the HPOA’s files are belong to us, we nabbed a new picture of Carol Massie off their website and are hosting it here. Carol! If you had archive.org remove it just cause a us? Now we know we’re getting to you!
Images of Carol Massie and Chase Gordon are not hosted here, but are rather displayed through deep links under the theory that the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit knew what the heck they were talking about when they decided Perfect 10 v. Google 508 F.3d 1146 (2007). If you don’t agree, take it up with them, eh? Image of jittery little psychopath Carol Massie’s McDonald’s at DeLongpre and Vine is ©2015 MichaelKohlhaas.org.