Stars bearing the names of Bill Cosby and Donald Trump will remain inlaid in the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame despite activists’ calls for their removal, the city’s Chamber of Commerce said Thursday.
“The answer is no,” Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Leron Gubler said in a statement. “Once a Star has been added to the Walk, it is considered a part of the historic fabric of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Because of this, we have never removed a star from the Walk.”
Civil rights leaders had reportedly stepped up pressure on the Chamber of Commerce to remove Cosby’s star after court documents obtained by the Associated Press on Monday revealed that the comedian admitted in 2005 to giving Quaaludes to women with whom he intended to have sex.
“Cosby to black America is an icon, but once an icon figure betrays the trust of the community, we have to withdraw our support and condemn their actions,” civil rights activist and Project Islamic Hope founder Najee Ali told Fox News. “If they don’t remove that star, we can call it the walk of shame.”
Cosby’s star was reportedly installed in 1977 in a prime location close to Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The star was vandalized late last year, with the word “Rapist” scrawled over it. The Chamber of Commerce said then that it “would hope that [the vandals] would project their anger in more positive ways then to vandalize a California State landmark.”
Tourists visiting the site appeared to be split over whether Cosby’s star should be removed.
“It’s kinda like celebrating his legacy but his legacy now is something else altogether,” tourist Tricia Savino told Fox.
But Jason Young, a tourist from Maryland, told the AP that it could be a slippery slope to start removing celebrities from the Walk.
“You’d have to remove almost everybody’s [star] if you were concerned about morals. This is about what they’ve done in Hollywood, what they’ve done to entertain people,” Young said. “He is still a star whether you like how he was or not.”