LOS ANGELES, California — Homeless encampments lined the sidewalks and parks near Union Station, the venue for Sunday evening’s Oscars, on Tuesday — 48 hours after the red carpet had been rolled up and the stars and media had gone home.
The Hollywood elites chose the downtown venue, an Art Deco landmark in a part of the city that has slowly been overrun by the desperately poor. A short distance from Skid Row, and barely a block from the sidewalks where thousands of people have set up camp, the celebrities set up their red carpets, rolled up in their Escalades, and walked the red carpet in their couture gowns and suits en route to a self-congratulatory woke fest that was the lowest-rated and least-watched Oscars — ever.
They did this at the epicenter of one of the worst homelessness crises in the United States.
Homelessness rose a staggering 14 percent in Los Angeles in the year ending in January 2020. No homeless count was done for this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the problem continues to grow — at Union Station, and across the entire city.
There were reports of homeless people being broomed out to provide a more picturesque view of Tinseltown to the millions of viewers who never tuned in … or perhaps the celebrities just didn’t want to see them. We know now that they didn’t want to talk about L.A.’s homeless crisis either.
Breitbart News examined the transcripts of all 45 winners of the Oscars, and not one mentioned the homeless crisis that was literally surrounding them in all directions. Not one.
Tyler Perry recalled his own experience of being homeless during his acceptance speech for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. But there was no acknowledgment of the crisis just across the street.
We went down to the area around Union Station to get a sense of the destitution and pain on the streets where, only days before, the richest and most famous drove through, en route to their respective versions of fairy tales. These pictures are interspersed with the glamour and extravagance of the most tone-deaf and hypocritical spectacle our culture has to offer.
The UK Daily Mail reported Sunday that local homeless people had been urged to leave the area around Union Station prior to the Oscars, though local officials denied the report, saying that they had been provided with alternative housing options.
Local Fox affiliate KTTV-11 reported that a fence had been erected around the park across the street from Union Station prior to the awards ceremony to keep the homeless out.
That fence appeared to have been taken down by Tuesday afternoon.
And the homeless had returned to Union Station.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
Rebecca Mansour contributed to this article.