‘13th’ Poster Vandalized as Nation Grapples With Racially Charged Moment

The long line of giant Emmy FYC banners that hang on a chain-link fence along a stretch of Sunset Boulevard near Netflix’s Hollywood offices are hard to miss. On Thursday morning, it was impossible not to notice that one of the 18 banners had been vandalized overnight.

The damaged poster was one touting the eight Emmy nominations garnered by “13th,” Ava DuVernay’s widely praised Netflix documentary about the roots of the exponential growth in the incarceration of people of color in the U.S. The film has already earned an Oscar nomination and a Peabody Award.

The display featured an image of an African-American man standing defiantly with a raised fist. The banner was ripped in such as way as to remove most of the man’s body, although not his extended arm. None of the other banners hung near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Bronson Avenue were similarly defaced.

Netflix plans to replace the banner by Friday morning. The streamer declined to comment on the vandalism.

The targeting of the “13th” banner hardly seems coincidental given the fraught national mood of the past few days following the deadly outbreak of violence on Saturday at a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Va. The nation’s shock of the gathering of hundreds of torch-wielding, avowed racists has been magnified by the outrage and debate spurred by President Trump’s comments on the incident. Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal from Charlottesville, died on Saturday when a man believed to be a rally participant rammed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters.

DuVernay has become a prominent voice in the modern civil rights movement through her work on “13th,” 2014’s “Selma” and other projects. She expressed a mix of dismay and resolve in reacting to the vandalism via a Twitter message.

“Sorry, cowards. Too late,” DuVernay wrote. “Can tear the paper. Can’t tear what the film has shared and shown. Just like this poster, the fist stays raised.”

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