The artist behind several posters that appeared in Hollywood Tuesday targeting Meryl Streep revealed himself Wednesday to be Sabo, a rightwing street artist who has been behind similar installations in the past.
According to a report from The Guardian, Sabo claimed the posters are intended to be revenge against the “The Post” actress for her criticism of Donald Trump. “She’s swiping at us so we’re swiping back,” he told the outlet.
The posters show a black-and-white image of Streep and Weinstein smiling, with Weinstein nearly out of the frame, and a red stripe emblazoned with the words “She Knew” across Streep’s eyes.
Despite the imagery, however, Sabo said in the interview that he did not know whether or not Streep was privy to Weinstein’s alleged pattern of misconduct. “I wasn’t sitting in a room with her. I can’t say 100%. But I’d say anyone in the [film] industry had a pretty good idea. I think she knew. Maybe she was providing Weinstein with the fresh meat.”
According to Sabo, he designed and hung the posters with two other collaborators, and, in tweets, refers to the group as “unsavoryagents” — which is also his Twitter handle.
On Thursday Sabo appeared to take issue with The Guardian’s report, tweeting that the author “applied some word ju-jitus (sic) and now other news publications are playing telephone with his story…Sabo look evil now.”
The report also referred to the posters as being influenced by American conceptual artist Barbara Kruger, which Sabo contested in a tweet, writing that “it bothers me people believe ‘we’ were in any way influenced by the butt-ugly feminist hack Barbra (sic) Kruger!” Instead Sabo cited a still from Streep’s upcoming awards contender “The Post” as the inspiration behind the poster.
According to the report, Sabo is a former U.S. Marine who considers left-of-center politics “a disorder.” The Guardian referred to Sabo as the “alt-right Banksy,” and he has staged other installations in Los Angeles before, including a billboard aimed at Al Franken and posters of Trump and Milo Yiannopoulos.
Streep released a statement to the Huffington Post on Monday addressing accusations that she had knowledge of Weinstein’s activities after Rose McGowan criticized Streep and other actresses’ plan to wear black to the Golden Globes to protest sexual harassment in Hollywood in a since-deleted tweet. “Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @goldenglobes in a silent protest,” the tweet read. “YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real chance. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.”
In the statement, Streep wrote she was not “deliberately silent” regarding Weinstein’s treatment of women because she was unaware of the behavior.
“It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others,” Streep said in the statement. “I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening.”