Despite former president Donald Trump's unpopularity in Los Angeles, his Hollywood Walk-of-Fame star may be here to stay.
Donald Trump first received his Hollywood star in 2007 for his work in television on The Apprentice, and for his role in producing beauty pageants. In the eight years since Trump first ran for president, his spot on the historic landmark has been repeatedly vandalized or destroyed.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which manages the Walk-of-Fame, has been reluctant to remove it, or to leave it damaged. In fact, the chamber has been reluctant to remove any, as in its 63 years of existence, a star has never been removed from the Walk-of-Fame.
Donald Trump's historic mugshot
According to the Chamber of Commerce, there are no circumstances under which they would remove a star, as stated by their Chief Executive in 2015, when the chamber faced calls to remove Bill Cosby's star after he was accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.
Though Cosby's 2018 conviction was eventually overturned on an appeal, one of the first honorees on the Walk-of-Fame was a convicted murderer. Western actor Spade Cooley received a star in 1960, one year before he was convicted of beating and choking his estranged wife to death in front of their 14-year-old daughter.
While Cooley is the only convicted murderer on the Walk-of-Fame, his crime did not spur a removal. Activists today argue that the crimes Trump is accused of — racketeering, fraud, and election interference, among others — should justify his star's destruction.
Lawyers connected to the Chamber of Commerce say that leadership is concerned if they remove on star, people could demand others be removed. An unnamed attorney recently told The Guardian: “It’s a slippery slope, and we don’t want to go down that slope. We’re going to end up having nothing but controversy and protests.”
Los Angeles City Council members have previously vowed to compel the chamber to remove Trump's star, but none to date have been able to follow through on their promises. To activist and comedian Andrew Rudick, who routinely confronts officials about the former president's star at Walk-of-Fame dedications, the solution is simple.
“It cannot be this hard,” Rudick said. “This man attempted a coup against the United States and yet we continue to honor him," he told the outlet. "How are we the voters supposed to have faith in the city council to deal with any real level of challenge if they can’t get this done?”