COUNTERPUNCH LETTERS : The Gateway and History

Although its theme is clear, Catherine Hardwicke’s defense of the Hollywood La Brea Gateway sculpture as politically correct or appropriate as symbolism regarding Hollywood history is way off the mark. (“Critic Missed Gateway Humor, Symbolism,” Feb. 14).

I think the Gateway is historically ignorant. Dorothy Dandridge may have been nominated for an Oscar, but Hattie McDaniel won one. There wasn’t enough research done. Does Mae West represent the best of Caucasian actresses throughout history? This was not a well-thought-out choice.

Why is Marilyn Monroe, arguably an international symbol of women in film, perched Tinker Bell-like at the top of this structure, barely visible? Is she somehow less important?

And, despite the artist’s self-defense claim, the goal of a monument should not be a photo op. This street art is not for the residents, it does not respectfully address the history of the community and it is not even adequately protected. The last time I saw the statues, Dolores Del Rio had a felt-tip-markered silhouette of a hand on her posterior along with a bumper sticker.


Why spend for these “monuments” when we are losing real history every day, when real Hollywood landmarks like the Brown Derby are easily demolished, the Egyptian Theatre restoration stalled and the future of the Hanes House in jeopardy?


San Dimas