by Marco Colantonio

 The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s bold F*UCK W/OUT FEAR advertising campaign on WeHo’s sidewalks has generated a Sh*t Storm of reactions – many in the community are appalled and give it “the finger”, some indifferent, others confused and a few hail it with a resounding “thumbs up”!

The word “F*ck” in the PrEP ad on the sidewalk in front of Yogurt Stop at 8803 Santa Monica Blvd. was auspiciously covered with masking tape and brown paper. Shoshana Joseph, an owner of Yogurt Stop, told a local blog: “We’ve had a lot of customers come in upset,” she said. “They are ashamed and embarrassed by the words. Parents are appalled. Tourists are appalled.”

A man in his late 60’s, Francis O’Brien was arrested over the weekend and charged with felony vandalism for covering the “F*UCK” on three of the sidewalk murals with red spray paint, because they “offended him.”

I took to the streets on Sunday and asked people what they thought of the provocative sidewalk murals.
Some people felt the graphic use of thinly veiled profanity was “Okay”, while others just expected it from West Hollywood, (especially in the Boystown area) and many had no idea what the ads meant.

Here is the video with their reactions and comments:


Overall, the bold approach and raw language succeeded in attracting attention, but with such a broad canvas, the ads fall short in communicating the intended message.

WEHO TIMES asked the Los Angeles LGBT Center why the sidewalk ads don’t reference HIV/AIDS?  Jim Key, the Chief Marketing Officer of the LGBT Center, replied: “All of our other campaign materials include the line ‘one PrEP pill a day can prevent HIV.’  The sidewalk murals are really an artistic representation of the campaign, in a limited amount of space, designed to grab the attention of people who are walking by and intrigue them enough to visit our website to learn how they can “f*ck w/out fear.”

Key added: “The moment they do that, they learn what PrEP is and have the opportunity to schedule a free PrEP consultation with us. The artwork is designed to start a conversation about PrEP, and it’s working!”


For More Information on PrEP: https://lalgbtcenter.org/pre-exposure-prophylaxis



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Marco Colantonio is a longtime West Hollywood resident and community activist, former West Hollywood Disabilities Advisory Board member and founder/publisher emeritus of WEHO TIMES.
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