Nobody’s ever lost their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Will Trump be the first?

Hollywood Hills resident Andrew Rudick is on a mission.

Over the last three years, he’s submitted public records requests, retrieved case documents from the Los Angeles County Superior Court, spoken at City Council meetings and corresponded with government officials.

He’s determined to get Donald Trump’s star removed from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s not an easy task.

“The reasonably conveyed message to the millions who have walked past that plaque since 2021 is the city’s endorsement of a man who attempted a coup against the United States,” Rudick said at a Los Angeles City Council meeting earlier this month.

Although multiple City Council members said they do not support the former president and would like to see his star removed, nobody knows exactly how to make that happen. Several groups with varying levels of jurisdiction have a hand in operating the Walk of Fame, including the City Council, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Historic Trust.

The removal of a star is unprecedented, and a process for doing so has never been established. Rudick’s activism, however, is forcing city officials to confront the unknown.

The star itself draws all kinds of attention.

Elodie Toutain, a 21-year-old originally from France, said she stomped on Trump’s star while visiting the Walk of Fame this month. “There are so many people who have better intentions than him,” she said.

The star has been vandalized and smashed several times, costing more than $20,000 in repairs since 2016, according to the Hollywood Historic Trust. One street artist placed prison bars on the star in 2021 and brought a toilet, bathtub and stacks of fake documents to the site of the star in 2023 in a reference to the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case.

Stuart G, who declined to share his last name for privacy reasons, has been selling Trump merchandise beside the star since August.

“Trump offends people, and those people want to have his star removed,” Stuart said. “But I don’t think he’s half as bad as some of the other people on here.”

Spade Cooley, a swing musician who earned his star in 1960, was convicted of murdering his wife one year later.

The star has been vandalized and smashed several times, costing more than $20,000 in repairs since 2016, according to the Hollywood Historic Trust. One street artist placed prison bars on the star in 2021 and brought a toilet, bathtub and stacks of fake documents to the site of the star in 2023 in a reference to the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case.

Stuart G, who declined to share his last name for privacy reasons, has been selling Trump merchandise beside the star since August.

“Trump offends people, and those people want to have his star removed,” Stuart said. “But I don’t think he’s half as bad as some of the other people on here.”

Spade Cooley, a swing musician who earned his star in 1960, was convicted of murdering his wife one year later.

“Donald Trump is a racist, fascist, and a threat to our democracy,” Soto-Martínez said in a statement. “Since there’s no known precedent for removing a star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, we’re looking into where the authority lies, what the legal issues may be, and what a process for it might look like.”

Trump’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment. The Republican Party of Los Angeles County said any efforts to remove Trump’s star would be a waste of time.

“Los Angeles government fails on every level,” a spokesperson for the party said in an email. “They should focus on their job — getting all our sidewalks clean and safe.”

The Los Angeles City Council has so far avoided engaging in the process of removing a star. In 2018, the West Hollywood City Council unanimously passed a resolution requesting that L.A. remove Trump’s star from the Walk of Fame. The resolution was never acted on.

As a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, the Walk of Fame receives some protections dictated by the city’s Cultural Heritage Ordinance. But changing or removing one star would not violate these protections, according to the city Planning Department.

“Changing lettering on one or a handful of star panels out of over 2,700 would not constitute a substantial alteration to the Monument,” a city planning representative said in an email. “The removal of any individual’s name and recognition emblem would leave intact the historic materials that make up the remainder of the Walk of Fame.”

The Walk of Fame is not a California Historical Landmark, said Jay Correia of the California Office of Historic Preservation, although it is commonly mistaken as one. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the landmark status of the Walk of Fame, Correia said.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce itself incorrectly claimed that the Walk of Fame was included in the National Register of Historic Places. It is included only in the California Register of Historical Resources.

“Even though the property is listed in the California Register, all land use authority resides with the City of Los Angeles,” Correia said. “None of what we do overrides local land use policy.”

In other words, it’s theoretically up to the Los Angeles City Council to decide to remove a star. According to Rudick, the first step is simple: City Council should ask the city attorney to draft a report on a star removal process.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times