Epstein Case: Sabo Should Be Charged for Vandalism of Tarantino Billboard

A couple of days ago, we ran a short piece about a street artist in Los Angeles, who goes by the name Sabo, who replaced the faces of Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio with those of Jeffrey Epstein and Roman Polanski on a giant billboard that advertised Quentin Tarantino’s new movie “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”.

As it turns out, Sabo made similar alterations on several bus stop posters advertising the same movie.

In addition, Sabo changed the name of the film to “Once Upon A Time In Pedowood” – and the credits for it to “Weinstein/Buck/NXIVM/Singer Production” – which was apparently in reference to disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, Democratic donor Ed Buck, the NXIVM sex cult, and director Bryan Singer.

Sabo has been doing similar “street art” throughout the Los Angeles area for almost two decades. He has a Wikipedia page – and has been interviewed on TV about his work.

Not So Funny

When I first saw the story about the billboard, I thought it was amusing.  A nice smackdown of a couple of despicable characters, Epstein and Polanski – and nothing more than a harmless prank.

But on second thought, it is actually a criminal act and not that funny.

Dollar Amount Determines Penalty

Vandalism is defined as “The willful destruction or damaging of property in a manner that defaces or mars it or that otherwise diminishes the property’s value”.

In this case, Sabo’s street art most likely did thousands of dollars of damage to advertising for a film that has nothing to do with Epstein or Polanski.

It also may have done reputational harm to the film itself. Some people may choose to avoid seeing the film because of its new association with the topic of pedophilia.

Although it’s unlikely that charges will be filed in this matter, Sabo’s “street art” constitutes, at a minimum, a misdemeanor – and, quite possibly, a felony.

In Los Angeles, the law is as follows:

Misdemeanor Vandalism (Damage Less than $400): Punishable by no more than one year in a Los Angeles County jail and a fine of $1,000.

Misdemeanor Vandalism (Damage Less than $10,000): Vandalism causing property damage greater than $400 but less than $10,000 is punishable by no more than one year in a California state prison and a fine of $10,000.

Felony Vandalism (Damage Exceeding $10,000): Vandalism causing property damage in excess of $10,000 is punishable by no more than three years in a California state prison and a fine of $50,000.

Innocent Parties Suffer

The fact that this particular stunt focused on two guys who have been associated with pedophilia doesn’t justify it.

In this case, the company that owns the billboard – and the company that sold the space for the bus stop posters – will likely pay costs to repair or replace the damaged property. As far as we know, they are not known to have been associated with Epstein or Polanski.

Similarly, the company that owns the marketing rights to the film will likely suffer lost sales as a result of Sabo’s vandalism. It is not asserted that the film endorses pedophilia or does anyone associated with the film, as far as we know.

It’s doubtful that any of the individuals and companies affected consider Sabo’s “street art” to be a “harmless prank” or even a politically powerful and important statement [made at their expense].

Supporters of Sabo might argue the end justifies the means. That, in the name of ending Hollywood pedophilia, it is justifiable to vandalize some rich movie company’s billboards.

On the other hand, for those whose property was destroyed, they may think Sabo is a self-promoting asshole with a reckless disregard for other people’s property rights.

It may be politically incorrect for Tarantino and his company to say so.  After all, Sabo is against pedophilia [other than pedophiles, isn’t everyone against pedophilia?]

Would Similar Vandalism Be Justified?

What if Sabo had painted epithets on Jeffrey Epstein’s $70 million mansion? Would that be OK?

Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan Mansion

What if someone defaced the property located at 3 Flintlock Lane in Clifton Park, NY – which is partially-owned by Keith Raniere?

Would it be OK for a street artist to vandalize the Nxivm property at 455 New Karner Road to protest sex trafficking?

Suppose you are a small business person and you paid for a billboard, entirely unrelated to pedophilia. Perhaps you are selling furnaces or cars – and Sabo comes along and swaps out your picture for Epstein or Raniere, or the local pervert in your town – to make a statement against pedophilia, or sex trafficking, or anything that everyone is already against anyway.

Is that OK because, after all, your billboard is certainly not as important as the protest against pedophilia? The cause is more important than your private property.

Still, you might ask, after Sabo defaced your property, “Why can’t Sabo rent his own billboard to make his statement against pedophilia?”

No good. Had Sabo rented his own billboard, no one would care. It would have been legal. It would lose its Robin Hood appeal.  It is precisely because Sabo committed a crime that he got publicity for his act.

Should Sabo Make a Profit?

In the Tarantino billboard vandalism, Sabo took credit for the vandalism [he did use drones and two assistant to complete the act] and is now selling prints of the posters.

Should he profit from this or should the proceeds from the sale of his posters go toward paying back the billboard company or others who lost money because of his actions?

If we condone certain acts of vandalism, provided it is for a good cause, and the property affected by the vandalism is owned by a rich person [like Tarantino, or a billboard company] where should we draw the line?

Anti-pedophilia messages are warranted for billboard defacement? How about vandalism to protest rape? Or vandalism to protest murder? Or vegetarianism or anti-Trump or anti-Pelosi?

When is it OK to destroy one person’s property to make your personal protest? How rich must the victim of the vandalism be for it not to be a criminal offense?

Sabo’s Crime Is Applauded

The risk Sabo took in vandalizing the billboard – the risk of getting arrested – is what makes this a great news story. That and the fact that everybody is against pedophilia.

That he broke the law, is virtually heralded. Still, I wonder how reporters who are applauding him now would feel if their offices – or computers – were similarly vandalized.

While a few news outlets called what Sabo did “vandalism”, even those stories were slanted toward Sabo.  But some other news outlets used more friendly terms in place of the word “vandalism.”

OK, so Sabo didn’t vandalize, he “hijacked,” “altered,” “doctored” and merely “used” the billboard?

Image result for vandalism

How would those who applaud Sabo feel if he vandalized their house to make his point?

“Don’t vandalize you; don’t vandalize me; vandalize the man behind the tree”.

When questioned about his ‘alterations’ of the billboard and the bus stop posters, Sabo explained that he meant them to serve to expose the crime of pedophilia in Hollywood.  He also said he had been sexually abused as a child. 

We don’t want to stifle protest – especially when someone is protesting something as vile as pedophilia. But we don’t want innocent people bearing the brunt of other peoples’ protests – especially if the topic of the protest has nothing to do with them.

Still, I would not want Sabo praised for destroying my property, even if he is opposed to pedophilia [which I am also] and wants to tell the world about it [and take a few bows and sell posters].

We have many creative minds reading Frank Report. We’ll turn it over to readers and let you decide what should be done about this situation.

Let’s hear your thoughts on this topic…

About the author

K.R. Claviger

28 Comments

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  • Yeah, I don’t care what anybody says, I love Sabo.
    He speaks the truth through his art, and, hopefully, helps wake up more than a few people.

  • interesting the name of artist who defaced the billboard is called Sabo, Why not use the obvious name ,”Samo”

  • I say, it was a dick move. I too laughed at first, and thought it’s definitely clever. But he should pay. Especially since he’s taking the credit for it so proudly. Ooo look at me being so funny! A famous graffiti artist! Sabo’s a sellout. He should pay for his crime in some way.

    Had it been done anonymously, that would’ve been a different story in my book.

  • Go Sabo!!! Epater les bourgeois!!! Who cares about damaging a f*cking hollywierd billboard — especially when done with such wit and force.

  • Sabo may have chosen Quentin Tarantino’s billboard for a very good reason.

    The link below is to an audio of Tarantino defending Roman Polanski.

    Tarantino in the audio recording implies the young woman, Polanski sodmomized(anally raped), wanted ‘it’.

    After listening to the recording I am not much of a fan of Tarantino anymore.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/amp/news/quentin-tarantino-defends-roman-polanski-resurfaced-audio-13-year-old-wanted-have-it-1082174

  • If you look closly the billboard was not destroyed, he just covered the original pics and words with removable pics and words….If he has to go back up and take them down, then so be it…Never have I seen a revolutioniist who stands on the side of right not breaking some set law, isnt that what a revolutuion is about…
    We must revolt against these perverted rabid dogs in order to stop all the ruined lives. So may children hurt
    I am 100% behind this artist and his work…..

  • Maybe Quentin Tarantino gets the point and has enjoyed the new billboard illustrations. Have we heard a peep out of him? ( I haven’t found that he has commented.)

    Tarantino isn’t a stick in the mud. He has a rebellious and creative mind of his own and is not a stranger to controversy. I do think that he is learning alongside everybody else that human beings not only have the right, but also the vital need, to be treated kindly and respectfully. Our perceptions about our sexuality need to evolve, just as do our perceptions about racial prejudice, never mind our base conceptualisms about violence itself, in many forms.

    He issued an apology himself, after he got heat when he said on Howard Stern’s show that he didn’t think Polanski was a rapist. He listened to the objections to his remark and made an effort to acknowledge his mistake and its insensitivity. So Tarantino might appreciate the street artist’s insightful creativity. Maybe he’ll do a Sabo movie and make Sabo a star as Hollywoody’s town crier. Okay, probably not. The money to fix the signs is no big deal to lay out in Hollywoody.

    Dig it or not, I thank Sabo.

    • “I do think that he is learning alongside everybody else that human beings not only have the right, but also the vital need, to be treated kindly and respectfully.” This is not a new concept, it goes at least as far back as Jesus.

  • Love it…
    This is real art. Creativity used to express a huge problem.
    I would be proud to have a piece of his on my house.

  • 1. There are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of these billboards across the country, only one of them in Hollyweird was altered, so it’s no big deal and almost expected for that dysfunctional, unethical, and immoral city;
    2. The tens of thousands of homeless living in downtown LA, causing crimes to be committed, spreading diseases, etc., are a much bigger deal;
    3. It appears the alterations can be removed by Sabo’s crew without permanently damaging the original billboard;
    4. It probably caused MORE attention to the Tarantino movie, not less, so it’s free advertising; and
    5. If Sabo wants to make his point, he should take all of the profit from his picture sales and give it to a legitimate sex abuse organization, and Tarantino can chip in as well.

    Case closed.

  • The purported innocent, injured parties are free to press charges if they want. They have not done so. I imagine this falls under the rubric that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

  • Gotta disagree, Clav. Graffiti or street art such as this is the voice of the prophets — the people who know like “Sabo” — and have no other form of expression or justice in a corrupt system stacked up against us, to silence and gag us and punish those “who know” like Sabo. Sabo knew of Epstein, Sabo knew of NXIVM, and Sabo knows the Hollywood takes on these real stories are fakes and will not stop the organized rape of children be it to gather collateral or fulfill the sick perversions of the powerful!

    GO SABO! Eat it Shepherd Fairy you sack of Saks 5th Ave. sell-out sack of iconoclast, sweatshop shitwear! Fuck
    Hope, take action with spray can and never-stop demanding justice or settle for just-ice!

    • We have the most powerful form of expression and justice ever, dummy. It’s called the internet and people can come together to educate each other and bring in additional people, petition the government and cause a public outrage by visiting, mailing, emailing, calling, etc., to demand justice. But we have to do it for it to make a difference. We don’t need a spray can, deface billboards, etc.

    • Go, Heidi! Yes, yes, yes. You have gotta be lively to have the juice to love life and to stand up and protect life. You are such a breath of fresh air.

  • You make valid ethical arguments. (not referring to Vanguard’s antcs…)

    But Hollyvoid isn’t the most ethical of places. One way this could be viewed, from THEIR perspective, is that this simple act of vandalism got the movies LOTS of free publicity. Yeah, Sabo selling posters is pushing the envelope but … consider this: altering a billboard of that size takes a lot of cooperation between a lot of people. Assuming you have your materials and crew in place, it’s still going to be hard to do this without someone seeing it.

    I feel this is what was once called a “publicity stunt.” On some level, it’s possble that all the parties involved on both “sides” were actually workng together

  • Oh boo hoo, another wasted space on this blog. Certainly it can be considered criminal acts but this bozo should be much more concerned about the crimes commited that are violent on a daily basis.

About Frank Parlato

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

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