The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a collection of five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars that adorn the sidewalks along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, California, to honor the achievements of individuals from the entertainment industry. More than 2,000 actors, musicians, directors, producers, and musical and theatrical groups (and even fictional characters) have been memorialized with the placement of stars bearing their names along the Walk of Fame. Although much more widely known as a real estate developer and business magnate rather than an entertainer, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump was awarded a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in 2007 for his work on the popular reality series The Apprentice. (Critics contend that the real reason Trump has a Hollywood star is because the Walk of Fame is primarily about popularity and publicity, and money and influence count for far more than than actual achievement in determining who is to be so honored.)
Donald Trump’s controversial remarks about illegal immigrants in 2015 prompted a movement to have his star repealed. But Leron Gubler, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President, stated that “once a Star has been added to the Walk, it is considered a part of the historic fabric of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Because of this, we have never removed a Star from the Walk.” Nonetheless, in April 2016 some online sources were reporting that so many Hollywood visitors were defecating on Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame star that the Hollywood Historic Trust was considering removing it altogether:
Anyone who lives in or has traveled to a big city knows how difficult it can be to find a public restroom when nature calls. Luckily, however, those living in or visiting Hollywood, Calif., can rest easier knowing their bladders and bowels will have a fantastic new, entirely free place to relieve themselves—Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame star. In fact, so many people have been utilizing the shifty facility that rumor has it the Hollywood Historic Trust is thinking about removing Trump’s star from the iconic tourist attraction altogether.
Such reports seemed to stem from the web site Rimmed, who reported on 3 April 2016 (with a headline in the form of a question):
In hilarious news, we got a report today that the Hollywood Historic Trust is considering removing Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame because so many tourists keep defacing it.
The Rimmed item provided no documentation that humans were intentionally choosing to publicly answer nature’s call on a Hollywood street rife with tourist traffic, just mostly Twitter-culled images of folks behaving badly while visiting Trump’s star. And while it is true that the Hollywood Historic Trust plays a role in maintaining the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce administers the Walk of Fame (including the addition of stars) and the City of Los Angeles “owns” the Walk of Fame (since it is a public sidewalk). It would therefore fall to one of the latter two agencies to remove a star if it were causing problems, but the Chamber of Commerce has already stated (in reference to controversies involving political comments made by Donald Trump and multiple sexual assault accusations leveled against comedian Bill Cosby) that:
Once a Star has been added to the Walk, it is considered a part of the historic fabric of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Because of this, we have never removed a Star from the walk.
It is true that Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame star has been vandalized multiple times through the addition of graffiti such as swastikas, muting icons, and derogatory comments:
Somebody has defaced Donald Trump’s Hollywood star and people aren’t sure whether it was a supporter or a protester… pic.twitter.com/LRRFNA6zuH
— Rhoda Sharp (@So2012Trust) March 25, 2016
A picture I took of Donald Trump’s star on the Walk of Fame in LA a few months ago pic.twitter.com/FnuKhRY7n4
— Khalid (@WorldOfK_) March 10, 2016
It’s also true that one doesn’t have to search very long online to find purported images of dogs defecating, or people urinating, on Trump’s star:
Nonetheless, rumors of an abundance of rogue human pooping on Trump’s Walk of Fame star do not appear to be well-documented. Given the nature of the claim and its popularity on social media, if such an activity were common, we’d expect to see multiple social media users snapping and sharing photographs of this comical new trend.
We contacted the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to ask about the rumor, and the representative with whom we spoke said that the rumors were false on both counts: Not only are there no plans to move or remove Donald Trump’s star, but the Chamber had received no reports or complaints of visitors defecating on the landmark (thus far).