On Monday, a group of people climbed up and altered the iconic Hollywood sign to read “Hollyboob”. All six of them were subsequently arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing, but their stunt wasn’t for naught.
As it turns out, the feat wasn’t a pointless prank like the 2017 “Hollyweed” hi-jink, but a statement against Instagram’s censorship of sex workers. The person who organized the caper is a woman named Julia Rose, the founder and CEO of an adult website called Shagmag, which boasts the description “Playboy’s hotter, younger sister” on its website.
In an interview with Vice, Rose explained that both her personal Instagram account and the official Shagmag account were recently suspended from the app for nudity. The “Hollyboob” maneuver was an elaborate way to grab the attention of Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, and call him out for censoring her content while letting other brands like Playboy post similarly suggestive images without censorship.
“My product is nearly identical to that of Playboy’s, and my content may even be considered safer than what Playboy’s has been allowed to publish on your platform,” Rose told Vice. “I want to know how they are picking and choosing which accounts to disable and why.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, Instagram still hadn’t gotten back to Rose about her suspended accounts. “Ironically the only real response I have gotten is an employee at Facebook telling me to label my next account as a male and it will decrease my chances of getting taken down again,” she said.
As Vice points out, Instagram recently updated its terms of services and instituted a new rule that prohibits the “sharing of links to external pornographic websites.” The rule was obviously targeted at people who use Instagram to promote their OnlyFans accounts, but larger sex work brands like Hustlers and Brazzers still have active Instagram pages that link out to explicitly pornographic websites. Rose sees a glaring double-standard here, and “Hollyboob” was her way of bringing attention to the issue.
“I think this affects ALL creators,” Rose said. “The more we allow these platforms to censor us, the more they will continue to do so. There needs to be more communication between the platforms and the creators.”
She continued, “I believe women should be able to express themselves in a safe and justified way without being censored and shut down because of their body.”
— Julia Rose (@JuliaRose_33) February 1, 2021