Hollywood & Highland to remove statues commemorating racist legacy of filmmaker D.W. Griffith

"This is a real opportunity to move away from the clichés of Hollywood"

A number of white fibreglass elephant statues have been removed from Hollywood & Highland shopping centre, rejecting the legacy of D.W. Griffith.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the new owners of the centre are removing the statues and “all of the faux Mesopotamian elements” as part of a new makeover.

The elephant statues were used on the set of the 1916 film Intolerance, directed by D.W. Griffith, which followed his 1915 film The Birth Of A Nation that was condemned by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).


Chad Cress, chief creative officer for centre co-owners DJM, told the Times in a statement regarding the renovation: “This is a real opportunity to move away from the clichés of Hollywood, red velvet ropes and big studios.

“The Hollywood of the future really needs to stand for something that is more inclusive of what our culture looks like today.”

He added: “We want to celebrate the fact that we are all creatives.”


Architect and head of redesign David Glover of Gensler told Deadline that the centre needs to “pivot and transform away from being a hub of transaction to a hub of culture”.

The renovation will be completed by next summer and will rename the Hollywood & Highland centre to Ovation Hollywood.


Design plans will give the centre a new colour scheme, modernised outdoor space, new landscaping and a simpler outdoor facade to attract a younger audience and move away from relics of Griffith’s films.

In other Oscars news, Samuel L. Jackson is set to receive an honorary Oscar at the 2022 ceremony. Elaine May and Liv Ullmann will also be presented with awards, while the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will go to Danny Glover.