By now, you must’ve heard about the vandal who altered the famous Hollywood sign in Los Angeles to read “Hollyweed.” As it turns out, the vandal had a political message behind his silly prank, and it has to do with a recent vote to change California legislature.

Security footage captured on the night shows a man dressed in all black clothes sneaking around and scaling the sign at three in the morning on New Year’s Day (when he knew there would be no one around to catch him in the act because they’d all be busy with the festivities) where he had giant, Hollywood-sign-letter-sized heavy-duty tarpaulins, which he attached to each O.

Each O got a black tarpaulin down the side to create the illusion of a gap and a white tarpaulin in the middle, so that the Os now resemble lower-case Es. The Hollyweed tarpaulins bore the images of peace signs and heart symbols.

LAPD sergeant explains how he did it

Sergeant Robert Payan of the LAPD explains that the man hopped over a protective fence that is erected (stop giggling) around the Hollywood sign, as the public are banned from coming near the iconic Hollywood Hills landmark, expressly for the purpose of preventing acts of vandalism like this one. According to Sgt. Payan, the vandal scaled each O to change the lettering to Hollyweed after hopping the fence.

The police are saying that the vandal could face a misdemeanour charge for trespassing on the grounds of the Hollywood sign if he is caught, which is unlikely, but even if he is, misdemeanours are not serious charges.

It’s not like it’s a crime.

The prank has a political statement about a recent vote

The political message behind the prank is to do with the weed culture in California, as a vote has just passed in the state that will allow recreational use of marijuana following the start of 2018. Ergo, Hollywood becomes Hollyweed.

According to the LA Times, in a report that brings into question who’s working at the LA Times and what their connection is to this Hollywood prankster, the prank was part of an assignment for the vandal’s art class, in which he was tasked with working with scale.

He received an A grade for the project apparently.

This exact same prank has been done before

41 years ago, the Hollywood sign was changed to say “Hollyweed,” and it was even on New Year’s Day. In that case, the perpetrator was Cal State Northridge student Daniel Finegood, who bought himself $50 worth of curtains and scaled Mount Lee, on which the 50-foot sign is perched.

The Hollywood sign was originally put up in 1923 and it originally read “Hollywoodland.” Its initial purpose was promotion of housing development, but it has since become a staple of the glitzy film industry. In the 1940s, the “land” part was so worn down that they just lopped it off and went with Hollywood instead.