Los Angeles reportedly went to great lengths to present a homeless-free Oscars environment outside the venue — the Union Station building downtown — for the show on Sunday night.
A report from Fox 11 Los Angeles quoted a homeless man who provided some details.
“They came to us about a week ago saying that we had to move by Friday 6 p.m. because they were trying to clean up for the Oscars,” a homeless man identified a DJ told the station. “They told us if we didn’t move, they were gonna just demolish our stuff and if you have warrants we’re gonna take you to jail.”
Scores of homeless were allegedly threatened and ordered to leave in the days leading up to Sunday night, according to the report.
“They were coming and harassing us three or four times a day. …They forced us to go to the Grand Hotel on 3rd and Figueroa and they kicked everybody out of Union Station so it looks better for the image,” DJ told Fox 11.
A media rep for the Academy Awards told Fox News that organizers for the Oscars have worked with several community, county and city nonprofits to limit disruption for Union Station’s homeless population, including the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and People Assisting the Homeless.
Groups working on the show reportedly offered permanent or temporary relocation, but relocation was optional and not forced.
District 14 City Council Member Kevin De León issued a statement obtained by FOX 11.
“NO unhoused residents are being forced to relocate,” De León’s statement reads. “Since being sworn in, my office has been painstakingly working to house those experiencing homelessness throughout my district and we were able to offer housing options to unhoused residents in the vicinity of Union Station.”