A small group of President Trump supporters rallied Sunday in Hollywood in advance of the Academy Awards.
The group held its demonstration outside the Metro station near the corner of Hollywood and Vine, not far from the Dolby Theatre, where the Oscars ceremony will be held.
About a dozen protesters carried signs, Trump banners and American flags, chanting such slogans as “Celebrities don’t speak for us” and “Hollywood, don’t divide us.”
The protest was called by the San Fernando Valley for Trump Celebration group, which said it believed “Hollywood elites” were trying to divide America.
Occasionally they responded to passersby who shouted a mix of encouraging and derogatory statements.
Emily Hemingway, 19, and her boyfriend David Feiner, 24, joined the crowd of about a dozen outside the Hollywood/Vine station.
“Everyone likes to worship these celebrities as if they’re some sort of deities,” Feiner said.
“We just want to show that just because a celebrity thinks a certain way and because they might express their views on a large platform that does not reflect the views of all of America,” Hemingway added. “That reflects the views of that individual person. I feel like celebrities are trying to kind of speak for us and we want to speak for us. That’s why we’re out here.”
Tourists posed in front of the stars along Hollywood Boulevard outside the Metro station, snapping pictures as vendors occasionally stopped them to try to sell them a tour.
About 1 p.m. a small group of Trump supporters had gathered outside the station. A few wore red “Make America Great Again” hats and another held a sign with the same message.
“That’s insane. You’re insane,” a man shouted at them as he walked past.
Another man told them that he was with them all the way.
Robin Hvidston held her sign up as she waited for more people to gather. The Claremont resident said she had come out to express her support for Trump.
“I really like Trump’s pro-American stance,” she said, her American flag earrings dangling. “I like that Mr. Trump, almost always when he speaks, he says I want to help Americans first. I find that very appealing.”
Hvidston said she was eager to participate Sunday, especially because of the Oscars and the chance that celebrities would be making political statements.
“I wish they’d give it a break,” she said. “I would like to see our entertainers go back to that — entertaining.”
Hvidston said she was pleased that at the Grammys the rhetoric was ramped down and said she was happy with Lady Gaga’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl.
“When she just kept it straight and did entertainment, I was very refreshed by that, that she did not do a message,” she said. “I know people really expected her to do something, and I thought, ‘Hallelujah, she entertained.’ She did a nice show and that’s something that everybody, all sides, can enjoy. Just pure entertainment like that.”
Donna Mariee Tasayco periodically shouted out “Latinos for Trump” as she stood in front of the station. Tasayco, who emigrated from Peru about 20 years ago, said she came out to show her support.
“I want to support my president — my president is Donald Trump,” she said. “I’m Latina and I support him because he’s the only man who says the truth and he’s honest, smart and will make America great again.”
“Latinos for Trump. Legal Latinos,” one man shouted into a miniature megaphone.
A little farther down Hollywood Boulevard, a group of sheriff’s deputies looked on. Some passersby did a double take as they passed the crowd, a lively bunch who sometimes ran up and down a small stretch of the sidewalk, Trump banners flying behind them in the chilly air.
“No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA,” a woman shouted at the crowd as she walked out of the Metro station. The crowd immediately began chanting, “USA.”
“Trump is your president too,” one man told passersby, waving the American flag as he spoke.
The supporters marched down Hollywood Boulevard chanting, “Hollywood, stop the hate.” Some people high fived and cheered them.
Others simply laughed and snapped photos as about 30 people passed, carrying flags and signs reading “Honk 4 Trump” and “the silent majority stands with Trump.” As they passed police officers checking vehicles, they shouted “blue lives matter” and thanked them for their service.
As the crowd chanted Trump’s name, celebrities rolled up the windows of their limos and cars. Some people inside the cars glanced confusedly at the signs held up against the fence including “Make America great again” and “The silent majority stands with Trump.” One woman inside a car gave the supporters the finger.
There’s been much discussion about how this year’s Oscars ceremony could be particularly political amid opposition in the entertainment industry to Trump’s policies.
5:30 p.m.: Updated with additional protest color.
3:15 p.m.: This article was updated with more details from the scene.