Los Angeles residents and internet users the world over were privy to an especially favorable New Year's Day prank after an individual changed the iconic Hollywood Sign to read "Hollyweed." Naturally, the marijuana-friendly vandalism made for some fun internet fodder, but local police were not as amused. After a week of attempts to track down the mastermind behind the first meme of 2017, a man who goes by the name Jesus Hands (yes, really) has stepped forward to take credit—or the fall, depending on how the district attorney's office feels.
Earlier this week, Vice interviewed Zach Fernandez (better known as "Jesus Hands") and his creative partner Sarah Fern, who took credit for changing the sign. "The main goal of the piece ... is to bring about conversation [about marijuana law reform]," Fernandez told Vice.
This seemed to be confirmed by Tommy Chong this week, who posted a photo to Twitter captioned, "Hanging out with Zach, the Hollyweed guy." Tommy was so enthused by Zach that he gave him a pound of Chong's Choice as an appreciation of his work.
Fernandez told Vice he was inspired to alter the sign after seeing a picture of artist Danny Finegood's own 1976 "Hollyweed" prank.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Fernandez after Chong's posts seemingly confirmed the vandal's identity and asked for further clarification about why he decided to change the sign.
I did it out of love and a certain peace from within. 2016 was a rough year for a lot of people. You got hurt and then you grew. 2017 is perfect to conjure up the growth. It was a very personal thing at first, and it still is. I hold it very personal. It was a personal thing and a tribute to the artist, (who did a similar stunt in 1976) the late Daniel Finegood.
According to the Los Angeles Times, police said they would not be arresting a suspect they had been investigating as of Wednesday, however they would present their findings to the DA’s office. It will then be up to prosecutors to decide whether to press charges, the Times reports.
So there you have it. Jesus did Hollyweed.