R rated? Or maybe NC-17? Well, the Motion Picture Association of America’s rating code doesn’t apply to public signs such as the one on the bus stop shelter on the northeast corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Heights. We’d describe it as NSFW. But you aren’t likely to be working if you’re driving along Santa Monica or Crescent Heights boulevards unless you’re driving a bus or for Uber or Lyft.
The sign features an image of a naked man, genitalia discreetly hidden between his legs, slowing breathing from a tube attached to his mouth. Yes, the breathing is evident, thanks to an ingenious device attached to the sign.
The sign is promoting “Altered Carbon,” a new Netflix release. And it has captured the attention of local television stations, local residents and WEHOville, which suggests that sultry does sell.
“Altered Carbon,” described by Variety as a “cyberpunk series,” tells the tale of a person who, after 250 years on ice, returns to life in a new body with a chance to win his freedom by solving a complex murder. It stars Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy and Martha Higareda.
The nudity is something one would be more likely to see on the Sunset Strip. But then again, there was that sign in the window of Pleasure Chest on Santa Monica Boulevard, which drew objections from local resident Jake Lee in an op-ed published in October 2017 on WEHOville that sparked a local debate about public decency in WeHo. Lee described driving with his wife and nine-year-old daughter by “an advertisement that filled the giant 8-foot-high by 8-foot-wide window with NINE GIGANTIC photos of FULLY NAKED ASSES! Some were male, some were female, some were bent over, others had Lollypops next to them, some had whipped cream on them and some had colored sprinkles that one would normally garnish on a scoop of ice cream.
“Written in the center of the banner In GIANT letters was the announcement ‘ANAL AUGUST!'”
What seems to have drawn less attention, maybe because they were on a wall on Crescent Heights Boulevard near Melrose, outside of the city limits of famously gay WeHo, were posters proclaiming: “I Love Dick.”
No. Wait. Those posters prompted this writer to quickly do a Google search on the mobile phone. That attention-grabbing headline was promoting an Amazon series by the same name in which Dick was the professor that two women had a crush on.
Yes, sultry sells.