Five members of the Westboro Baptist Church arrived in Hollywood, CA on Sunday to picket the Academy Awards. They believe that the awards show glorifies idolatry and sin.
The picket was staged at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Highland Avenue amid a large crowd of counter-protesters. The actual awards ceremony was held a few blocks away inside the Kodak Theatre.
Members from the church displayed their signs condemning the day's ceremony as well as other events featured in pop media. Two notable signs referenced Whitney Houston and Steve Jobs.
Margie Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church, shows her protest signs. One of them is a depiction of the late Whitney Houston.
In an official press release issued prior to the picket, the church stated:
"You have no proper thoughts of the God that created you, but we’ll be there to put His words before your face when you haul your rebellious carcasses into the Kodak Theater to throw bouquets at one another for vain 'accomplishments.' The day of your destruction is upon you, even as you vainly seek comfort in the frivolities of this life."
The rambunctious counter-protesters at the site shouted their disapproval. Common slogans they shouted included, "Love is louder!" and, "God loves everyone!"
Jael Phelps, granddaughter of Pastor Fred Phelps, explained that the Academy Awards ceremony exemplifies idolatry. She also noted that people's interest in Hollywood stardom has essentially become their religion.
Megan Phelps-Roper, another granddaughter of Fred Phelps and also daughter of Shirley Phelps-Roper, stated that Billy Crystal, host of the awards show, had the responsibility to tell the viewing audience to stop their proud sinning and rebellion against God.
The picket concluded at 4:30 that afternoon, a half an hour earlier than originally scheduled. No incidents of violence or arrest were reported.