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Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has no plans to remove Walk of Fame stars amid sexual misconduct scandals

Taryn Ryder
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle

Those celebrities accused of multiple counts of sexual harassment can rest assured about one thing: Their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame aren’t in jeopardy of being removed.

Amid the scandals surrounding celebrities like Kevin Spacey and Brett Ratner, both of whom have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Yahoo reached out to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to find out whether there are plans or internal discussions around potentially removing the stars for anyone who has been accused of sexual misconduct. A rep for the group referred Yahoo to a 2015 statement issued after a petition for the removal of Bill Cosby’s star was circulated, saying it’s still their most recent statement on the subject.

“The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has received inquiries asking whether we are planning to remove the stars of Walk of Famers because of alleged misconduct. The answer is no,” said Leron Gubler, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a registered historic landmark. Once a star has been added to the Walk, it is considered a part of the historic fabric of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Because of this, we have never removed a star from the Walk.”

Kevin Spacey receives his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999. (Photo: Getty Images

In addition, Yahoo was provided a statement from the late Johnny Grant, who chaired the Hollywood Walk of Fame Committee for many years and responded with the following when asked the same question: “Stars are awarded for professional achievement to the world of entertainment and contributions to the community. A celebrity’s politics, philosophy, irrational behavior, or outrageous remarks have never been cause to remove a Walk of Fame star.”

It’s unclear which category sexual assault, harassment, and/or misconduct falls under, but it appears to be covered above.

Spacey, 58, stands accused of misconduct by around a dozen men after Anthony Rapp’s allegation that the House of Cards star came on to him when he was 14 years old. The actor initially apologized to Rapp, while also coming out as gay. However, through his lawyer, he denied subsequent allegations. He’s currently “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment,” according to his spokesperson. Spacey has two Oscars, one for Best Supporting Actor for 1995’s The Usual Suspects and another for Best Actor for 1999’s American Beauty. Spacey received a star on the Walk of Fame in 1999.

Brett Ratner receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)

Earlier this month, six women — including Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge — accused director Brett Ratner of harassment or misconduct in a Los Angeles Times article. Ratner vehemently denied “the outrageous derogatory allegations” through his lawyer. He is also suing a woman who claimed via a Facebook post that he raped her. His lawsuit calls the accusation “deliberately false and malicious.” Ratner received his star earlier this year.

Cosby, 80, received a star in 1977. In 2014, it was vandalized in the wake of the numerous accusations that he drugged and sexually assaulted women. Someone wrote “rapist” across the star, and it was promptly cleaned.

Bill Cosby’s star is replaced in 2014 after it got vandalized. (Photo: Getty Images)

Once the actor was charged with aggravated indecent assault, a first-degree felony, the following year, inquiries were made into whether the star would be removed. Clearly, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is keeping its same stance.

And, of course, President Trump’s star remains intact — well, this week. While some 16 women accused him of sexual misconduct during his presidential bid last year (White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently said all his accusers are lying), his star remains a popular attraction. However, it has been vandalized more than once, including by a man who smashed it with a sledgehammer. Soon after that incident, it was given a full face-lift.

Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is repaired after it was vandalized in October 2016. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Just in case you were wondering how celebs are picked for Walk of Fame honors in the first place, well, money talks. Honorees in the fields of music, movies, TV, radio,  and theater have to be nominated — and anyone can submit a nomination. (The recipients for 2018 have already been decided.) However, if a star is approved by the chamber’s selection committee, whoever did the nominating has to pay $30,000. (Part of that goes to making the star, and the other part goes to maintaining it.) So often these things are fronted by movie and TV studios or even publicity firms.

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