Is it Funny or Bad Taste?

VP Candidate as Seen Through the Eyes of WeHo

The Halloween decoration has been up for three weeks and now has became the talk of the town.

Public figures hung in effigy is for countries in a state of revolution, unless you are in West Hollywood, where social satire during the Halloween is a competitive sport, even on front porches.

You’ve seen it by now -- a mannequin hanging by a noose with a red dress,  dark wig, and glasses made to resemble Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, one that simply upstages the mannequin made to be Republican presidential candidate John McCain peeking from the chimney surrounded in the flames.

It stretches the idea of satire, even in this year where SNL is hitting a ratings boost with its portrayals of the Republican and Democratic candidates.

But it brings about the interesting question that many are wondering, and for good reason.  Is it bad taste, or is it just all right since Palin is a conservative? And what if a home in a conservative neighborhood had a gay rights leader fighting Proposition 8?  And many are asking, what if it was Democratic candidate Barack Obama?

Many are discussing the topic of First Amendment rights to free speech, and civic leaders are speculating that if it's part of a Halloween display, it falls under political satire, not a hate crime.

Which means if the primaries were being held now, putting pantsuits on a mannequin and calling it Hillary Clinton would be OK, as well.  Or how about a large paper mache figure of Sam Zell, made from old Los Angeles Times newspapers, hanging in front of the journalists' watering hole, the Redwood Bar, during a week that saw 75 layoffs. Or if the World Series was in L.A., a small figure of Dodger owner Frank McCourt hung from the grill of a car, stuck waiting to park at Dodger Stadium.

The question is, what would be satire in one neighborhood, and a display of bad taste in another?

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us