Hollywood to New Zealand: Get Your Own Sign

City plans to build 'Wellywood' sign on hillside
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2011 3:38 PM CDT
Hollywood is unhappy with plans to build a "Wellywood" sign in the New Zealand capital of Wellington.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

(Newser) – Sequels are one thing in Hollywood, blatant rip-offs are another—especially when it comes to the town's iconic sign. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is prepared to take legal action against Wellington International Airport in the New Zealand capital as it announced plans to build a giant "Wellywood" sign on a hilltop, reports the Los Angeles Times. The sign would provide a photo op celebrating the growing influence in the film industry of the town, which has been home to The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and 2005's King Kong.

Chamber officials say they warned the airport more than a year ago to seek their permission to build the sign, which parodies the trademarked LA sign, but assumed the project was dead after no response. When the airport sent out a press release detailing intentions to move ahead with the 26-by-98-foot sign, Hollywood struck back. "We are not without a sense of humor, nor without legal rights," says a chamber statement. The sign has also drawn criticism from New Zealanders upset at the Americanization of their country. "I don't think that copying another [country's] cultural sign is really doing much for our own culture," says a commenter on the airport Facebook page. (Read more Hollywood stories.)

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