*HBO has removed a billboard that was covering up a mural in Los Angeles dedicated to Laker superstar Kobe Bryant.
The billboard was first shared on Twitter by Patrick Muldowney, who wrote “Where there used to be a Kobe mural, there’s now an HBO billboard. It doesn’t even fully cover the Kobe painting.”
After WarnerMedia was made aware of the imposing ad, the company contacted a vendor called Great Outdoor to take down the billboard.
According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, the advertising company owns that space and was not aware that the mural would be obscured, per TMZ.
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Where there used to be a Kobe mural, there’s now an HBO billboard.
— patrick (@muldowney) June 16, 2020
Ironically, Great Outdoor initially commissioned the mural. The company issued the following response:
“We actually commissioned the artist to paint this mural up there because we had a couple open months on it. This idea was all approved by the artist and we preserved the mural so in between ad campaigns the mural will be back. The artist told us that he will reach out to anyone that says anything to let them know that he approved this idea and he was trying to find a creative way to support Kobe’s foundation. This mural is owned by us and we are protecting it.”
Muldowney, who works for the sports site The Ringer, responded on Twitter to the company’s swift action.
“I hope the advertising company doesn’t lose out on valuable real estate because of a nice gesture they made following Kobe’s death, he wrote. “It was great of them to offer that space in the first place.”
Can confirm, they’ve removed the billboard and the mural is back. I hope the advertising company doesn’t lose out on valuable real estate because of a nice gesture they made following Kobe’s death.
It was great of them to offer that space in the first place. pic.twitter.com/B0odvJBAVv
— patrick (@muldowney) June 17, 2020
Kobe and his teenage daughter Gianna were killed with seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26.