If you’re on twitter, you probably saw our note earlier today that the folks who own the Hollywood sign have been in touch with the NHL regarding Jonathan Bernier’s mask. According to sources, Bernier either needs to remove the sign from his current mask or he must pay royalties for using it.
After his pre-game skate this morning, Bernier appeared frustrated by the entire issue, saying “I don’t understand. Guys here have been using the Hollywood sign on their masks going all the way back to Kelly Hrudey.”
True. So, we phoned up Hrudey to see if he ever had any similar complications back in his playing days.
He says he remembers having discussions with Lenny Davis (his friend and somebody who worked with artist Don Straus on the design) about the potential issue when they were coming up with the artwork for his ‘Hollywood’ themed Kings mask.
“It was a long time ago, so my memory’s a little fuzzy,” Hrudey jokingly began. “But, I think we felt that it was similar to the premise Andy Warhol used regarding his interpretation of the Campbell’s soup can.” (referring to the lawsuit between Warhol and the soup company)
He went on to say that although he’s not a lawyer, he definitely understands the copyright/trademark concern. However, he’s also very disappointed to hear that it’s come to this. Hrudey thinks the Hollywood sign is one of the iconic things that immediately comes to mind when you think of Los Angeles.
One of his other all-time favorite masks was Mike Richter’s ‘Statue of Liberty’ edition that he wore for the New York Rangers. Hrudey thought that was “a real thing of beauty.”
As for Bernier, he’ll likely be getting one more start this season – when the Kings play back-to-back games later this month in Edmonton and Minnesota. If so, he’s likely to finally debut the mask we exclusively told you about last summer here on MayorsManor, one that was designed by an LA graffiti / tattoo artist.
For now, nobody seems to be happy with how this is playing out.
NOTE: We did attempt to reach representatives from the Hollywood sign via email and phone. However, nobody was available for immediate comment. If we get a statement from their side, we’ll post a follow-up article.
UPDATE: A representative from the firm/agency handling this issue did speak with us this morning and the entire situation has taken an interesting turn. Full story here.
Hugging the Post with Kelly Hrudey – full MayorsManor interview