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undressing oscar

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The Oscar is universally recognized as a slender, golden icon that gleams with quiet dignity. Not so at one Hollywood street corner.

Now appearing at the busy Los Angeles inter section of Melrose and Highland is a billboard touting "The anatom ically correct Oscar."

"He's white and male, just like the guys who win!" says the billboard, which went up March 1 for a monthlong run. The pale, slightly pudgy, extremely hairy figure looks more like Oscar from The Odd Couple than the stoic Academy Award figure.

The makeover is the handiwork of the Guerrilla Girls, a feminist group whose members often disguise them selves with gorilla masks. They purchased the space for about $5,000 to coincide with the March 24 Academy Awards ceremony.

"We feel that women and people of color are discriminated against in Hollywood," said Guerrilla Girl Katie Kollwitz, who noted that no woman has ever won top honors for directing, cinema tography or sound.

"People think the Oscar is a golden boy, but we say he is just a hairy white boy," she said.