Why has Los Angeles seen a mass exodus of residents in lockdown?
Hollywood has long been considered the pinnacle of the entertainment industry in the United States, as well as one of the biggest hubs for entertainment in the whole world. For decades aspiring entertainers would say they knew they “made it” when they had reason (and the ability) to move to Los Angeles.
However, the glamorous city is seeing its list of famous residents dwindle quickly. The state of California has been amassing massive debt for years, and many have wondered when Hollywood would stop being a desirable place to be, both for living and productions – the answer appears to be the year 2020.
Numerous actors, producers, executives, and more have been choosing to move out of Los Angeles during lockdown – some have even gained citizenship in other countries. So, what in the world is happening in La La Land to make everyone pick up and leave?
For some, moving out of the bustling city was a simple decision once working remotely was instated as the norm for any and all work that didn’t absolutely need to happen in-person. Leah Forester and her film producer husband Bill Johnson had been tempted to move to Careyes, Mexico for years – as soon as lockdown hit they had no reservations.
Not only did they want to live in a “healthy, supportive, and serene environment” where they felt like they had some semblance of control, they also said, “We didn’t want to be hanging on every announcement about what’s going to open or be closed.”
For others the pandemic wasn’t an excuse to move, it was the straw breaking the camel’s back. Hollywood and Los Angeles have been changing for years. Publicist Ed Lozzi said, “There is insufficient housing, inadequate mental health care, add in COVID, and it’s a perfect storm.”
The homeless population has become rampant in the Los Angeles area, and the pandemic has only worsened the issue. Some cite the legality of tent cities & squatting as only adding to the problem, not helping it.
It’s only fair to acknowledge it’s mostly the rich and upper-middle-class who are fleeing the area, because they’re the ones who can afford it. The crime rates in Los Angeles have only gotten worse during the lockdown. For instance, a local Los Angeles news station reported there have been a record number of car thefts since the pandemic started.
Residents have also admitted to frequently coming across improperly discarded needles on sidewalks and in parks. Many are frustrated that political figures in California seem as if they aren’t doing anything to fix the problems.
Another complaint they have is that large parts of the city now have a habit of smelling like human waste. (A common problem in most large cities, but just another in a string of reasons why people are no longer able to view Tinseltown through rose-colored glasses.)
Who has left?
The list of people who have left or are working to leave is extensive. One of the most notable names is Tom Hanks. He and his wife Rita Wilson gained citizenship in Greece during the pandemic. Dana Brunetti (a producer on Fifty Shades of Grey) also received Italian citizenship.
Joe Rogan is also leaving for Texas naming politics, overpopulation, and traffic as his reasons for making the move. A manager named Craig Dorfman left California for New York, and screenwriter Dante Harper stayed in California, but went to Sonoma.
These are just a few of the people who have decided the Los Angeles area isn’t for them anymore.
Housing prices in the area are prohibitively high for newcomers, but the current residents don’t want to be there either. One starts to wonder if there’s going to be a “new” Hollywood in the future.