Universal Studios Fined Insane Amount Over Tree Trimming Near Location Of Ongoing Strike

(Gregg Newton/AFP via Getty Images)

Lorenzo Prieto Contributor
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The city of Los Angeles ordered Universal Studios to pay an absurd fine for trimming trees without a permit at the location of the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, according to ABC.

The Los Angeles City Controller’s Office conducted an investigation into Universal Studios which found the company liable for illegally trimming trees July 15 between Lakeside Drive and Barham Boulevard. A group of actors and screenwriters gathered there as part of the ongoing protest, according to ABC.

L.A. protesters interpreted the company’s action as a maneuver to deter them from gathering due to the high temperatures; NBCUniversal, however, stated it was just “routine landscaping,” according to KTLA. (RELATED: Universal Pictures Trim Trees Writers On Strike Were Using For Shade, And It’s Easily One Of The Pettiest Moves Ever)

City Controller Kenneth Mejia explained in a tweet that the fine was levied at $250 but it could reach $1000 if the studios were to trim more trees again without approval.

“Currently, investigations of unpermitted tree trimming are complaint-driven,” Mejia wrote in several tweets. “We also discovered that permits to trim trees are issued by the City instantly. Due to understaffing issues, there is no pre-inspection on whether the trees need to/should be trimmed.”

Mejia added that the Bureau of Street Services, known as StreetsLA, is “underfunded and understaffed,” and the city cannot effectively protect trees.

“Based on our findings, the system isn’t working as intended,” he continued. “As the City’s watchdog, our job is to bring transparency and accountability to systemic issues that our city is facing. The information we bring to light empower policymakers and the people to create change.”