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Category: Politics, Media, Media Monitoring

Gloria Steinem, Women’s Media Center Founder, Denounces Sexist and Racist Ad in California Campaign

| June 16, 2011

Today, Gloria Steinem – Co-Founder of the Women’s Media Center – released a statement denouncing the sexist and racist ad that targets candidate Janice Hahn, a democratic candidate for Congress in the special election for California’s 36th district.

Ms Steinem states: "This ad against Janice Hahn by supporters of Craig Huey not only wins the sweepstakes for obscenity, woman-hating and racism, but also for urging murder. It ends with a rifle, the sound of shots, and the words, Keep her out of Congress. Wasn't one Arizona enough? Yelling Fire! in a crowded theater isn't covered by freedom of speech, and neither is this ad. Republicans behind it should be condemned by their party, and TV executives who accepted it should by fired.”

The Women’s Media Center harshly condemns this ad, and such tactics that use race and gender baiting to disparage entire communities.

Throughout the campaign, Hahn’s opponents have ruthlessly attacked her; yet this video takes the attacks to their most extreme (and the WMC is not going to help get any more traffic by posting it).  The ad was created by the radical conservative organization RightTurn USA.  The video depicts an underwear-clad, pole-dancing women; Janice Hahn’s face is poorly superimposed over the dancer’s, who gyrates as black men stuff dollar bills into her clothing, call her misogynist obscenities, and wave guns in the air.  The men, the video explains, are “hard core gang members” whom they claim Hahn “coddled” in her time as a Los Angeles councilwoman.  The video’s description reads, “Janice Hahn Hearts Gangsters.”  At the end of the video, the narrator disguises a threat as a call to action, urging, “Let’s keep her out of Congress, homies” as a shotgun blinks on the screen.  The video explicitly criminalizes African American men and demeans and objectifies women.

The Women’s Media Center joins our co-founder, Gloria Steinem, in calling for the Republicans behind it to be condemned by their party, and TV executives who accepted it to be fired.