Coal supporters used a semi-nude photo of Ashley Judd to attack her stand on mountain top removal mining. WYMT chose not to show the entire sign because it might be offensive to some of our viewers. We have posted it on our website.
The photo was taken from a 2006 Marie Clair magazine article about Judd’s role as the global ambassador for YouthAIDS, a worldwide education and prevention program.
The banner was placed at StoneCrest Golf Course in Prestonsburg. The Pike County Coal Operators Association was hosting a tournament Wednesday for the East Kentucky Energy, an A-B-A basketball team located in Pikeville.
Judd angered coal supporters a few weeks ago when she called mountain top removal “the rape of Appalachia.”
Here is the report from WYMT’s Angela Sparkman.
Here is the text for my hearing impaired friends.
A controversial sign in response to actress Ashley Judd's remarks about mountaintop removal was put up at StoneCrest golf course in Floyd County and it has people talking.
The sign was up while dozens of miners and coal supporters played in a golf tournament at the course on a mine reclamation site.
WYMT is not showing the entire sign on-air because it might be offensive to some viewers but those golfing on Wednesday say it gets the point across.
As golfers arrived at StoneCrest Wednesday morning, a sign featuring a semi-nude Ashley Judd was one of the first things they saw.
The sign has a photo from a 2006 Marie Claire magazine of Ashley Judd topless with her arms crossed and hands covering her breasts and says, "Ashley Judd makes a living removing her top, why can't coal miners?"
"I think it is very provoking. The sign is an eye-catcher. It's an attention grabber." Says 93th District State Representative W. Keith Hall.
An anonymous donor paid for and made the sign in response to Judd's recent comments to the White House press club, calling mountaintop removal the "rape of Appalachia" and calling for the practice to be banned.
"Coming from a woman who makes movies most people wouldn't take their children too, I really don't think she has a lot to say about our industry or anything else that's worthwhile." Says David Gooch, the President of the Coal Operator's Association.
The sign is hanging at the same golf course Judd referenced regarding reclamation.
Judd made a statement during a speech in June saying "I'm not too keen on re-inforcing stereotypes about my people, but I don't know many hillbillies who golf."
"She's not an Eastern Kentuckian. A real Eastern Kentuckian never would have degraded the people here by saying hillbillies don't play golf." Says Gooch.
"StoneCrest is a great place. As far as mountaintop removal. You couldn't have a better reclamation." Says J.R. Vanhoose, who was golfing at StoneCrest and is a coal supporter.
We only found one person that thought the sign was a little over the top.
"They may have went a little too far in the poster that they did. I'm not about destroying people or defaming their reputations." Says Rep. Hall.
"She can say whatever she wants to about us hillbillies in Eastern Kentucky, so I don't know that we shouldn't say a few things about her." Says Perry County Clerk and coal supporter Haven King.
Friends of Coal representatives are inviting Judd to visit StoneCrest.
We talked to Judd's public relations representatives and we are hoping for a response from the actress.
I plan to invite Ashley Judd to appear on WYMT’s Issues & Answers program. I am also working to schedule someone from the coal industry and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth to appear on the program to debate this issue.
I’d like to hear what you think about this controversy. Let me know your thoughts.
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Neil Middleton <><
WYMT Mountain News
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