Pulling the money plug

Alex and Ani and John DePetro are strange bedfellows
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  November 26, 2013

Phillipe and Jorge have been alerted to an intriguing petition sponsored by For Our Daughters RI, an advocacy organization committed to promoting gender equity and combating misogyny in public speech and debate here in the Ocean State.

The petition’s twin targets are WPRO’s loathsome John “The Journalist” DePetro and the incredibly ambitious jewelry and lifestyle company, Alex and Ani, which has been an admirable champion of Little Rhody as they’ve made their corporate splash in recent years. The point of the petition: to ask Alex and Ani to halt their advertising on DePetro’s vile talk show because of his views on women, which seem to contrast sharply with the company’s ethos.

P&J have had many nasty things to say about the vitriol DePetro spills on WPRO, but let’s let For Our Daughters RI’s petition carry the ball for us this time:

“On September 27, 2013, WPRO talk radio host John DePetro referred to a number of women demonstrating outside a political event as ‘W-H-O-R-E-S’ (as well as other derogatory terms, including ‘cockroaches’ and ‘hags’) on the air. This is not the first time DePetro has made hateful statements against women in a public forum — notably he was dismissed from [Boston] radio station WRKO in 2006 for calling Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Grace Ross a ‘fat lesbian’ on his show. He has promoted a ‘blame the victim’ ideology in at least one instance involving the brutal rape and murder of a Massachusetts woman. And earlier this year, he was accused of sexually assaulting a female co-worker.

“Successful Rhode Island business Alex and Ani caters to a clientele made up almost exclusively of women. Their website touts Alex and Ani’s belief in the power and benefits of ‘positive energy.’ The biography of founder Carolyn Rafaelian states that Ms. Rafaelian ‘believes it is her life’s work to support communities and organizations while inspiring her customers to relish what is unique and authentic about themselves, revealing the beauty that resides within.’ Likewise, For Our Daughters truly believes in the importance of positive energy and the inherent inner beauty of all individuals, and we abhor hate speech such as that referenced above, perpetrated time and again by Mr. DePetro. We feel that Alex and Ani’s continued sponsorship of DePetro’s program and the station that broadcasts it amounts to implicit support of a bigoted misogynist. We respectfully insist that Alex and Ani take immediate action and cease advertising on WPRO so long as John DePetro remains on the air. It’s time to show John DePetro and WPRO that on behalf of women everywhere Alex and Ani will not abide this behavior any longer. It is time to stop supporting this hate-monger.”

That about sums it up, eh, kids?

The petition, which as of this writing (on November 25) had reached 2040 signatures according to the website, can be accessed via forourdaughtersri.org.

Ball’s in your court, Ms. Rafaelian.

Rhody Film news

P&J hope that you’ll have the opportunity to see Laura Colella’s latest film, Breakfast with Curtis, which is playing at Cable Car Cinema through December 5. Your superior correspondents were big fans of Laura’s Tax Day; both films were shot in Providence.

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