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 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 in 2012, 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 understand that talk radio is a place where ideas should be debated freely, but no woman–or any individual for that matter–should be subjected to such degradation. Labeling women as “whores” based on political differences is offensive and completely unacceptable. 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.
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