Ashley Judd was not amused when miners used a topless poster of her to discredit her campaign against their mountaintop digging, but she insists it will take much more than that to stop her. The actress has launched a crusade in her native Kentucky against the destruction of state mountains to extract coal - and local miners took aim at her by posting up topless shots of her from a 2006 Marie Claire magazine at a recent golf tournament.
The billboard, which featured Judd covering her breasts with her hands, was put on display at StoneCrest Golf Course in Prestonburg last month, accompanied by the question: "Ashley makes a living removing her top - why can't coal miners?" Speaking about the incident for the first time, Judd tells BlogTalkRadio.com, "It's as old as the social construction of gender; let's sexualized a woman to discredit her. I'm not comparing myself to Catherine the Great, but the political cartoons in Western Europe showed her with her skirt hitched up."
"A lot of times with me and certain other artists, the fact that we're artists is used to discredit us, so it's absolutely nothing compared to what people are living through in the coal fields with their foundations cracked and their wells going dry and their water contaminated, spending $420 a month on bottled water and putting soda water in sippy cups to prevent children from ingesting toxic material."
Judd, who recently gave an emotional speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to highlight the environmental damage caused by mountaintop removal mining, insists she's still deadly serious about outlawing the practice: "Mountaintop coal mining, to be clear, is a distinct form of radical strip mining. It's different from deep mining and it's being practiced on a large scale; more than 800 mountaintops have been irreversibly blown to smithereens."
"A bombing the equivalent of the atomic bomb is detonated every single week. I'm very passionately opposed to mountaintop removal coal mining. You've got kids in eastern Kentucky drawing water as orange or black because they don't know it's supposed to run clear. There are over 2,000 miles of stream contaminated with schools of dead fish. It's a mess." Judd's interview with BlogTalkRadio.com airs on Friday, August 6.