A new poster hanging at a coal mining sponsored tournament last weekend showing a topless Ashley Judd next to a pro-mining message is causing an uproar with many people in Kentucky.
The poster which mockingly shows a picture of Judd covering her breasts with her hands next to the message, “Ashley Judd makes a living removing her top, why can’t coal miners?” could be seen clearly at the golf tournament at the StoneCrest Golf Course in Prestonsburg, Kentucky during an annual charity tournament over the 4th of July weekend.
Ashley Judd recently attracted some controversy within pro coal mining circles when she gave a very anti coal mining speech to the National Press Club June 9th calling mountaintop removal by coal mining companies, which blasts the tops off mountains to extract coal, the “rape of Appalachia.”
She also called out several golf courses that were built on top of former coal mines, with StoneCrest being one of them.
In her address to the National Press Club in June Ashley Judd said, “I’m not too keen on reinforcing stereotypes about my people, but I don’t know a lot of hillbillies who golf.” The actress, who spent her childhood in eastern Kentucky, went on to say she is “proud of being a hillbilly.”
Judd has been an outspoken supporter of groups that are trying to stop mountaintop removal, blasting and coal mining in the Appalachia Mountains, specifically in Kentucky.
The photo showing Ashley Judd nude from the waist up with her hands on her breasts was first published in a 2006 issue of Marie Claire magazine.
Judd responded to the poster in a statement saying she expected criticism from what she calls “cunning and greedy” coal companies when she speaks out against mountaintop mining.
She went on to say in her statement, “It is time to retire the cynical and superficial coal company-created argument that we must choose between people, their jobs, and our mountains. That is simply false, fear-based and fear-mongering.”
The actress said she isn’t scared or intimidated by anyone in the coal mining industry and will continue to speak out against the mining practice and what she calls the barbaric conditions coal miners are subjected to daily.
Two coal industry groups were sponsoring the golf tournament, Friends of Coal and the Pikeville-based Coal Operators and Associates. The president of Coal Operators and Associates, David Gooch, said he does not know who created the sign. But Gooch did say in a statement Thursday that many Appalachians are angry over Judd’s criticisms, and see her criticism as an attack on their livelihoods and culture.
In his statement Gooch said, “If you’re an eastern Kentuckian, if you’re a hillbilly, if that’s what you want to call yourself, you don’t go around and ridicule and denigrate the other people of the area.”
To see a picture of the poster, please CLICK HERE