Political action committee EMILY's List's mission is to help elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates to office. Thus, it's ironic that the group is now accused of running an ad that portrays women in a sexist light.
The ad is for LA mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel, targeting her opponent Eric Garcetti. Pictured in full below, it is a photo of a beautiful, thin blonde being greeted by paparazzi as she exits a car. "Most Los Angeles families don't live like this," the ad reads across the top. "Most Angleenos don't live a Hollywood lifestyle, but Eric Garcetti does." Emily's List is spending $400,000 on Greuel's campaign, KPCC reports.
"They're representing that with a white, blonde woman in a red dress who's very attractive. That image is used to represent superficiality," Lindsey Horvath, a former West Hollywood councilwoman and president of the Hollywood chapter of NOW, said to the LA Weekly. "It's very diminishing to women... I'm disappointed to see another women's organization reinforce that stereotype."
"We think it's entirely inappropriate," Jeff Millman, of Garcetti's campaign, told HuffPost. "Wendy Greuel, the DWP union and her Washington DC supporters should conduct their campaign with the seriousness that voters deserve."
Greuel's office emailed the following statement from Greuel to HuffPost, emphasizing that the ad was put out by EMILY's List without coordination from the Greuel campaign.
"This mailer is not sexist," Greuel said in the statement. "It’s clearly stereotyping the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, not women. It’s rather silly for any group of obviously biased Garcetti supporters to slam an organization that’s dedicated to supporting women on this matter."
A petition has been posted online, saying "We demand that Emily's List pull this ad and any future ads which uses similar sexist imagery." The petition has 70 signatures.
Over the weekend, an anonymous YouTube video called "Greuella de Vil" (video below) was posted, comparing Greuel to Leona Helmsley and the Wicked Witch of the West, the LA Weekly reports. Greuel supporter Janice Hahn sent a fundraising email calling the video sexist and "shameful" and seeking $5 donations to counter it.
"I think it is inappropriate and offensive," Greuel said to the Weekly Saturday. "This is why so many women oftentimes take a deep breath before they decide to run for office."
Daphne Brogdon, a mom who has her own blog and volunteers for Garcetti, wrote on her site, "I’ve been to Eric’s house, I’ve seen what he drives, he does not live like Paris Hilton."
"Garcetti … has a great record of supporting women’s issues, hiring women on his staff and addressing everyday concerns of women," she continued. "Also, if that picture of the blond came from a male-led group, [the] cries of sexism would be immense."