We’ve all seen those pretty Alex and Ani bangles before; heck, maybe you’re even wearing one or two at the moment. The simple bracelets with a design for every mood, from sports logos to city skylines, zodiac signs to inspirational phrases, are a great everyday accessory. Most of all, the New England-based company claims to promote “positive energy” by allowing their customers to wear a positive message right on their wrist.
But we’re not here to talk about bracelets.
Alex and Ani advertises frequently on WPRO, a well-known radio station in the company’s home state of Rhode Island. However, WPRO’s fame largely comes from negative and inflammatory comments made by John DePetro, a talk radio host on the station. Earlier this fall, DePetro referred to female protesters at a Rhode Island political fundraiser as “union hags” and “whores” during his radio show.
And that’s only DePetro’s most recent incident on-air misogyny: he was fired from a radio job in Massachusetts for calling a gubernatorial candidate a “fat lesbian” and victim-blaming a Boston woman who was brutally raped and murdered. Off the air, DePetro was accused of sexual assault on a co-worker.
How’s that for “positive energy”?
For Our Daughters, an organization “committed to promoting gender equity and combating misogyny in public speech and debate” in Rhode Island, has formed a petition urging Alex and Ani to pull their ad campaign on WPRO until DePetro is removed from the air.
“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,” reads the group’s petition on Change.org, which has garnered over 2,300 signatures.
Despite the wide support for the petition, Alex and Ani’s response is not as one might have hoped. The company does not intend to stop their ads on WPRO. Said CEO Giovanni Feroce in the simplest terms: “It’s just not going to happen.”
For Our Daughters is not giving up, and continues to spread the word about DePetro’s misogyny and Alex and Ani’s complacency in hopes that the company will see how offensive his statements are to their female clientele. They encourage supporters to sign their petition and to avoid buying Alex and Ani products this holiday season. Ultimately, they wish to send a clear message: DePetro’s behavior will not be tolerated, and the informed consumer will always turn down beautiful bracelets when there is ugly bigotry attached.