Idol Chatter

Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough were definitely one of the couples to beat on “Dancing with the Stars” this season. She had the beautiful lines and talent and he had the great choreography. But what she didn’t have was name recognition needed to garner those all-important viewer votes (aside from those flipping through the occasional Playboy). But folks are sure to know her name now thanks to a controversial new ad campaign she’s done for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Wearing nothing but wings and a halo, Krupa’s not-so-angelic bits are strategically covered by a large cross she holds in her hands (image can be seen at the “View Image” link below). The text of the ad urges pet owners to be angels and adopt animals from shelters rather than purchasing them at pet stores, which are often supplied by puppy and kitten mills. (The campaign also features a side shot of Krupa in wings and halo holding a puppy.)
Of course, it was only hours before Catholic League president Bill Donohue came out with a statement blasting the campaign. Deal Hudson, publisher of told Fox 411 that “it’s totally inappropriate” and “another instance of disrespect toward Christianity and another example of the kind of abuse that would never occur with any other major religion, because the outcry would be so immediate and so loud that the people behind it would immediately retreat.”
A practicing Catholic herself, Krupa responded with her own statement claiming she was “shocked” at the Catholic League’s reaction and that she’s simply “doing what the Catholic Church should be doing, working to stop senseless suffering of animals, the most defenseless of God’s creation.”
Personally, I’m shocked that Krupa is surprised that the Catholic League would take umbrage with the photo since Donohue loves to issue statements about most anything. But, I must admit that even I, a liberal, mainline Protestant, take issue with it. This isn’t the scene from Austin Powers where sausages, teacups, and other items cleverly conceal the shagadelic spy’s naughty bits.
Obviously PETA could use the angel imagery without bringing a cross into it, see Victoria’s Secret, but that wouldn’t get folks talking. (It must be noted that Krupa is holding a cross, not a crucifix as many media outlets have noted, which does make it a bit less blasphemous in my mind.) And unlike their “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur Campaign,” nudity doesn’t seem to be germane to convincing folks not to buy pets from puppy mills this holiday season. I’m sure there’s a whole thesis in here somewhere about the objectification of women and its relationship to the abuse of animals, but I’ll leave that to the gals at Jezebel.
So it’s a toss up as to which is more insulting: the use of a revered religious symbol in a creepy nudge-nudge-wink-wink kind of way or PETA once again engaging in craven publicity seeking (and I’m against puppy mills and wearing fur). But provocation is PETA’s modus operandi, and while eyes may be rolled in reaction, it works in that it gets people talking. But are they talking about the issues?
What do you think: Is Krupa’s PETA campaign effective? Or will people pay more attention to the nude model than the message?
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