Massachusetts Candidate for Governor Runs Advertisement That Stereotypes Witches

November 1, 1998

Source: Chicago Tribune

On November 1, 1998, the Chicago Tribune issued an article concerning a television advertisement that was run by acting Massachusetts Governor Paul Celluci in his bid for election. In the advertisement, which is supposed to attack the priorities of his opponent Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, a "black-hatted, green-faced crone" was featured while an announcer said that Harshbarger once threatened to prosecute a Christian group for harassing a group of Wiccans in Salem. In reaction to the advertisement, a rally was staged at a debate between the two candidates on October 26th and numerous phone calls were made to the Cellucci campaign to denounce the stereotypical depiction of Witches. Amy Ravish, a high priestess and a member of the Council of Elders of the Temple of Nine Wells, called the advertisement "insulting." Laurie Cabot, founder of the Witches League for Public Awareness, denounced the advertisement but chose to focus on the more positive effect of bringing Witches together: "Thanks to Cellucci, we have a common issue."