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Coal-Mining Fans Exploit Ashley Judd's Lady Lumps

Ashley Judd AP Photo

This is what happens when boobs collide.

A poster featuring a 4-year-old photo of a topless Ashley Judd found its way to a Prestonsburg, Ky., golf course this week in response to the actress' comments last month calling mountaintop mining the "the rape of Appalachia."

Spokesmen from Friends of Coal and the Pikeville-based Coal Operators and Associates said that they don't know who made the poster, but since they happened to be sponsoring a golf tournament at a club built atop one of those mines...

Hey, people have a right to their opinions.

"Ashley makes a living removing her top. Why can't coal miners?" read the poster, which was first spotted Wednesday, referring to the photo of a topless Judd using her arms to cover her breasts that ran in a 2006 issue of Marie Claire.

In a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Judd, who grew up largely in Kentucky, called herself a "proud hillbilly" and demanded an end to the practice of blasting the tops off of mountains in order to get at the minerals within, a major industry in the region.

"I'm not too keen on reinforcing stereotypes about my people, but I don't know many hillbillies who golf," she said, criticizing StoneCrest Golf Course, where the poster showed up, in particular.

 "It is time to retire the cynical and superficial coal company-created argument that we must choose between people, their jobs, and our mountains," she added. "That is simply false, fear-based and fear-mongering."

Industry defenders would rather it be Judd who keep quiet from now on.

"Coming from a woman who makes movies most people wouldn't take their children to, I really don't think she has a lot to say about our industry or anything else that's worthwhile," David Gooch, president of the Coal Operator's Association, told Kentucky's WYMT-TV, which reported that an anonymous donor paid for the sign.

"She's not an Eastern Kentuckian. A real Eastern Kentuckian never would have degraded the people here by saying hillbillies don't play golf."

But others opposed to mountaintop reclamation are standing firmly behind Judd and are appalled by the "terribly derogatory and sexist" nature of the poster.

"On the bright side, Ashley has certainly gotten under the skin of the callous coal industry hacks and now they're on the defensive," writes Rob Perk of the National Resources Defense Council. "For that, as well as her steadfast crusade to protect her beloved mountains from rapacious coal companies that have no compunction about blasting Appalachia's natural and cultural heritage to oblivion, consider me a fan forever of Ashley Judd."

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