Republicans in Pennsylvania are taking opposite sides in reaction to a TV ad cameo that embarrassed Tom Wolf’s campaign this week.
The Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s staff quickly cut actor Alan Benyak out of an ad featuring Jeep owners touting Wolf’s accomplishments. The problem? Benyak also played a role in “Breeding Farm,” as BuzzFeed reported on Monday, calling the film “torture porn.”
The production company describes it as merely an absurd horror flick, albeit one in which women are “milked, bred, and much, much worse.”
Republican consultant Charlie Gerow called the film “outrageously degrading to women,” based on what he had seen in a trailer. He criticized reporters for not giving the story more play.
“If this were Tom Corbett who had done this, every women’s group would be in here protesting, it would be on the front page of the paper,” Gerow said.
But others said the issue is overblown – among them, predictably, the director of “Breeding Farm,” and, less predictably, one of the top Republicans in the state Senate.
“Most Pennsylvanians aren’t making a decision on who the governor’s going to be based on the actors in the governor’s commercials,” said GOP Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi.Director Cody Knotts said “Breeding Farm” isn’t his favorite movie of all the ones he’s made, but he insisted it’s a far cry from porn.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Camera Bartolotta, a Republican candidate for state Senate, is listed as a chief financial officer for Knotts’ production company. Knotts said she was not involved in “Breeding Farm,” though she has acted in other films produced by his company.
Pileggi said he’s not concerned about Bartolotta’s film career.
“She was an actress. She may still do some commercials and things. I know she’s done some recently,” Pileggi said. “I don’t think there’s anything in her body of work that is objectionable, or of any concern.”
“This is silly. And the public knows it’s silly, OK?” added Knotts. “But it’s because the people in government are no longer willing to talk about real issues. It distracts us.”
“Now, for me,” Knotts added, “it sells my film.”