Around New England

Massachusetts U.S. Senate Candidate Takes Credit for ‘First Political Ad To Feature Stripper in a Positive Light’

October 12, 2019

A new political ad featuring Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shannon Liss-Riordan highlights her work as a labor lawyer, including advocating for strippers classified as independent contractors by the clubs they work at.


Liss-Riordan has argued in court that strippers ought to be classified as employees and therefore should not have to pay shift fees or turn over a portion of their tips to management.


The video is called “Smash,” which refers to what the ad describes as her nickname, “Sledgehammer Shannon.”


“’Smash’ is the first political ad to feature a stripper in a positive light,” states a press release for Liss-Riordan, of Brookline, dated Thursday, October 10.


In the video a woman portraying a stripper is shown bending over while a male customer puts a $20 bill in her stocking, and she later hands over cash to a man who appears to be a club manager.


The video also features Liss-Riordan’s work on behalf of Starbucks employees and Uber drivers.


The ad also works in a reference to Liss-Riordan’s support for legal abortion.


“At a time when workers’ rights and women’s rights are being eroded, no one in the Senate would be better to take up their fight than Shannon,” the ad’s narrator says, as an image of an MSNBC graphic showing states where legislatures are considering limits on abortion is shown.

“If you believe we need more women in the Senate, and the same old politicians in Washington aren’t getting it done, send a sledgehammer to the Senate,” the ad’s narrator says.

A Boston Globe poll published September 8 found U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Newton) leading current U.S. Senator Ed Markey 35-26, with Liss-Riordan and businessman Steve Pemberton trailing with 1 percent each.

The Democratic primary is scheduled for September 2020. It takes at least 15 percent support from delegates at the Democratic state party convention in June 2020 to make the primary ballot.

MSNBC graphic on abortion legislation, taken from political ad for Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Democratic labor lawyer who lives in Brookline and is running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts in the 2020 Democratic primary.