Wear Your Politics Around Your Neck With Funny or Die Alum's "Gerrymander Jewelry"
Ahead of the midterm elections, Ben Sheehan has introduced a collection of necklaces, created by a former Hollywood stylist, with pendants shaped like some of the most oddly drawn districts in the country, including ones in Texas, Florida and Louisiana.
Funny or Die alum Ben Sheehan and his Democratic PAC, OMG WTF, want your next fashion statement to be a political one.
Ahead of the midterm elections, Sheehan has introduced Gerrymander Jewelry, a collection of pins and necklaces with pendants shaped like some of the most oddly drawn congressional districts in the country, including ones in Texas, Florida and Louisiana.
Conceived with political consultant Arielle Yuspeh and designed by Romy Devack, a former stylist for Kate Winslet and others, Gerrymander Jewelry offers six districts, priced at $195 for either sterling silver or plated in 14-karat white, yellow or rose gold. Custom districts can also be ordered on request.
The collection is part of Sheehan's effort to fundraise for OMG WTF, which is focused on electing Democrats in six swing states. (The name OMG WTF is an acronym for those states: Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas and Florida.) The PAC has prioritized governors races because a state's chief executive will have the authority to block gerrymandering — or the manipulation of voting districts to favor a particular party, which is often used to dilute a minority group's voting power — during the next redistricting in 2021.
To get the word out about the collection, Sheehan tapped a team of comedy veterans, including Foursome directing duo Parker Seaman and Evan Scott (known collectively as The Dads) and Billy on the Street editor Chris Poole, to create a video that satirizes commercials for big-box jewelry companies.
Sheehan has been screening the video at OMG WTF events, which the group hosts weekly for candidates it is supporting. Recent events saw Detroit indie-pop band JR JR and magician Joel Ward perform in support of Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic nominee for governor of Michigan, and comedians Tim Meadows, Sasheer Zamata and Nicole Byer host a show in L.A. for Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia.
Gerrymander Jewelry has the slogan "Jewelry that will have you saying, 'Wait … what?'" Sheehan hopes it will sow just enough confusion to get people talking about the issue. “I could hope for nothing more than for these necklaces and pins to be met with confusion and curiosity and bewilderment,” he says. “That begins a conversation between people about gerrymandering and why this is something that needs to be addressed and fixed so that we don't have people’s votes being minimized across the country.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.