April Masini is an American advice columnist also known for her political advocacy for the television and film industry in Hawaii.
April Masini has won a following as an expert on dating and relationships who supports traditional gender roles and argues that the feminist movement has damaged relationships in America. Her opinions on dating and relationships have been regularly quoted in major news outlets from The Wall Street Journal and Fox News to The New York Times and Washington Post, along with her advice on a range of other issues, including money (she has been hired by TD Bank as an analyst and consultant), careers, media and celebrities, and politics. More than 27,000 questions have been asked and answered on her Ask April advice forum.
Masini is supportive of American troops and the families and relationships they leave behind during training and deployment overseas. Numerous questions from those connected to the military have been answered on her forum, and she has advised military spouses with young children: "Keep a scrapbook of everything that goes on with you and the children while he's gone, so that you can cuddle up with him when he returns and go over each page."
April Masini was an analyst for TD Bank's 2016 "Love & Money Survey" and served as TD Bank's relationship expert consultant for media interviews. "Money is a great commonality," she advises. "And when couples feel that they’re a team, sharing success and failures, they bond more closely." On the other hand, "Financial infidelity is a big deal breaker in relationships. Keeping secret purchases and transactions doesn’t instill trust, and it makes the person who finds out these secrets feel there are other secrets yet to be found."
In 2007, Masini was hired by Procter & Gamble's Old Spice as the Dating and Relationship Editor for its "Voice of Experience" campaign announcing that "Nationally recognized relationship expert and author April Masini––featured everywhere from Maxim to The New York Times––will give the female perspective on what guys need to have a dating streak to be envied."
Masini has appeared as a featured guest on The Wall Street Journal's podcast "Do Men Still Have to Pay on the First Date?" and The O'Reilly Factor, as well as host of Everything You Need to Know About Sex.
Dating and relationship expert
April Masini offers dating and relationship advice to people of different ages, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. Her advice for women on relationships, marriage, and sex has appeared in O, Glamour, Ebony, Cosmopolitan, Woman's Day, SheKnows.com, and Brides. YourTango and Bustle regularly seek her opinion on topics ranging from weddings to online dating to Donald Trump. April serves on a sex panel at Women's Health, is a favorite source for Men's Health and Medical Daily, and was hired as a sex advice columnist at AskMen, the world's largest men's lifestyle website with over 12 million unique users.
Masini has commented on racial issues in dating ("The Casual Racism of Our Dating Apps"). She has weighed in on relationship compatibility, "deal breakers," and cheating (Masini says that "women cheat because their primary relationship is ending"). She offers advice on breakups ("Don’t use your ex as a crutch to keep you from exploring deeper layers of the relationship you’re in"), as well as texting, sexting, cyber-bullying, falling in love with one's therapist (U.S. News & World Report) and the impact of the digital age on relationships. She has been interviewed on a range of parenting issues, including the hidden costs of parenthood and the challenges of entertaining once children enter the picture (Chicago Tribune).
Money and relationships
April Masini's opinions have been sought on a range of issues involving relationships and money. In addition to serving as an analyst for TD Bank's 2016 "Love & Money Survey" and as their relationship expert consultant for media interviews, Masini is regularly interviewed and consulted on financial issues in dating and marriage and on workplace issues by MainStreet, GoBankingRates and TheStreet. Her comments have been sought on the persistence of male-paid dinner dates (MarketWatch), the costs of cheating (Forbes), how to address concerns about a prospective spouse's debt (Consumer Reports), and financial infidelity ("Chances are, the reason it's not a joint decision is because it's not something that you both agree on.").
Careers and workplace relationships
Masini's advice on careers and workplace relationships has appeared on the BBC, where she has commented on reply-all email storms, and in The New York Times (on preparing for online job interviews), the New York Post (on costly job interview mistakes and donating to coworkers’ causes), The Christian Science Monitor (making a great first impression), and TheStreet (on the beauty and horror of social media, wearing black for interviews, and navigating lunch with coworkers), among others. Masini has been consulted on maintaining work-life balance during the holidays and on off-limits comments to women in the workplace. She advises Millennials in the workplace to rely on their "unique voices," but to use words such as "awesome" in moderation: "Be youthful, but have a range of words that express excitement or pleasure."
Masini has commented widely on the Millennial generation and its preference for cyberspace and casual outings, rather than old-fashioned venues and dinner dates. She observes that "Millennials who think money is the measure of power in relationships aren’t wrong, but they’re short sighted. It’s just one." Masini cautions that the 69% of Millennials who see pet ownership as preparation for parenting may be mistaken. And when asked by NBC News to comment on a Tinder-style app that matches local surrogate or prospective co-parents, she advised Millennials: "If you think sex is intimate and causes fireworks when a hot relationship ends, take a stroll through family court and watch custody battles unravel."
Masini is a recognized expert on etiquette, including the etiquette of tipping and online behavior. U.S. News & World Report made her their primary source in their "Tipping Bible" (Your Ultimate Tipping Guide), and she has been interviewed on tipping etiquette by The Wall Street Journal ("10 People You’re Not Tipping Enough").) Masini's advice on tipping etiquette has been quoted in the Los Angeles Times ("Advice on Tipping While Traveling Abroad"), Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ("Tipping Is a Way of Life in U.S., But How Much Is Right?").) Regarding online behavior, she has weighed in on texting and "ghosting," which she condemns as "bad manners and an act of cowardice." Masini offers advice on proper etiquette for airplane travel (Los Angeles Times), workplace behavior ("11 Habits Toxic Coworkers Have in Common"; "I Used a Nanny Cam To Catch My Co-Worker Stealing My Lunch"), and business practices ("Why Is Customer Service So Bad?").
Masini has offered "celebrity love lessons" on MSN, where she suggested the advantages of the low-key approach taken by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard. The New York Daily News has reported her comments on why celebrity men such as Ashton Kutcher and Brad Pitt are suddenly dating Hollywood's single moms. And ABC News has sought her matchmaking advice for rapper Eminem (former beauty queen Shanna Moakler) and Jennifer Aniston (John Cusack, Quentin Tarantino, or Jake Gyllenhaal.)
Regarding celebrity breakups, Masini has offered comments on men's and women's communication styles as demonstrated by Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner: "Women tend to expound on relationships and they want to feel good about where they are in them," while "Men don’t want to expound . . . and they’d rather talk about sports or politics, which are more removed from their emotional cores. . . . Ben's response is indicative of this tendency men have to veer far away from any relationship talk." As for why we get so upset over celebrity breakups, Masini explains: "Celebrity life humanizes a lot of traumatic processes that ‘civilians’ go through, like divorce, death, drug overdoses, illness and more. Civilians are going to be feeling sad because the media is triggering personal feelings about the vulnerability of any marriage and family."
Asked about Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, who reported being robbed at gunpoint only to acknowledge that he had exaggerated, Masini explained, "If you dig deeper, you’ll see that there is a reason" why people lie; in the case of Lochte, "he didn’t want to feel responsible or ashamed for things he’d done that were going to be frowned on. Unfortunately, the truth has a way of catching up and the pain avoided comes back exponentially."
Although the focus of Masini's forum is dating and relationships, she has been called on by the media for her opinion on a range of issues, including real estate transactions (BBC News), the relationships of sports teams with their fans (The New York Times), and television and movies (USA Today), the selling of beer and wine by Starbucks (The Christian Science Monitor), along with every imaginable dating and relationship question or opinion. Her comments have been sought by Medill Reports-Chicago, a publication of Northwestern University's journalism school, for an article on racism; and she has been interviewed on the subject of college athletic recruiting.
Masini has conservative political views and has been consulted on a range of political issues. Regarding Donald Trump, she stated in April 2016: "I do not believe there is a single career politician who can begin to compete with Trump when it comes to the economy or resolving the debt crisis." When asked about Trump's attitudes toward women, she commented that he is "a fighter … If a woman attacks him, he fights back against her the same way he fights back against a man, because to him she is just as strong and just as capable as any man." Masini argues that this quality in Trump "makes [him] the ultimate feminist — he treats men and women equally."
When asked how conservatives should respond to the 2012 Supreme Court decision upholding President Obama's health care legislation, where Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the majority, Masini advised: "If you're considering a Democratic ticket in the November election as a way to show Roberts that nobody messes with you and walks away unscathed, reconsider," she said. "It backfires, and while you may feel good about being an ass — I mean, donkey — you'll ultimately be betraying yourself." She advocates dating within one's own political party: "You can cross party lines, but don't you think you'll be happier with someone who sees things the way you do when it comes to issues like the death penalty, gun control and abortion?"
She argues that opposites may attract in the short term, but not for going the distance: "Typically, an ‘oil and water’ combo proves to be more than most can handle." When ABC News asked her in 2007 about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, she responded, "There are exceptions. They're not the sort of couple you see every day." But for those couples who have political differences––over Donald Trump, for example––Masini has advised: "Ask yourself if this is a hill you want to die on. What this cliché means is that there are so many deal breakers and sticky situations in relationships on a good day — so is this really what you want to fight about at the expense of the relationship?" Moreover, "If you can open a discussion with ‘why’ questions instead of coming out swinging, you may learn a lot about your partner and yourself, and you may become more intimate because of this deeper understanding and cleared channel of communication."
Political advocate – entertainment industry executive and producer
Prior to her career as an advice columnist, April Masini worked—first with her former husband, Al Masini, and then independently—on a number of projects that led to the expansion of the television and film industry in Hawaii. The Masinis produced and organized the 1998 Miss Universe Pageant, successfully lobbying the Hawaii legislature for $3.3 million to fund the event, which brought delegations from 85 countries to Hawaii, each with its own news media. Al Masini was the pageant's producer for Hawaii, while April Masini served as co-chair and event coordinator, both working for nearly a year without pay. In 1998, Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano acknowledged the couple's contribution to the state by proclaiming June 4th of that year "Al and April Masini Day."
In 1999, April Masini persuaded Greg Bonann, executive producer of Baywatch, to move the television show to Hawaii for three years, instead of the proposed move to Australia. Masini reached out to the governor and legislators of Hawaii, who then advocated for the move; and she was "relentless in her pursuit" of the Baywatch producers, who "eventually gave in and added ‘Hawaii’ to the show's name." Coming at a time of economic downturn, the move paved the way in 2001 for Hawaii's Act 221, designed to develop the state's high-technology industry through the use of tax incentives.
In 1999, production costs in Hawaii were significantly higher than in Australia, with its favorable tax codes. To lure Baywatch, Hawaii offered the show's producers an incentives package that included $2 million in soundstage and shoreside facilities improvements. To make the Hawaii production affordable, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees agreed to 12–15 percent wage cuts, while Governor Ben Cayetano cut a deal with the Teamsters Local 399 in Los Angeles to improve wages and working conditions for the drivers.
According to Bonann, Baywatch Hawaii was "one of the reasons" prompting Hawaii to adopt Act 221. The show brought more than $30 million to the state's economy, with local actors appearing in lead roles, local musical talent contributing to every episode, and local professionals making up 80 percent of the crew.
In 1999, April Masini helped the highly rated cable show, Pacific Blue, film a two-part episode in Hawaii by contacting executive producer Bill Nuss, "who was vacationing in Kona, and talking him into bringing the show here at least for a couple of episodes," according to Nuss. Filmed primarily in and around Waikiki, the episodes were Pacific Blue's first-ever filming outside California. In bringing the show to Hawaii, Nuss hoped to prove that a cable or network series could afford to film in the state.
Also in 1999, April Masini was a producer on Destination Stardom.
In 2002, April Masini was the first to use Hawaii's newly passed Act 221, designed to develop the state's technology industry. In August 2002, right after the bill was signed, she brought the tax incentives to the attention of Universal Studios for the financing of Surf Girls, according to Joe Blanco, technology advisor to Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano. Through Act 221, she then raised approximately $16 million in financing for the film, which was renamed Blue Crush. Based on a magazine article entitled "Surf Girls of Maui," by Susan Orlean, Blue Crush was praised by Slate's Greg Milner as "a sharp depiction—both in its details and its symbolism—of life in Hawaii" and as a film that "makes surfing feel like real life,"
Los Angeles-based entertainment attorney John LaViolette of Bloom Hergott Deimer and Cook, which represents Hollywood A-list actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester, commented: "This is the first time that I have heard of a studio making a commitment to foster a mutually beneficial cross promotion between the film and the location where it's been shot." LaViolette worked in conjunction with producers April Masini and Adam Fields, who advised the State of Hawaii during the negotiation. The resulting agreement formed a relationship between Universal Studios and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, by which Universal Studios agreed to promote the state along with the movie in exchange for funding.
Blue Crush was eligible for Act 221 funding because the state law included performing arts within its definition of qualified high-tech businesses. As the top 2001 top beneficiary of the tax credit program, the film came under fire from critics such as David Watumull, president and CEO of Hawaii Biotech. Watumull argued that the law had not "contemplated the dollar amounts that are going into movies, which are then taking those dollars away from high-tech and biotech companies," adding, "I'm also not sure that the law contemplated the short-term nature of movie projects."
However, Masini's efforts to bring film and television to Hawaii, along with the marketing, promotional, and tourism dollars they offer, continued to pay off years after the productions had left. In 2004, for example, Blue Crush was featured in a U.S. Department of Commerce marketing campaign to lure British travelers to America. Hawaii's contribution to the campaign, seen on the walls of the London underground and on street billboards, was an image from Blue Crush of a surfer catching a wave.
In October 2002, April Masini brought a malpractice and fraud complaint against Cades Schutte, one of Hawaii's oldest and largest law firms, and Cades Schutte partner Vito Galati, claiming the firm had conspired to limit her profits in the Blue Crush deal.
April Masini was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Robert "Bob" Barry, director of Vietnam Veterans of America, and author and educator June Stride. She grew up in Clarkesville, Georgia.
April Masini moved to New York City in 1983 to study business at Hofstra University but soon withdrew from college to pursue a career in television acting and modeling. She studied at The Actors Studio and performed Off-Broadway and in television pilots, commercials, and soap operas. In the early 1990s, she met Al Masini, to whom she was married from 1995–2000. The Masinis relocated to Hawaii in 1995, and April Masini remained there until 2001. She currently lives in New York City. Although regarded as politically conservative, she supported the 1994 and 1998 campaigns of Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano, a Democrat, and she is socially liberal in some respects.