LOS ANGELES — The Free Speech Coalition warned adult performers today to be “extremely wary” about working with Netflix or producers affiliated with the “Hot Girls Wanted” docuseries.
The adult entertainment trade group went so far as to issue an “industry alert” over working with the streaming service and the program’s creators.
“We have received nearly a dozen reports of adult performers who say they were manipulated, coerced or lied to during the production of Netflix’s ‘Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On,’” said Siouxsie Q James, FSC’s director of policy and industry relations.
“Despite repeated attempts to engage with the producers and Netflix about the performer experiences, we’ve only received terse legal justifications for the unethical and exploitative practices reported by performers,” James said.
“We cannot in good conscience recommend that any adult performer or director work with this program, or any program associated with Netflix.”
“Netflix has refused to even meet with performers, or to discuss with them how the series might avoid such problems in the future. As a result, we’re warning those in our community about working with the series or the network.”
Produced by Rashida Jones, Ronna Gradus and Jill Bauer, “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On,” released in April, is a follow-up to Jones’ 2015 “Hot Girls Wanted,
The FSC said that several performers reported that their images had been used without their consent, effectively outing them as sex workers.
Another performer’s real name and identifying information was used in the series, despite assurances from producers that they would not, the FSC said. She and members of her family were subsequently harassed.
Others reported being pressured to discuss or do things they were uncomfortable with, or had been assured they would not be asked to do, according to the FSC.
The FSC said that the original “Hot Girls Wanted” documentary was poorly received by adult performers, many of whom felt it was misrepresentative, exploitative and demeaning.
“Some performers involved in the subsequent production say they were lied to or offered misrepresentative answers by producers about the nature of the program, and if it was related to Hot Girls Wanted,” the FSC said. “In response to the complaints, series producers suggested the performers were lying in order to get attention.”
The FSC has released two videos that have received more than 50,000 views — one featuring adult film performer Annika Albrite and another featuring counter-human trafficking advocate Jamie Walton, explaining why sex workers and their allies are so upset with the Netflix series.
The adult entertainment trade group also said that hundreds of performers, academics and documentarians signed a public letter condemning the series and the unethical practices of the show.
The FSC said it is working on guidelines for documentary filmmakers about the ethical issues related to coverage of sex work, as well as building resources for performers who might be approached to participate in a documentary.
All performers who have been approached by a producer or have questions about their rights in regards to a documentary contract are encouraged to contact the trade group at firstname.lastname@example.org.