UNITED STATES (June 23, 2020) – Earlier this month, leaders within the Adult Film Industry acknowledged its unfair, historical issues with racism, including disparate wages based on ethnicity, and began the process of formulating strategies to correct these issues. The BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color) Adult Industry Collective (https://www.bipoc-collective.org) was formed to answer this call, with the belief that all marginalized communities must be included at the table, in all discussions, when making decisions surrounding repairing harm against impacted communities.
The BIPOC Adult Industry Collective is a group of performers, directors, and producers, spanning a range of jobs within the consensual and commercial sex trades, who are dedicated to working towards bringing changes in order to make the adult industry a safe space for all to work, explore, and thrive, regardless of ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Moving forward, the BIPOC-AIC requests the following:
- An elimination of wage disparity based solely on race.
- Over the past 2 weeks, the industry’s main talent agents, several performer coalitions, and major trade publications have called for, or stated, that they will support this initiative (https://www.xbiz.com/news/252675/agencies-pledge-to-end-talent-rate-disparity-declare-support-for-blm & https://www.apac-usa.com/single-post/2020/06/03/Adult-Industry-Professionals-for-Black-Lives-Matter). We look forward to witnessing progress made in this area over the next few weeks, as production resumes after a lengthy production moratorium due to COVID-19.
- An increase of BIPOC below-the-line staff in all aspects of production, including make-up artists, grips, gaffers, catering, editors, directors, and producers.
- An industry-funded career development pipeline, to provide performers looking to move behind the camera with the proper education, tools, paid internships, and employment opportunities to do so.
- While we sincerely appreciate the gesture, BIPOC-AIC has concerns regarding the elimination of the terms “IR,” “Interracial,” and “Ethnic” from online search engines, copy, and awards shows (https://avn.com/business/articles/video/a-statement-from-the-avn-ceo-883301.html), which may do more harm than good:
- Our concerns include how this elimination will affect product sales, brand management, and the possible deletion of BIPOC from nominations and awards altogether.
- We instead seek to change the language surrounding marginalized people, and ask these terms be expanded to be more inclusive.
Additional ways in which this should proceed:
- An expansion of “Interracial” and “IR” to include all BIPOC performers with non-BIPOC performers.
- Performer autonomy over how they wish to be identified in terms of ethnicity, age, body type, gender identity, and sexual orientation in all copy, regardless of medium.
- An increase in BIPOC writers, including screenwriters, publicists, journalists, copywriters, marketers, and social media managers in the industry – as direct hires or paid internships.
- Educational / knowledge resources for industry media, as well as public relations and marketing professionals, in regards to language and tone for representing BIPOC.
- Expanding descriptions of performers beyond ethnicity, to include identifiers such as hair and eye color, body type, and other relevant SEO keywords.
- A rejection of derogatory terms & themes as they relate to race, gender identity, and sexual orientation from all forms of media and copy.
- An end to a mockery of religion, ethnicity, age, and body types; we acknowledge that sexual desire & fantasy are fluid and ask the industry to explore ways to cover these themes without using slurs and making fun of the people represented in these communities.
- All digital spaces that allow consumers to upload commentary, content, or interact with performers must establish and implement filters which block racially-charged language and abusive behavior. The safety and mental health of performers should always come first, and the industry must stand against online violence towards performers.
BIPOC-AIC further envisions the following changes:
- Paid Diversity and Intimacy Consultants at every company in the commercial sex industry.
- Diverse staffing at every company to include women, BIPOC, Queer, and Trans people.
BIPOC-AIC is additionally calling for a complete reform of Booking Agents’ & Talent Managers’ business practices:
- During the booking process, performers will receive a complete copy of the model release, including studio information, project name and scene title. Companies will provide performers with any title changes for subsequent releases, including compilations and third-party releases, with the option of the performer opting out of inclusion in those releases.
- Before a booking is confirmed, a conversation between directors / producers and talent must take place to confirm talent is fully aware of the nature of the project, producers are aware of talent’s personal limitations, “no” & “yes” lists, and any additional pertinent information regarding the project.
- BIPOC-AIC is currently discussing what “complete reform” looks like, and look forward to inviting agents and managers to sit down with us to ensure the best interest of talent is at the forefront of changes moving forward.
BIPOC-AIC requests an increased presence of BIPOC and LGBTQIA representation in nominations, on stage, and on red carpets at awards shows.
- After a recent meeting, AVN has announced an overhaul of every step in its awards season process, to make sure Black performers, directors, and talent are better represented in its show. AVN has agreed to a talent liaison and are “rethinking” their approach to judging and nominations. AVN has also agreed to a Black host at the 2021 AVN Awards (https://avn.com/business/articles/video/avn-announces-changes-to-awards-to-increase-black-representation-883675.html).
- BIPOC-AIC is thrilled to see this olive branch extended, as well as the hosting of Town Halls by other media outlets and studios. We look forward to continuing the conversation with all awards show producers and media outlets, and invite them to sit with us to discuss how they, too, can show their dedication to an equitable approach to the upcoming awards season.
We at BIPOC-AIC are so happy with the call for a #pornstrike from ally performers, who stand in solidarity with us and want to see an end to racism and sexual violence on set. We are in early talks to form a mutual aid fund, to help performers who cannot risk striking due to financial hardship, and will update as this moves forward.
We stand by our allies and we are hosting an “On-Camera Consent Negotiation” training, taught by King Noire, of Royal Fetish Films, and Wolf Hudson. The workshop is structured for male-identified performers, along with directors and producers, regardless of race, to address consent issues in the industry. A formal invitation to this free / donation-based workshop will follow in the coming weeks.
Thank you to our allies, friends, and fans who support our efforts to end racism and sexual violence in our industry. In working together, we can create a healthier working environment which ultimately produces a more profitable bottom line.
In closing, BIPOC-AIC urges both industry members, as well as the public, to sign our petition at https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/end-racism-and-wage-discrimination-in-porn?share=169f4ea8-1933-415d-b4dd-5004521ba57a&source=copy_email&utm_source=copy_email, to tell producers and distributors of adult media you support our efforts, and do not want, nor need, racist themes in your porn to get off.
BIPOC-AIC will be releasing a video PSA shortly. To view, as well as keep up to date on our ongoing discussions, workshops, resolutions, and other news, bookmark https://www.bipoc-collective.org; BIPOC performers and directors who wish to join our Collective may email Info@BIPOC-Collective.org.
BIPOC Adult Industry Collective
About the BIPOC Adult Industry Collective
The BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color) Adult Industry Collective was formed to answer the call to address the adult entertainment industry’s issues with racism, including disparate wages based on ethnicity, and to develop, advise, and implement strategies to correct these issues. The BIPOC-AIC believes all marginalized communities must be included in all discussions when making decisions surrounding repairing harm against impacted communities. We are a group of performers, directors, and producers, spanning a range of jobs within the consensual, commercial sex trade, dedicated to working towards bringing about changes needed in order to make the adult industry a safe space for all to work, explore, and thrive, regardless of ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation. For more information, including news, updates, schedules of events, and more, visit https://www.bipoc-collective.org.