The Free Speech Coalition, the trade association of the adult industry, has released a public service announcement in which adult performer Anikka Albrite explains how the Netflix docu-series Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On compromised performer safety and privacy.

In the video, Albrite details performers’ concerns about the series, and outlines the growing coalition of allies and advocates who have spoken out against it. Netflix, and Hot Girls Wanted producer Rashida Jones have refused to address complaints by performers that the production was unethical and endangered some of the performers featured in the series.

“Media makers have a fascination with our industry, but they can be ignorant to the needs of marginalized workers,” said Siouxsie Q James, FSC’s Director of Policy and Industry Relations. “Their failure to do so puts our safety and privacy at risk.”

In one episode, Netflix broadcast a performer’s real name and identifying information, despite assurances that it would be kept private. After the broadcast, she and her family were harassed online and at their home.

In another episode, Netflix broadcast video of two webcam performers who had not consented to being in the documentary. Many webcam performers set geographic limitations on their broadcast so as to not be outed in their own communities, or to their families.

“Making our images available globally against our will, and in areas that we have restricted is a serious violation of our privacy,” says Albrite in the video, “it puts our safety, and the safety of our family members at risk.”

FSC sent three letters to Netflix, Jones, and producers, asking that some identifying material be blurred or edited.  Hundreds of adult performers and dozens of human trafficking organizations, doctors, academics, and workers’ rights groups signed on in support.

Netflix has refused to make any changes, or grant an audience to performers. Producers of the series instead attacked performers, claiming their complaints were baseless and attention-seeking.

Penthouse CEO Kelly Holland, a sponsor of the video and a board member of the FSC, says she hopes the PSA will help raise awareness at a time when Netflix is likely considering a second season for the series.

“Our workers already face stigma and discrimination from the general public. Netflix’s brazen refusal to engage with them on issues of privacy makes their lives and work even more dangerous. We’re issuing a call to our performers to be exceedingly wary of working with anyone associated with Netflix.”

FSC is currently working to establish a code of ethics and best practices for filmmakers, researchers, and journalists interacting with sex workers, in order raise awareness and prevent future harm.

 

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