Did Somebody say RADICAL?!
JAN. 24, 2018
On a soundstage deep in the hills of Los Angeles one morning last August, RuPaul Charles and several drag queens made their way to a set that had been transformed into a simulacrum of the reality-TV show “The Bachelor.” Lacy strands of lights dripped down plastic boxwood hedges, and a row of white fluted columns framed a velvety red strip of carpet. A hot tub bubbled quietly in a corner. The contestants arranged themselves onto a set of bleachers to be appraised by the dashing bachelor, who in this scene was played by the actor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, best known for his role on the Lifetime television drama “UnREAL.” They were filming the latest season of the reality competition show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and the day’s challenge was meant to showcase the competitors’ acting abilities. The challenge, called “The Bitchelorette,” was a parody of the farcical dynamics that play out on “The Bachelor” each season. The goal was not to win Bowyer-Chapman’s heart but rather to see who could perform — satirize, really — stereotypes of femininity with enough humor to impress the judges. Read More ....
SHA SUpports the Free Speech Coalition
Free Speech Coalition Demands Meeting with Netflix and Hot Girls Wanted Regarding Performer Harassment Complaints
You may have heard about the recent controversy surrounding the Netflix documentary series, Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, and the growing coalition of performers, academics, doctors, and advocates now actively and publicly speaking out against it.
Here's why we are leading the charge on this:
- One performer whose legal name was exposed in the documentary has since had her family harassed. Mail containing graphic images of her work was recently received at her mother’s home address, family members at different addresses have received similar mail, and the performer has been threatened online.
- We've also heard from performers who say that producers did not make it clear to them that they were participating in a production connected to Hot Girls Wanted.
- Hot Girls Wanted used the images of several webcam models without their consent. This is especially harmful because many models utilize geographic privacy settings on their accounts, so that family members, neighbors, landlords, predators, and others cannot access or identify them. These models did not consent, nor were they notified about being part of this documentary, and making their images available globally, against their will, and in areas that they themselves have restricted, is a serious violation of these models’ right to privacy.
This cannot stand.
As the Free Speech Coalition, we uphold anyone's first amendment right to make any type of documentary they wish, provided it follows the ethical guidelines of documentary filmmaking and does no harm to the subjects.
Unfortunately, Hot Girls Wanted has caused some of its subjects harm, and when the safety and privacy of performers is threatened, we do not hesitate to act.
We sent a letter on April 28th, asking for the documentary footage to be re-edited so those who did not consent to being featured could have their identifying characteristics obscured.
The initial letter received no direct response.
We sent a second letter on May 15th, which has now been signed on by over 100 activists, performers, doctors, academics and organizations requesting, again, that edits be made to protect privacy, and now also for a meeting with producers to address performer concerns.
Read the full letter here.
The word has been spreading quickly, and allies, fans, and even Netflix users unaffiliated with the adult industry have signed on and begun expressing support.
If you would like to get involved, here are a few strategies that others have utilized thus far:
- Sign on to the letter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, title, and any organizations with which you'd like to be affiliated.
- Share the sign on letter with colleagues, contacts, friends, and fans via social media. Tweet @Netflix @NetflixHelps @iamrashidajones and, of course @hotgirlswanted
Use the #HotGirlsWanted hashtag.
Here are some sample tweets:
#HotGirlsWanted consent. #HotGirlsWanted privacy. #HotGirlsWantedrespect. What did they get? Exploitation.
I signed because I believe #hotgirlswanted broke documentary ethics, sex work research ethics, and basic human decency.
ATTN: @iamrashidajones @netflix @hotgirlswanted "The rights of adult performers should not, and will not be ignored." https://www.freespeechcoalition.com/blog/2017/05/16/followuphotgirlswantedturnedon/
- Some folks have also suggested going to https://www.netflix.com/title/80115676 and giving the series a thumbs down, or contacting Netflix (1 (866) 579-7172).
If you have any questions or concerns, or if you or someone you know has been affected by this documentary, please know that our door is always open and don't hesitate to reach out.
Thank you for all you are and do. We are honored to continue fighting the good fight with you.
We are such a powerful community, and when we unite and fight, we've shown time and again that we win.
Siouxsie and Eric
Siouxsie Q James
Director of Policy and Industry Relations
Free Speech Coalition
Eric Paul Leue
Free Speech Coalition