The untimely death of August Ames sent shockwaves through the industry. Many porn stars and co-workers went on Twitter to express their sadness about Ames’ passing. Kink and Manyvids, two studios that never worked with August Ames released statements anyhow. The FSC and APAC also issued statements in the wake of Ames’ death.
The porn production company Kink released the following statement:
This week, we were saddened to learn that August Ames, a performer whom we admired but never worked with, had taken her own life. Our hearts go out to her family, and those in our community who knew and loved her. Depression and mental illness are complicated, multifaceted issues, and no one should ever claim to know the cause or motivation. Much blame has been placed on social media, but it’s rarely that simple.
That said, we’ve watched disturbed as battles over performer issues relating to performers, healthcare and LGBTQ people have become increasingly vitriolic. Maybe it’s a symptom of our larger culture, or a changing industry. But as a company that prides itself on our work with performers of all backgrounds and sexualities, and understands the complex issues that gird consent, we want to offer a plea for compassion, tolerance and civility in these discussions. It isn’t always easy to discuss these issues, but the stakes are too high to stop.
Kink is committed to the safety of our community — online and off. We agree with APAC’s call to “practice empathy, compassion, and the willingness to participate in nonviolent communication to mediate conflict and work toward better interpersonal understanding.”
It’s important to remember that no two people are the same: fostering collaboration while maintaining individual autonomy is central to how we operate. We expect that conversations between our performers, colleagues and fans be held to the same standards as our on-set interactions: safe, sane and consensual. Online or offline, on-set or in casting, we look to the Kink mission statement, and expect everyone we work with to those around us with compassion, understanding and respect.
ManyVids issues the following statement:
There are no words to express how incredibly devastated and saddened we are to hear about the passing of August Ames. It is heart-shattering to think that a beautiful angel has left us all way too early. The MV Team never had the chance to meet August in person but her transcending kindness was very apparent.
Writing these words is leading to tears of disbelief. We are asking you all to please not further the bullying by blaming or pointing fingers. Now is the time for everyone to come together. Our respect for one another is vital. Respect, compassion and understanding should be the only way to communicate with each other at all times. The power of positivity will always be stronger than anything else.
We need to push the hatred aside and continue to love. Negativity only breeds destruction. The adult community suffers from tons of animosity from the outside world so now, more than ever, we need to stick together. We should be working as allies towards elevating the adult industry standard and protecting performers and content creators. This mission is greater than all of us. It’s about making a real difference. It’s about building a greater community and, in turn, creating a brighter future.
A beautiful young woman who was loved dearly has lost her life due to the negative comments and opinions of others. Bullying is a serious matter and this situation is a tragic yet prime example of how being cruel to one another is never the answer. However, being kind to one another can change the world one life at a time. Today and every day, let us remember August Ames for her incredible beauty and radiant personality. She will be greatly missed.
Being an adult performer can sometimes leave you feeling alone, or isolated and we recognize that. Please always remember that we are here for all of you.You are not alone. For those of you who need emotional support during your time of grief, our support team is here and willing to help. Anyone can email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to help get through this together.
“We mourn with great sadness the passing of August Ames, the loss of whom has left many of us devastated and heartbroken. We echo her family’s call for civility and privacy during a difficult time.
As a community, we face routine bias, stigma, discrimination and near-constant attacks on our character by those outside our industry. Social media has only magnified these issues. Given this environment, it’s even more important that those of us within the industry treat each other with respect and compassion.
We are a highly diverse community of people from all walks of life, but that does not mean we can not stand united. We can recognize our differences without shaming one another. We can disagree without harassment, we can have conversations without bullying and threats, and we can address misconceptions and misunderstandings without yelling past each other.
We need to be able to communicate with each other when we are hurting, we need to be able to listen, and we need to be able to find ways to move forward together.
Words have power. We ask in the wake of August’s passing that we renew our commitment to each other as an industry, and work to engage in supportive, civil discussion about issues that affect the lives of performers.”
APAC also published a statement. Here it is:
APAC acknowledges that the adult film performer community is not without disagreement, division, and differences. Every performer has a unique approach to their boundaries, limitations, and risk management. APAC will always stand on the side of bodily autonomy and safety, but also on the side of communication, education, and community. Due to the public nature of working in this industry, adult film performers are often bombarded with online and in real life hostility from those in and outside of the industry. Being an adult film performer is unfortunately accompanied by a stigma that often exacerbates independent struggles, feelings of otherness, and marginalization.
APAC is calling upon its community members to practice empathy, compassion, and the willingness to participate in nonviolent communication to mediate conflict and work toward better interpersonal understanding. Yes, performers will continue to have personal, professional, and ideological disagreements and differences. APAC is beseeching community members to come together in discourse and not give into volatility. Opting for the act of calling in — a conversation framed within empathy, patience, and nonviolence in an instance of disagreement and difference contrasts starkly with the knee-jerk reactivity often found in online spaces.
There is too much nuance in our individual lives and experiences as adult film performers for us to be reduced to two-sided positionalities. The performer community is diverse in the different spaces we take up dependent on our modality, sex and gender identities, and politics. There are inherited traumas, stigma, and problems this industry needs to work through that divides the community.