One of the biggest porn tube sites worldwide, xHamster, launched a campaign called #UsToo to raise awareness about sexual assault and workplace harassment within the adult entertainment industry.
xHamster just announced the start of a campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the adult community. Alex Hawkins, Vice President of xHamster said in a statement: »We know we’re a porn site. And we understand we’ll get criticized by people who will say that we’re bringing negative attention an industry that’s already unfairly attacked, and that we should stay in the business of fantasy. We care too much about this business, and its performers, to let that happen.«
xHamster’s VP says that he hopes the campaign will help to collect stories that might otherwise be overlooked or never be told. The tube site will lend its sizeable platform to any victim and any voice within the industry. xHamster suggests the hashtag #UsToo to collect all stories about sexual abuse and workplace harassment so the adult industry gets its own spotlight for the problem. xHamster – as Venus Adult News – created an anonymous way to share stories.
The open letter to performers and sex workers reads as follows:
Since the launch of the #metoo campaign, we’ve watched from the sidelines and applauded as brave women (as well as men and non-binary people) have come forward to talk about sexual harassment, abuse, and assault. The stories have shocked and horrified us with their ubiquity. We know there are others.
While Hollywood has been rightly chastised, and called to respond, few people in our own porn community are talking about the issue or take it seriously. Stars who have spoken up publicly have sometimes been mocked or dismissed because of the type of work they do or the type of clothes they wear.
In our ten years in the industry, we’ve all heard stories or had it happen to us. mostly whispers among performers about another star or a director. They rarely gain much traction thanks to ignorant stereotypes about porn stars or those who work in the sex trade. Performers share stories with one another, or put people on “no” lists, or stop working with one company or director or agent, but rarely do they talk about these incidents publicly.
Why would they?`Those who have been accused of assault continue to work and are often lauded with bad boy status, while their accusers are called crazy or difficult. When a performer comes forward, it’s frequently their career who suffers, not their accusers.
We can’t sit on the sidelines anymore. We know there are stories, and want performers to tell them. We feel that if the stories exist in one place, then we, like the #metoo campaign, can start raising awareness about the issues affecting our own industry. Maybe it will make the powers that be, in the media and on sets, and the fans, understand the effect these acts have on performers.
In this light, we are asking performers with stories to tell to upload their videos to xHamster and tag them #ustoo. The uploads can be anonymous. You can cover up the webcam and black out the video. You can tell the story without naming names if it suits you. You can write it in the description. The important part is that people: fans, journalists, colleagues, performers, can go to one place and see the volume of stories.
We know we’re a porn site, and we understand we’ll get criticised by people who will say that we’re bringing negative attention an industry that’s already unfairly attacked, and that we should stay in the business of fantasy. We care too much about this business, and its performers, to let that happen.
All any performer needs to do is go to xHamster and click “Upload.” Accounts are anonymous, and once you’ve recorded and uploaded a video – even a blank one –, enter #ustoo into the title and description. Or upload something else entirely, and just write your story in the description. We won’t take down the video if there’s no video, and we’ll work to make this a safe space for people to share stories. The importance isn’t the quality, it’s the quantity.
We know this won’t fix everything, but it’s a start. If we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem.
Vice President, xHamster