Porn Stars React To “Hot Girls Wanted”

hot girls wantedTwitter and the blogosphere are abuzz over Hot Girls Wanted, the latest documentary to stream on Netflix. Produced by Parks and Recreation’s Rashida Jones, the doc bills itself as “a first-ever look at the realities of the professional ‘amateur’ porn world and the steady stream of 18-to-19-year old girls entering into it.”  While some of the resulting outrage has come from civilians reacting to the seemingly exploitative working conditions of the performers depicted in the film, much of the outrage has been from sex workers, porn stars, and industry insiders themselves.  And no, they’re not siding with the filmmakers.

Director Jacky St. James, who wrote for us about how “porn defied every stereotype [she] had about it,” had a healthy dose of sarcasm for the filmmakers.

Much of the criticism of Hot Girls Wanted has focused on the filmmakers’ inabilities to take a truly unbiased look at porn. Performer Casey Calvert took a lighthearted approach to expressing her ire.

Professional dominatrix Mistress Matisse live tweeted as she watched the documentary.

Veteran performer jessica drake tweeted a powerful “rant” expressing her frustration at how many issues that porn performers face stem from the attitudes of outsiders.

Many sex workers, such  as trans performer Chelsea Poe, condemned Hot Girls Wanted for not examining broader societal issues or offering solutions for reform.

Chanel Preston also expressed similar views on her blog:

I understand why Rashida Jones would want to make this documentary; she saw a group of young victims, and she wanted to raise awareness around the issue of female exploitation. Unfortunately, the documentary doesn’t have a view point about this subject beyond “this is bad” except that it alludes to pornography as being the problem. Because of this vague message, it gives no insight into why this is happening or how we can work towards reducing female exploitation.

One scene in Hot Girls Wanted showed a pro-am performer dealing with health issues that arose from her work. Stoya pointed out that bodily injury is part and parcel of the careers of much of the working class, not just sex workers.

Gay performer Conner Habib expressed frustration over the erasure of the voices of sex workers in their own narratives.

There’s so much to say about porn. It’s vast, diverse, and complex. It’s not for everyone, and that’s okay. And it’s far from perfect or pretty. But does that make it an anomaly in society or a microcosm?

As a product and as a component of wider society, porn needs an informed critical eye. Hot Girls Wanted is not it. I wish the film had moved us even a baby step closer to complicating the conversation, especially given its potential reach. But it didn’t. Instead, feel free to put it on the shelf next to Reefer Madness and Red Asphalt, right where it belongs – “Tell your children!”

Many sex workers and performers pointed to an Uproxx review written by sociologist Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals as the most eloquent summation of their frustrations.

Have you seen Hot Girls Wanted? Tweet us your thoughts @hotmoviesforher and @JudyHologram.

2 thoughts on “Porn Stars React To “Hot Girls Wanted””

  1. I was in the movie and when it was laid out to me during the following of my scene, I was led to assume it was just a behind the scenes documentary that was to let people know more about porn. I never thought that every good thing I said would be left out and that I would be made to look like a wrong doer. I watched in amazement how they edited this film to yet again slap the industry in the face. My hope would be to make porn more appealing to people by paying talent more to both male and female. This would bring a better element. I see the way things are done and they need to change. These young girls do make a choice ultimately but the people responsible need to be more about the person and not needing to squeeze every dollar out of them before they quit. It is a demanding career choice and needs to be presented in such manner. Making it all about the money does inevitably hurt some people down the road in life.

    1. Here is an idea, why don’t you or other pornstars make your own documentary? The best sex worker documentaries are often the ones done by sex workers themselves.

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