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June 26, 2017

Porn stars worry that public Trump support could cost them money, and that's a sin

Over the weekend, "The Daily Beast" posted an eyecatching story about the impact of Donald Trump’s presidency on the adult-film industry.

Sure, a friend who works in that business said she wasn’t about to read it when I asked if she would to offer some perspective; she said she wanted to avoid complicity in the nation’s click-bait maelstrom. 

I read it, though. It seemed a quirky enough peruse while waiting out a morning rainstorm down the shore.

The article – written by Aurora Snow, a writer who used to work in the industry – delved into how “being a Trump supporter in the adult industry is dangerous.”

Specifically, some conservative performers worry that they would lose job offers if the porn-world knew their political leanings. 

They acknowledged the covers that remaining silent was both out of support for a peer who accused Trump of groping her and the highly personal nature of their jobs. 

But there's more to it than that, per Snow’s reportage.

Here's a snippet of the story which puts that into perspective:

Every porn star who’d once been an outspoken Trump supporter—many of whom I’d spoken with during and immediately following the election—refused to go on the record, fearing possible industry backlash.

In fact, many spoke on the record at the AVN Awards in January 2016, where "Fortune" magazine conducted a 41-vote straw poll that found Bernie Sanders leading the way with 20 votes.

Trump barely topped Hillary Clinton 11-10, an unusual parallel to the whole Electoral College vs. popular vote disconnect in the election itself.

Vocal Trump supporters in that poll included:

"I'm a Donald Trump supporter. I am a Republican. I do believe in small government, big business and he is a very brilliant businessman. In terms of who can keep the economy running, [he's] awesome." – Anna Bell Peaks

"I hate answering this honestly because it's not a popular vote, but it's Trump because I like my money. I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I want to keep it. Flat tax rate? Sold!" – Eva Lovia

Snow didn’t name the “brunette performer in her mid-twenties” who told her that the “industry is biased.” She did cite, however, “A-list porn star” Brandi Love who once admitted she’d shed “tears of joy” while watching Trump’s inauguration, a moment she hashtagged the #bestdayever.

To be sure, Love has expressed support for the president from time to time this year. (See here, here, here and here for starters). 

She just tweeted about Trump, in a much more measured sense, on Sunday, and it drew responses from both sides of the proverbial aisle.

She seems to be an outlier (and one that still has paying gigs, thankfully), as Lovia backtracked a few months later and Peaks hasn’t tweeted much about politics.

Still, the story got me to thinking about a few (clean) things.

Like how I'd never thought about the impact of the Trump presidency on porn stars, at least in terms beyond how Vice President Mike Pence likely prays for the weak coveters who watch PornHub when they claim to be checking email (or whatever excuse it is you perverts are using these days. For shame!)

And how sad it is that the nation's gone so haywire that porn stars seem to be worried that the penalty for sharing their political musings aloud is loss of income. 

I get the whole "we don't have to buy your product if we don't like you, or it" mentality. Hell, I canceled a newspaper subscription on those grounds just this month. But it strikes me as over-the-top that it's gone this far.

You might not like Brandi Love's politics. I know I sure don't. But for her (or any of her fellow actresses) to potentially lose work for simply stating those views on social media is a perversion that makes America less great than it was before her favorite president won an election.

They may work in a world of fantasy, but they live in the real world where nobody should stand for the stifling of speech. If anything's taboo in this scenario, it's that.