Man, what what WHAT is going on in the world lately?!! It’s enough to make this (alleged) Pollyanna throw up her hands in dismay…
As I pointed out yesterday (re Violet Blue hating on TakeDown Piracy), I don’t know everything and sometimes I miss obvious things. And today, once again, I’m confronted with something that, for the life of me, I just cannot figure out… Consider:
Something horrible happened to adult performer Elexis Monroe late last November. Apparently, some shoddy dental work gave rise to a massive bone-deep infection in her face. By all accounts, this was an extremely gruesome life-and-death situation.
Elexis immediately began reaching out to her fans and community, seeking assistance wherever possible. This is not surprising – I can’t imagine anyone being ready to cover even the down payments that HAD to accompany such medical bills… like… RIGHT NOW!!
Many people rushed to help this beloved single mother, myself included (I wrote about this issue on November 27, 2012, and I don’t even know Elexis!!). Girlfriends Films also included.
Girlfriends Films, who we all know I tout endlessly as the most civic and community minded company in the adult business… [hell, Girlfriends Films is civic minded for humanity. when is the last time anyone donated $1000 a month to a charity of someone’s choice?] …immediately stepped up for Elexis. You see, though (to my knowledge) Elexis has never been *officially* affiliated with the company, she has shot with Girlfriends Films endlessly over the past six or so years. She’s part of their family. (see Elexis’ IAFD credit listing here)
On January 3, 2013, I received an official press statement from Girlfriends Films that said:
January 3, 2013 – RESEDA, Calif. – Principal photography is wrapped on Girlfriends Films’ new movie benefiting Elexis Monroe. The movie is part of Girlfriends Films’ popular series, “Lesbian Sex,” which is a documentation of real confessions and unscripted sex scenes. Each of the performers in “Lesbian Sex: Volume 10” is donating half her earnings from the movie to help cover Monroe’s medical fees, an amount matched by Girlfriends Films.
As soon as word spread about the special volume of “Lesbian Sex,” Girlfriends Films was bombarded by requests from performers to participate in the movie. Touched by the outpouring of support, Elexis Monroe selected 8 ladies for the film, which she will host. The cast includes Samantha Ryan, Lily Cade, Jessie Andrews, Sinn Sage, Zoey Holloway, Aaliyah Love, Elle Alexandra, and Sovereign Syre.
(pictured: it’s a wrap!! Girlfriends Films’ founder Dan O’Connell with Elexis Monroe (in green) and others participating in her charity project)
This means that 1) when Elexis got sick, Girlfriends Films jumped!! In what looks to me like a mere five weeks (late November to the very beginning of January), a production was conceptualized, developed, cast, and shot. It also means that 2) Elexis got a big chunk of money relatively fast. Consider…
In my explorations of the adult industry over the years, I have gathered that *today* women performers are paid anywhere from $600 – $800 for a girl-girl scene. This range varies by many things, including the performer’s marketability, whether or not they have to speak in the film, and the specifics of the sex itself (ie you get paid more for anal), among many other things. Now, this is obviously not a hard and fast range – some will make more, others will make less – but it works perfectly as an illustration here.
For the sake of argument, let’s generalize and split the difference – assuming each performer was to be paid $700 for her scene in the Elexis Monroe Benefit Project, we’re left with…
[$350 (performer fee donation) + $350 (Girlfriends matching the donation)] x 8 performers = $5600
(fyi: I confirmed this rate range before posting, but drop it below the low end if you want – $500 – that would still be $4000)
This means that, in my guesstimated scenario, Elexis immediately received $5600 from Girlfriends Films and her friends’ charitable sex scenes alone!! She was also the recipient of Girlfriends Films’ December charity donation of $1000. (it’s worth noting that this donation usually goes to a charitable organization in someone else’s honor, not to an individual in need – an allowance made for Elexis)
Aaaand we’re now up to $6600.
Add in the cost of production and post-production in general – because a film had to be made from all this sex or else all this is just… illegal, actually – photography, PR, and all the hours it must have taken just to plan this and… well, I have no idea how much money Girlfriends Films shelled out to help Elexis. According to Twitter, it’s about $20,000. And though there’s no way for me to verify it, this estimated amount does not sound unreasonable to me.
(pictured: from Girlfriends Films’ Twitter feed, grabbed on 2/6/13)
$20,000 dollars given, out of pocket and immediately, for no other reason or obligation but to help Elexis.
According to all publicly available information that I can find, this is exactly what Girlfriends Films promised to do. This is exactly what the press releases from the company outlined, and this is exactly what it said on AVN on December 3, 2012 (and on other dates).
This not what it said on XBIZ. On XBIZ, the December 3, 2012 story read:
RESEDA, Calif. — Girlfriends Films owner Dan O’Connell said plans are in motion to shoot a special DVD of the company’s popular series “Lesbian Sex,” with proceeds going to help GFF performer/director Elexis Monroe through her medical treatment. (here, emphasis added)
Those of us who pay attention to the adult industry press are more than aware of XBIZ’s tendency to change a few sentences around in a PR in order to get their writers a byline. If it turns out that this bit is really just an overzealously (and inaccurately) altered piece of PR… well, #fail
But so what, right? Elexis received some financial support immediately, laid out directly and generously by Girlfriends Films… not, I might add, after months of waiting for proceeds from consumers (who love to steal content… oh wait…) to emerge, but IMMEDIATELY.
Apparently though, some performers involved in this project are upset. Starting yesterday, two or three (depending on where you look) performers alleged that Girlfriends did something dishonorable by doing exactly what they promised. Some quotes from Twitter:
My understanding of a “BENEFIT” movie was that a portion of the PROCEEDS go to help someone in need, in this case a friend.
If I had known or understood that NONE of the PROCEEDS were going to my friend, I don’t think I would have done it.
Production company retains all profits, not even a portion go to help friend, how is that right?
Using her illness, tricking consumers into buying thinking they are helping her, to make more money. This is vile and slimy.
I’m just not the kind of person or friend who can keep my mouth shut about an injustice because of politics or $$. That’s not who I am.
I guess that, without being there, we will never actually know what happened. But, going back to me being a Pollyanna – how did any of those things even allegedly occur? And why in the world would someone/several someones make such apparently unfounded, hurtful, and downright slanderous comments?
What really is this world coming to? No wonder people stop caring, helping, and treating others with respect… When you do, this sort of reactionary ingratitude is apparently what you get.
* * *
You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from Porn Valley Vantage/PVVOnline, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.PVVOnline.com).”