On April 21, Netflix released the docu-series Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, which gives an inside peek into the porn industry, and received rave reviews. But not everyone was happy with the series: A porn star and two webcam performers featured in it claimed that they appeared on-screen against their will. In an interview with Variety, producers Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus defended themselves against these accusations.
Porn actress Gia Paige had claimed that the filmmakers promised her she wouldn't appear in Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On after she grew uncomfortable discussing her family. Bauer and Radus denied this, stating that she signed a release form and never asked to be excluded. They also said they were entitled to use the footage from Effy Elizabeth and Autumn Kay, the webcam performers, because it came from their public Periscope accounts.
“They saw themselves, and then on Twitter, as themselves, using their own handles, tweeted out, ‘Oh my God, we’re on Netflix. Oh my God nobody told us. Oh my God, we’re sex workers and they’ve just shown us on Netflix,'” said Gradus of Elizabeth and Kay, whose names weren't included in the documentary.
“So the great irony here is that they identified themselves as sex workers. And really that is a key piece of information that has been lost in this story," she explained. "We didn’t know who they were. We never would have known, the viewers never would have known, unless they themselves identified themselves.” When Variety asked if Elizabeth and Kay could've made the accusations for the publicity, Gradus said we can't know for sure, but it's possible.
In addition, Bauer refuted claims that the documentary's subjects didn't know it was linked to the 2015 film Hot Girls Wanted, which received criticism for portraying sex work negatively. "We tell a lot of positive stories and we show women who are happy sex workers, we show women who tell the viewers that they are empowered," Gradus added. "The industry is very defensive about people coming in and shining a light on the industry."