The Bitchhiker, Dont Call Me A Dick, We Are The Fucking World, Architecture Porn — Consent & Boundary Violations. Erika Lust’s Response, Support & Changes to Erika LUST Films; XConfessions.
- First published: 28th June 2018, Updated with:
– added CARE PACKAGE documents
– published on current host site after suspension on Medium.com
These are serious Consent & Boundary Violations on the set of some Guest Director Films for Erika Lust’s XConfessions. As covered in the Jezebel.com article by Tracy Clark-Flory: (Sexual Assault Allegation Raises Questions in Feminist Porn). Is ‘Feminist’ Porn Getting Its #MeToo Moment?
side note: Barbara; Olympe de G, a 33-year-old Parisian filmmaker who directed a film for Lust last year ~Harper’s Bazaar; February 2017. *existing public info.
[ UPDATE – Sexual Assault ] – Fundraiser LAUNCH
#TimesUp #BELIEVEHER #MeToo #BelieveSurvivors
Sexual Misconduct; Sexual Coercion
& Sexual Assault:
A Performer from ARCHITECTURE PORN was subjected to sexual coercion; a sexually coercive natured relationship framed as “practice” and “training” by unethical Guest Director; Olympe de G, prior to shooting this scene. The director mislead and deceived the performer into believing this was standard industry protocol when shooting for Erika Lust Films.
Summary of events & evidence:
1. REDACTED until further notice
2. Practice & Training — A series of correspondences and messages between Olympe de G and Rooster; where the director abused her position of power, mislead and deceived the performer about “practicing” and “training” for a scene under the guise of standard industry practice when shooting for Erika Lust Films.
~ “We really recommend that personal relationships between performer/ director do not conflict with a shooting. This can create a power imbalance and can really affect the dynamic of a movie and also the well being of a performer. To keep things professional on set, it’s better to not have a romantic/physical relationship that could be a conflict of interest with the performer/director.”
– Erika Lust (Guideline’s for Guest Director Shoots).
~ “Remember performers are a part of the team. We must be aware of the power relations that might be abused, about treating them with dignity and respect and not treating them as just another prop for the set.”
– Erika Lust (Guideline’s for Guest Director Shoots).
~ “I think it would be good for us to get comfortable with the action that they approve (whatever it finally is) before June’s shoot. We will look more spontaneous, it will avoid awkward moments, hesitations in front of the camera. I like to know my partners a minimum and be aware of what they like if it has to be recorded and stay on the Internets for ever and ever 😀 I think knowing each other helps making good porn. Tell me how you feel about that, it is really what I prefer from instinct.”
– Olympe de G (Barbara)
— my response and reply to this request was a professional email; Presenting my CV as an employee.
~ “My participation in the shoot with Erika has been cancelled by Lust….In that context, if you feel that flying to Bretagne would be too tiring and doesnt have a point anymore, as we dont have to “train” for a shoot…” – Olympe de G (Barbara)
3. Boundary Violation audio — ATTN: Audio dated 13th JUNE 2017, less than 48hrs after consent and boundary violations. Rooster’s original statement regarding Consent & Boundary Violations havent changed.
4. REDACTED until further notice
5. “We wont work with her again” – Parker Marx email to Pablo Dobner; CEO Erika Lust Films; “we wont work with her again”, after shining a light on Olympe de G’s unethical and abusive behaviour on THE BITCHHIKER and using the auspices of a relationship to abuse and violate his boundaries.
6. “It’s a good article” — Congrats from Erika Lust Film’s CEO Pablo Dobner; after Rooster posted; Erika LUST has a serious #MeToo Problem, article.
May 2017, discussion and correspondence between performer; Parker Marx and Director; Olympe de G, below.
I did see your messages, although it is true that I don’t always get Facebook messages. I have been meaning to write to you anyway. In fact I have started writing several times over the last year, but have always felt too angry and too resentful to write with any kind of level head. That’s not what I want to do. I don’t want to pass you blame. I am writing this to you for four reasons:
1) to let you know that there were aspects of the Bitchhiker production that were deeply problematic for me;
2) to ask you as a friend to acknowledge that;
3) in hope that reading this will help you to avoid putting other performers or crew members in similar positions;
4) and to let you know why I am saying “no” to performing for you again.
Some of this might be uncomfortable reading, but please persevere. I suppose the thing to say straight away is the thing I think you will find hardest to hear. That the Bitchhiker shoot was the most unethical shoot I have ever been on. That the safety and wellbeing of cast and crew was shown little less than cavalier disregard. That if it weren’t for Lust Films having tied my name to the production I would have walked off set, which is something I have never even thought about doing before or since. I know these are strong terms, and I don’t use them out of anger, I use them because it’s important that I am clear about the degree to which the shoot was problematic.
When I agreed to do The Bitchhiker I knew there was a certain amount of risk involved. I knew that it would involve being naked, riding pillion on a moving motorbike. I had guessed, given the budgets involved in making porn, that it wouldn’t be on a trailer or anything. I know that if we were involved in a crash it would be disastrous. That was a risk I was aware of when I signed up. It is what I agreed to.
However, during pre-production the nature of the shoot was changed, and eventually the risks I was taking were massively extended through decisions that I had no way of rejecting. I was not alone in that, but I can only speak for myself.
When you told me you had found some tram-tracks for me to walk on, I assumed that it was some secluded, derelict section of line. In the original treatment the pick-up scene had been on a country road and I was under the apprehension that when you were looking for locations, you were looking for somewhere discreet where we could get the shots we needed with little disturbance. It was only when we arrived at the location that it was revealed that I was to be walking and stripping on active tram tracks, on a busy road, in rush hour, with pedestrians walking past, including children on their way to school, and road workers looking on. I am sure you saw the discontent on my face. I am certain you must have seen it in the edit. This location decision exposed me and put me at risk far more severely than I had agreed to.
Similarly, when trying to get the riding shots, my assumption had been that we would be using a stretch of fairly secluded, quiet, country roads. That was implied to me by the treatment, by all the references we had talked about, by Easton’s suggestions. You had mentioned riding through the middle of Berlin, and I had expressed my discomfort when you brought it up. It was a complete surprise, then, that you had decided that we were going to ride very conspicuously through urban Berlin. It was another decision that I had not given my consent to, that I had little choice except to follow, that put me in a position of public exposure, increased danger, and at risk of police involvement.
Finally, and most harmfully of all, despite my repeatedly voicing concerns during pre-production about how many people there might be wandering around at our main location, *the issue was so inadequately dealt with that during the shoot there were *children looking in at us while we were having sex. This goes beyond even non-consensual public exposure. If the police had got wind that we were having sex in there, we could easily have all been arrested and ended up on a sex-offenders’ register. That might sound hyperbolic, but it really isn’t. It would have likely been the end of my career, it certainly would have been the end of yours, both in and outside of porn.
The point I am making here is partly about the potential risk of consequences, but predominantly it is about how hurtful it was to have my wellbeing disregarded.
I want to ask you to hear what I am saying and to recognise these as transgressions that I experienced as hurtful. It’s important to me that you acknowledge how deeply painful that experience was.
I am speaking for myself, but also because I think owe it to my colleagues to give you this feedback. I am asking you to take it in, and to give careful consideration to the wellbeing and safety of the people working for you on future projects. As a director, you are in a position of power; that is unavoidable. However, the abuse and leveraging of that power to put your own (or your own project’s) needs above those of the people over whom you have power is something avoidable and avoiding exploitation in that way is fundamental to a safe and ethical working environment.
I hope you understand, then, why I am saying “no” to performing for you again. I do hope that this project goes well and that it is a happy and fun process for everyone. I hope you understand what I am saying here and that it has an impact on you. I don’t say it out of anger or resentment. I say it as a friend, and as a colleague in the porn industry.
Open Letter exchange; June 2018, between performer; Rooster and Olympe de G; below.
Dear Olympe de G,
I want you to know that I have been sharing my experience regarding your behaviour and actions on the set of two of our collaborative projects together. Your behaviour and actions resulted in Boundary Violations which I had tried to bring to your attention immediately after our 1st shoot; Dont Call Me A Dick, 11th June 2017, which you ignored, and failed to address immediately or since then.
Please find a list of Boundary Violations below RE my experiences:
Dont Call Me A Dick
1. As a performer, I felt that pre-negotiated boundaries were not respected on set and a post-shoot request to discuss this was repeatedly ignored.
2.1 Boundary violations were related to triggering childhood sexual trauma, which the director explicitly knew about. The director and I had discussed this in great detail to ensure I felt “safe”, which when outlined required me having a moment to myself to check in mentally during the production. These previously, pre-negotiated boundaries were intentionally ignored, which was triggering for me and required professional assistance to work through.
2.2 Repeated communication and requirements for breaks, and a request to take a moment to myself, before engaging in any performance and/or scenes were repeatedly dismissed by the director. This further added to my distress and triggered mental state, which had the effect of me becoming more and more insular and distant for the rest of the production/shoot.
3. Outing and not respecting performers’ privacy. The director used her position of power as the director of the project to “out” performers, linking their non sex work identities to the film without their consent.
4. Gaslighting; lying and manipulation — The Director accused me of running away from set & used this position of power to reframe my agency, and the power dynamic between director & performer. By using this “incident”, and this ‘position of power’. She held this “incident” over me for the rest of the shoot, coercing, convincing and guilting me to take on actions I needed a bit more time to consider and prep for, before engaging in. This put me in a position where I couldn’t assert my boundaries as performer.
– Dear Unethical Director; Olympe de G, you repeated similar patterns of this behaviour again on our 2nd collaborative project; We Are The Fucking World, not just with me but with some of the other performers & crew.
We Are The Fucking World (July 2017)
1. The director dismissed the paid and unpaid labour of queer and trans folks contribution & hard work towards a “charitable” project.
2. Gaslighting & framing the crew as folks who hijacked the project & didn’t listen to her direction, which resulted in us; the camera crew, being blacklisted. This was later remedied and rectified by Erika LUST Films after sharing another side & my perspective of the story, and the events that transpired regarding the director’s behaviour.
3.1 Dismissing the boundaries, needs and concerns of performers and crew.
3.2 As a member of the crew; Cinematographer, I noticed that some performers were not comfortable; prior to shooting & whilst on set, and I have confirmed their experience afterwards. Plans to discuss the director’s behaviour and actions, prior and post shoot were ignored and dismissed by the director.
- Some people were not explicitly made aware that a considerable proportion of their “pay” would be going towards a charity / a charitable project.
- A few performers were not happy with the chosen charity; Amnesty, and were not consulted for any input.
- Pre & Post-shoot requests to discuss these issues and concerns with the director were ignored.
These actions might be considered in breach of, or in violation of the APAC Model Bill of Rights.
In general ethical porn is when performers are treated with respect, paid a fair wage, their preferences have the utmost importance for the shoot, and their consent and safety are critical. Crucial part of ethical porn is being able to say no as a performer, without this labeling you as “difficult”. A lot of people compare it to fair trade, but for the porn industry. ~Sluttish.us
Within the context of contemporary sexual media today, ethical porn requires consent, disclosure, and compliance with professional adult content production community standards and the Model Bill of Rights outlined by the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) and The Free Speech Coalition’s (FSC) Code of Ethics and PASS.
It’s important to say there is not a consensus yet about what ethical porn is exactly. It is adult cinema where consent has been given for every part of the film from all parties involved. This means consent regarding the sexual acts being performed, but also the rate of pay they are receiving. Personal limits and boundaries are respected and the performer can stop shooting at any moment if they feel uncomfortable. Everything is done under a safe sex environment, good working and safety conditions, and basic labour rights for performers and crew. It doesn’t include the sex acts being depicted, production value or other elements like tenor and intensity. But in my own take on ethical porn production I also include the themes and messages I’m delivering. ~Erika Lust; Wildflower — Ethical and Feminist Porn
“Consent!” And is it important in Ethical Porn?
What is the one thing that underpins an ethical, feminist porn production and film? CONSENT!
Consent can’t be won or gained by coercion, by tricking your performers, by springing a surprise on them, by gradually wearing them down until they agree & guilting them, by manipulation or by ignoring their personal boundaries.
This Unethical Director has shown, time (2016) and time (2017) again, of pushing and intentionally violating the boundaries of several performers, under the banner and guise of ethical, feminist porn.
This article openly shares some of the experiences of those performers, in order to ensure the safety of future performers.
Initial Support from Erika LUST CEOs
Luckily Erika LUST Films have started to address this repeat problematic, unethical behaviour with their Guest Director’s and Guest Director Productions with the release of the We Care; CARE PACKAGE.
Erika LUST Film’s We Care; CARE PACKAGE — Aims to produce a better working standard for Ethical Porn, through this CARE PACKAGE; a skeleton guideline & how to, about producing better ethical porn, A Model & Performer Bill of Rights, and suggested tips for better working practices and conditions for performers and crew. — https://erikalust.com/we-care/
Below are links to documents of Performer’s suggestions and contributions to Erika Lust Films, about improving their ethical standards and working practices within their company.
- Guidelines For Guest Directors to shoot for ERIKA LUST (to be released)
- APAC Guidelines
- Guidelines For Guest Directors to shoot for ERIKA LUST — Berlin Porn Association; Commentary, Suggestions and Amendments.
- Erika LUST Film’s CEO’s; We Care; CARE PACKAGE — Improving Performer’s Safety Meeting Agendum; 28th May 2018.
- Audio meeting w/ Erika Lust CEOs – We CARE – Care Package, Model Bill of Rights & Guidelines for Guest Directors.
Initial Support from Erika LUST CEOs regarding taking Olympe’s abusive and unethical behaviour seriously.
The Facts: Response from Unethical Director;
Olympe de G;
Erika LUST Email Exchange & CALL IN (13th MAY 2018)
Email Exchange between Erika LUST Film’s CEOs, “Unethical Director” and Rooster; “Regarding Rooster’s experience working with you on the two films you worked on together collaboratively.”
*Threat of legal action; Defamation (5th JUNE 2018)
Olympe de G’s Lawyer contacts Rooster and threatens them with legal action, for sharing their story and experience; to remain silent — blocking them from replying to the Open Letter. Whilst simultaneously; Olympe de G posts an Open Letter on social media, after numerous requests not to escalate this to the public domain.
Dear Ex Lover (5th JUNE 2018)
Olympe de G’s Open Letter on social media.
Dear Unethical Director; Olympe de G
(20th JUNE 2018)
Rooster’s Reply to Dear Ex Lover
More Attacks (21st JUNE 2018)
More Attacks Reply (28th JUNE 2018)
Rooster’s Reply to More Attacks
From CALL IN to CALL OUT (28th JUNE 2018)
I tried… , unrealised attempt at a truce & Erika LUST has a Serious #MeToo Problem!
I tried…from CALL IN to CALL OUT
Offer of Mediation (29th JUNE — 15th JULY 2018)
Olympe de G reached out to me privately, to better under the issues of Consent & Boundary Violations on our collaborative projects. I offered mediation as a possible solution going forward and addressing these issues. After some initial progress, Olympe de G unfortunately pulled out of the mediation process due to various circumstances; — that is; intentionally undermining the mediation process to pursue (false) criminal and civil legal proceedings.
— I’ve been intentionally quiet the last few weeks regarding; Dear Unethical Director | Erika Lust has a Serious #MeToo Problem, because Olympe de G & I were seeking *mediation* to resolve the issue of Consent & Boundary Violations, which was unfortunately unsuccessful due to various circumstances.
Going Forward; A discussion on the Ethics of
Feminist Porn (19th JULY 2018)
This Unethical Guest Director; Olympe de G has shown time; 2016, & time again; 2017, of abusing her position of power, with repeat Consent & Boundary Violations of young, new & vulnerable performers. Endangering the lives of performers & crew; and general unethical behaviour.
This article openly shares some of the experiences of those performers, in order to ensure the safety of future performers & to create a wider discussion; “what are the ethics that underpin feminist porn?”
“Ethical porn” can’t brush the topic of consent aside & under the carpet whilst holding “mainstream porn” to standards they don’t follow. By NOT addressing problematic, toxic & even dangerous behaviour; not only from directors & producers but from other performers & crew, you might be silencing the experiences of performers.
What do you think when Ethical porn or Feminist porn comes to mind?
The one thing that underpins ethical, feminist porn is CONSENT!
Consent can’t be won or gained by coercion, by tricking your performers, by springing a surprise on them, by guilting, ignoring and/or “pushing” their personal boundaries. Think about the “ethical” porn you consume. Listen to the experiences of performers & sex workers.
Directors, producers & production companies please hand over the mic, instead of speaking on “behalf” of performers & sex workers.
We have voices too. Don’t silence us!
Erika Lust, Olympe de G, Rooster on set; Architecture Porn JUNE 2017
Expanding the #MeToo movement — Male victims, and other gendered victims (AUGUST 2018).
“Sexual violence is about power and privilege. That doesn’t change if the perpetrator is your favorite actress, activist or professor of any gender.
And we won’t shift the culture unless we get serious about shifting these false narratives.”
~Tarana Burke (20th August 2018)
…in all it’s complexity and duality!
We can be both the victim and the abuser. We can be feminist, non racist and allies but also be sexist, racist & prejudiced at the same moment but at a different time. We can be advocacies for non violence and be violent in the same sentence.
This complex duality exists in all of us. To say we are “one” and this automatically invalidates and excuses us as not the “other”; as not part of you, is untrue. We need to work on recognising, learning and growing from both contradictory dualities that reside inside us. We have never arrived at a “destination” of being; feminist, post racial (non racist), etc.
Instead we should bare in mind we are constantly working towards and aiming to be on the journey to the “destination” of being and working towards; feminist values, being non racist and unlearning racism, etc.
We will fuck up and make mistakes! But we will also learn and grow from these mistakes. It is the “journey” and our constant strive and aim to be; “blank” & better that makes us an incomplete “blank” with a margin for error.
But this also recognises us as human. Willing to recognise our mistakes, learn and grow
“Disturbing as it may be, it is perfectly possible for survivors of sexual violence to commit sexual misconduct themselves.”
“Rather, allegations against Argento, Schneiderman, Díaz, Ronell, and others are a reminder that power imbalances can leave the less powerful person vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault, regardless of the genders or histories of the people involved. They are a reminder that those accused of sexual misconduct as part of #MeToo won’t always be the people we suspect, those about whom rumors have been swirling for years. They may be people we trusted and admired, who spoke out against sexual violence or advocated gender equality.”
“The work of #MeToo now is to recognize that perpetrators of sexual violence are not evil caricatures, impervious to harm and doing no good. Rather, they are humans who operate in a system that protects some as it leaves others at risk. Changing that system will require us to acknowledge that some people have both benefited from and been scarred by it, and that the former does not invalidate the latter.”
Signed: Rooster; Filmmaker & Performer.
*This info was published by me alone. I take sole responsibility for sharing these experiences. Please find my contact info here; firstname.lastname@example.org , for any feedback or complaints.
Follow up articles:
– Olympe de G | Power, Abuse & Sexual Coercion.
– How ‘Ethical’ Film Festivals & Platforms can be Accountable.
– Defamation of Character — ‘A Defence Strategy’; A Strategic Defence.
– Complicity & Ethics;
#MeToo #TimesUp # Sex Work #SexWorkAndMeToo # Ethical Porn #ErikaLUST #ShootBetterPorn # Feminist Porn #BetterPorn # Boundary Violations # Consent Violations # Consent # Ethical # Ethics # Abuse # Unethical # DONT CALL ME A DICK # WE ARE THE FUCKING WORLD # Rooster # Nico Bertrand # Harvey Weinstein # Olympe de G # LUSTCinema # LUSTFilms #XConfessions # Erika Lust MeToo # ARCHITECTURE PORN # THE BITCHHIKER # LUST Cinema # LUST Films # XConfessions # Asia Argento # Avital Ronell # Jimmy Bennett