Assence Films Responds to NEA Donation Controversy

Feb 7, 2012 1:00 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — Assence Films has issued a response to The National Education Association’s (NEA) decision to reject donations from the proceeds of sales from its "Anal Artists" film featuring Sasha Grey.

The studio announed plans to make the donations to the country's largest teachers union earlier this month after Grey caused a public outrage last year by being a guest reader at a Compton, Los Angeles grade school.

The company said, "We are extremely disappointed in the National Education Assocation’s decision to reject much-needed donations from a legitimate taxpaying company, especially in a time where funding for education has been cut by almost $1 billion in California alone.

"We here at Assence Films are very proud of our product, but we don’t want kids exposed to it. We do, however, want them exposed to literature. It is not our place to figure out how to fix education, but why can’t we help?

"The success of the Lottery in many states has proven that vice can greatly enhance the public good through funding alone. Our school system is both broke and broken. Classrooms are more crowded than ever, and students in the U.S. are falling even further behind their foreign counterparts.

Assence further maintained that L.A. school districts are already financially strapped and questioned where they will receive new funding.

"Sadly, many teachers sacrifice much more than that out of their personal salaries just to keep their classrooms afloat. In our schools today the textbooks are laughably out of date, the buildings themselves are eroding, and student-teacher ratio is at an all-time high. What can help fix this?," Assence asked.

The company said it wanted to give its fair share regardless of whether Grey’s "so-called 'reading scandal'" was officially sanctioned or not.

"When was the last time anyone read to your kids? Be it Sartre’s 'The Age of Reason' or Engelmann and Bruner’s 'My Pet Goat,' literary appreciation inspires and provokes much more thought than the latest video game title, adult film, (or even a blog that masquerades as a legitimate news source.)

"If the government can’t do it, it’s up to the rest of us to give our share, and if the NEA won’t take our money we’ll find an organization that will," Assence said.

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