Revamps Performer Consent Policies

Jan 6, 2016 10:06 AM PST

SAN FRANCISCO — told Vocativ it has overhauled company policies on performer rights and responsibilities, in the wake of sexual assault allegations against James Deen and other incidents that purportedly transpired while filming for the company.

On Nov. 28, 2015, Stoya tweeted that ex-boyfriend Deen had forced himself upon her without consent, despite her use of a safeword. Soon thereafter, 11 other women levied similar accusations against Deen, including Ashley Fires and Joanna Angel. Companies like Kink, Doc Johnson and Evil Angel severed business relations with Deen, and adult industry veterans came together to examine issues of performer consent. 

Three of the incidents involving Deen were said to have occurred at the Armory, Kink's San Francisco headquarters, where Fires, Nicki Blue and Lily LaBeau claimed the actor assaulted them.

Adult star Katja Kassin has stated that her boundaries were violated during a Kink shoot not involving Deen, and the company is also facing several lawsuits from other performers regarding its alleged failure to provide a safe work environment.

"It was important to us that we begin to address at least some of the gray areas that came up last month, and to try to better encourage reporting," stated company spokesperson Michael Stabile. “The James Deen allegations launched a period of really intense debate within the Armory about how this happened, and how it could have been prevented.”

Stabile emphasized that Kink is based on a tradition of clearly outlined BDSM consent rules and considers itself an industry leader "in regards to ethical sets and model rights." He describes the new policies as "just the beginning of a process" meant to "help us identify places where we can strengthen protections."

The guidelines promise to halt a scene if a performer uses house safeword "RED" or offers non-verbal cues, further guaranteeing them the right to end the shoot entirely. "Only if I explicitly consent, can the scene continue at a slower pace," decrees the model rights.

Pro-rated payment is offered to performers for any unfinished shoots, awarding "the proportion of the modeling fee earned." As an example, the company says that completing three hours of a four-hour shoot would result in 75 percent of payment. 

"If any of the above is violated, either explicitly or in spirit, by any staff, performer, crew or visitor, I can and should report it to the talent department," declares the guidelines. "I understand that anything I tell the talent department will be kept confidential, if I request it, except in the case a criminal offense (e.g, sexual assault, theft), in which case law enforcement will need to be contacted." 

To read the Vocativ article in its entirety, click here.

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