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Salvation Army project raising funds for ‘undercover’ documentary on sex workers

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A new documentary project raising funds online has drawn criticism from sex workers and sex work advocates for allegedly filming women employed in those trades without their consent.

Freelance journalist Melissa Gira Grant reported Tuesday that the film, “Hard Corps,” is being produced by SAVN.tv, an online network funded by the Salvation Army, and purports to link pornography, exotic dancing and other types of sex work to other forms of human trafficking. The page also features a video statement by Salvation Army “Territorial Commander” Jim Knaggs, who calls sex work “nothing less than slavery.”

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“When I saw the first tweet about the project, I was neither shocked nor surprised,” one sex worker, Jolene Parton, told The Raw Story in an email interview on Wednesday. “The rescue industry, sex-negative feminism, and religious organizations have been using sex workers as unwilling fodder for their moral crusade for as long as I can remember.”

The project is currently seeking funding through the online platform Kickstarter, which Gira Grant reported is “looking into” the matter, according to co-founder Yancey Strickler. The site’s regulations do not permit projects raising money for charitable purposes, but donors have reported seeing the Salvation Army listed as the recipient of their pledges.

As of Wednesday afternoon, “Hard Corps” has raised just over $8,000 of the creative team’s stated goal of $100,000 in funding. An email sent to Kickstarter for comment has not been returned as of the time of publication.

In the trailer, director Guy Noland, wearing a light disguise, shows off a camera hidden on a pair of eyeglasses. The trailer also appears to show sex workers without having their faces blurred to protect their identity, leading to accusations online that Noland and his team were endangering the workers’ lives by exposing their identities.

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Also, while the project’s Kickstarter page lists interviews with various porn stars, at least one of them, Nina Hartley, said on Twitter on Tuesday that she “did not know” that her interview would be used for this kind of film.

Gira Grant reported that, following complaints to Kickstarter, a post appeared under the project’s “FAQ” stating that, “Everyone on camera signed an appearance release form, allowing us to use their likeness on film.”

But Jolene said the fact that the documentarians’ statement appeared only after the criticism began showed that they didn’t care enough to inform their interview subjects about the nature of their project.

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“I don’t believe it for an instant,” she said. “If they actually cared about sex workers, they would have emphasized consent and safety practices from the beginning.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.


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Trump campaign mocked after unveiling new red hats: ‘Do you have arm bands as well?’

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President Donald Trump's 2016 "Make America Great Again" hats have been replaced with new "Keep America Great" hats.

Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale modeled one of the hats on Twitter.

Here is some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/LazarusLeBaron/status/1165430924093165568

Here I made an arm band design for you pic.twitter.com/inTyqVi2wo

— Christopher Goodwin (@LazarusLeBaron) August 25, 2019

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‘This will not end well’: Far-right extremism expert warns of Trump’s intensifying authoritarianism

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An expert on the far-right in America warned of President Donald Trump's "genuinely dangerous levels" of authoritarianism on Saturday.

Author David Neiwert posted a long Twitter thread on the commander-in-chief's "Social Dominance Orientation" -- and warned it will not end well.

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Here is the thread he posted:

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165428067138846720

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165428524808724480

https://twitter.com/DavidNeiwert/status/1165429018486702081

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Ilhan Omar trolls GOP lawmakers ‘losing their minds’ over sharing the House floor with three Muslim Democrats

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One of the first Muslim women elected to Congress trolled her GOP colleagues for "losing their minds" over the existence of three Muslims in the House of Representatives.

The three Muslims in Congress are Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. André Carson (D-IN), with Omar and Tlaib being the first to Muslim women in the body

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) worried about the "growing influence" during an appearance on a local radio station.

Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan posted a link to the interview on Twitter, calling it "open bigotry."

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