Celebrities

This porn star isn't afraid to talk about how racist the industry really is

This porn star isn't afraid to talk about how racist the industry really is

Popular adult film star Janice Griffith opened up in a interview with Fusion about how her meso-Caribbean background confuses people who try to pigeonhole her when it comes to racially categorised porn.

The 20-year-old performer, who describes herself as an intersectional feminist, said that sites are quick to label her as whatever they find marketable - whether that's Latina, Egyptian, black, Chinese, or white.

It's a common practice in the industry, and many have pointed out that porn that uses labels such as "interracial" are racist because it denotes specifically black man/white woman action - and that grouping people by race for the purposes of sexual gratification is itself problematic.

“I’ve been very outspoken against it,” Griffith told Fusion. “My fans will joke, ‘She’s not Latina, guys.’ I don’t support the fetishisation of ethnicities.”

Women of colour who work in the porn industry don't have the same opportunities for work that women who can pass for white do, Griffith says, and are often paid less - proving that white privilege is still white privilege, even in porn.

Black women, no matter how dark or light their skin colour, are always classified in the “ebony” category - not "interracial".

There is definitely a racist influence but not because of adult performers but because our society as a whole is racist.

  • Janice Griffith

She says the internet as a medium only exacerbates the problem, adding:

Internet search terms... simplify it so that people can find the content that they’re looking for. People want a brown-skinned girl for whatever perverted motivations they have, and they know that brown girls are [listed as] Latina.

Change is arriving slowly in the world of porn, but it is happening - some sites refuse to use traditional porn categories and more and more performers are starting to shoot and direct their own work, taking creative control.

Griffith hopes that as more people of colour in the industry start to choose their own narratives, the traditional sexist and racist structures in porn will start to break down. But she says part of the reason it takes so long is because there is so much stigma attached to the work:

Porn is a place that people fear to tread and it harbours a really negative stigma, so racism can thrive and live longer there... We still haven’t figured out a way to properly regulate porn and come to an agreement between performers, directors and legislators. Because we can’t regulate it, we can’t say this is racist, this is wrong. We’re not communicating openly enough... It’s a conversation we need to have as a whole society.

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