Sex work has long been viewed as taboo in American society. The constant shaming of sex work and sex workers alike is beyond hypocritical. First of all, there's a need for sex workers. If you think the majority of people don't watch porn, whether they admit it or not, you're out of touch. Especially nowadays, where porn is easily accessible through the internet.
There are even people who are physically disabled, where porn is their only sexual outlet. Many who have a physical disability seek out the companionship of sex workers as well. You would think that in 2020, where progressive values are being pushed more than ever, punishing sex workers would be an unpopular move.
Apparently, it's not unpopular enough for CBS to follow suit. The network booted former "Love Island" contestant Noah Purvis from the show. A statement was released on Monday, which claimed Purvis violated his contestant agreement by omitting information. The news of his firing came after news of his gay porn career broke.
Purvis performs on the gay porn website Corbin Fisher under the name Ethan. Many online believe this was the key bit of information he didn't reveal to the "Love Island" producers. If this is true, and such an action did violate the agreement, then CBS can unfortunately use that as a reasonable excuse to let him go.
However, let's take a look at the reason why he could've possibly left out this fact. Perhaps he, like many other sex workers, felt ashamed of his career. Maybe, just maybe, Purvis felt the embarrassment society places on sex workers. Maybe CBS could've given him a pass and shown him this line of work wasn't anything to be ashamed of. It's not like Purvis committed a crime.
If anything, all CBS did was perpetuate the idea that porn is bad. They probably reinforced his own fears that he wouldn't be able to have a life or career outside of porn. This is the reason many porn actors don't tell their friends. This is the reason many of them don't tell their family, in fear of being disowned.
Sometimes adult actors get into the business to pay for college or because they're struggling financially. And some of them do it because they simply enjoy it. Judgment is the last thing we should be throwing their way.
Former porn star Mia Khalifa received death threats after she wore a hijab in one of her scenes. This led to her speaking against the adult industry and making claims many in the business refute. Kurt Wild, a former gay porn star, revealed on "The Tyra Banks Show" that he lost his job at Subway after his porn career was exposed.
There was also the case of Robert Marucci, who was suspended at 18 during his senior year in high school. Marucci's mother said the principal told her he was suspended due to his work in gay porn. This was especially difficult to understand because the work happened off school property and Marucci was of legal age. The school claimed this wasn't true and he was suspended due to "possible threats" he made. Regardless, Marucci was let back in school once the story blew up.
Incidents like these are why we need to work towards ending the stigma that comes with sex work. These people have feelings and they're providing a need many have. Prudish values shouldn't be an excuse for hypocritical behavior that hurts others. We should normalize this segment of society so that porn actors and viewers alike don't feel the shame that comes with it.
If people don't like porn or sex work in general, they shouldn't pay attention to it. It's that simple. Shaming others because they don't fit in with one way of life isn't the way to go. So many who speak out against sex work claim porn actors are being objectified and disrespected. Has it ever occurred to them that maybe shaming adults for their career choice is also a form of disrespect?
Sex workers are human beings, many of whom enjoy the job they've chosen. We shouldn't stand in judgment of others. If there's any bright spot in this for Purvis, it's that Corbin Fisher tweeted a public show of support for him. Let's hope that CBS and others learn from this mistake and do things differently going forward.
Sex work is work. It's that simple.