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This Adult Entertainer Left Her Industry Twice Due To Ongoing Racism And Lack Of Protection
Human Interest

This Adult Entertainer Left Her Industry Twice Due To Ongoing Racism And Lack Of Protection

There was a moment before adult performer Demi Sutra reentered the industry for what would be her second of three separate times in under a decade when she realized that her profession was in desperate need of change. “I didn’t love everything that I saw,” Sutra tells xoNecole. “[But] I still wanted to be there.” This realization came to her after she reached out to several Black performers through Twitter to ask about their experience dealing with the racism that plagues adult entertainment. “It was just incredibly obvious that it needed help.”


Sutra first entered adult entertainment when she was 23 which she describes as being “not a good time” for her. “I found it to be problematic and really hurtful,” she says about her experience of being pigeonholed to sites specifically meant for Black female performers.

In 2018, she would move to Los Angeles from Florida to relaunch her career only to leave again in 2019. The second time she would leave she cited being overworked and blatant racism. “I didn’t like my agency. [There was] a lack of protection for me when it came to racism,” she says.

The inaction by her then agency (the famed Spiegler Girls) led to Sutra becoming vocal on her own social media. “When you do those callouts you risk being blacklisted,” Sutra says. “But I was really just tired of it and I started saying shit about companies online.” Despite the slow change, she said she saw from her being vocal online, Sutra was still frustrated with the industry’s racism.

“I had so many directors for multiple companies say to my face: ‘Oh man, you’re really talented. I really wish I could book you for more scenes but we met our Black girl quota.'” Sutra was taken aback when told this. “So your boss is racist and you’re okay with that?”

That experience would echo that of another Black female performer xoNecole spoke with. Wanting to remain anonymous, she says that “for Black girls, they don’t want to have us on there too much, even if we’re doing well because they don’t want to be seen as a ‘Black girl site.' It makes it so our trajectory in the industry is slower.”

Misogynoir in adult entertainment is a systemic issue that has manifested itself in many different ways for Black women performers.

Newcomer Elsie’s short-lived mainstream career came to an end towards the close of 2022 after the constant struggle to have Black scene partners. “They told me Black on Black doesn’t sell.” She says the difficulty in selling these kinds of scenes is due to the kind of viewers that mainstream adult entertainment caters to. “The audience they have created is not Black,” Elsie says. “It's catered to white people. A lot of the tropes, like the stepsister stuff, that’s not catered to us.”

Blacked, a popular adult entertainment production company that produces content with Black men and white women has come under scrutiny in particular for some of the racist stereotypes they perpetuate. “Blacked symbolizes something so dirty,” Sutra says as she recounts her discovery of the website. She says that performers who have worked with Blacked have reached out to her telling her that the company makes the white female scene partners look as if they’re uncomfortable and in pain. “In this evangelical fucking white America that we live in, [white women] were put on a pedestal and Black men were killed.”

Despite Sutra’s vocal objections to the website on her Twitter account, she says that she gets the most pushback from Black male performers and Black male fans. “[Blacked] did have a convo with all of their Black male talent and two of the Black female talent they were shooting at the time … and asked the Black men – they didn’t even ask the women – if the title bothered them,” Sutra says. “All of them said no.”

Sutra says following her criticism of Blacked, that she was harassed and received death threats on social media. “It was really insane that I was trying to stand up for something that I know to be right and it’s not a positive thing.”

Sutra’s hope for a better industry isn’t lost despite all the backlash she’s faced. After the country-wide racial reckoning in 2020, Sutra said she saw the most dramatic change in the industry since she’s been there. She points to programs like BiPoc started by Sinnamon Love that addresses the racial inequality within the industry that would later receive funding from Adult Video Network or AVN. “That program which does enable Black pornstars to be able to get therapy, get testing — because some people can’t afford it, especially being that there’s so few places for Black talent in pornography.”

Moreover, Sutra is looking toward her own future in the industry. In 2021, she signed with Brazzers, marking her third official time with the industry. She is most excited however for the future generation of Black female stars. “I’ve fully stepped into the phase of uplifting younger Black women in the industry and that is what I’ll continue to do.”

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Feature image by @demisutra/ Instagram

 

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