Sex workers featured on A&E's '8 Minutes' say network failed to offer help, privacy
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UPDATE: A&E took down its webpage for 8 Minutes, along with all of the show’s episodes, after BuzzFeed News reported the women’s allegations Monday afternoon. The page for the show, but not the episodes, was up again by 3:46 p.m. on Tuesday.
EARLIER: Three women who were filmed for A&E’s 8 Minutes, a reality series in which pastor/former cop Kevin Brown tries to convince sex workers to leave the practice, told BuzzFeed News that the network did not come through with the resources it promised once they stopped trading sex for money.
Besides an appearance fee, some women who filmed episodes claim they never received the assistance A&E pledged them, including housing, medical, dental and employment assistance. “All I wanted was help, man. All I wanted was a way out,” Gina, who appeared in the premiere, told BuzzFeed News. “I gave them what they wanted, but they didn’t give me what I wanted.”
Gina also hoped to have her face blurred on the show, but says A&E did not offer that option. Jazzy, mom to a 20-year-old daughter, says her family found out about her sex work because of the show. “That’s bullshit,” she added.
Some of the women told the website they stopped sex work after appearing on the show, hoping to take advantage of A&E’s “resources,” and fearing arrest. Kamylla says she was jailed after filming, which exposed her line of work to her husband.
Donna says she received the number for a counselor, but what she really needs is a place to live with her husband and five small children. “Within a month, if you can’t do what you said you were gonna do, we don’t got nothin’ to talk about,” she said.
The series began airing April 2 and has since been cancelled. A&E offered no comment on the situation.