HOLLYWOOD—It'll probably give adult actresses a chuckle that a "principal performer" on a "Cinemax After Dark" series is suing that show's producers, directors and various other personnel, as well as Time Warner Cable Media, which owns Cinemax, for "forcing" her to appear on camera wearing pasties and a "pussy patch," and to perform simulated sex on the show... but that's just what actress "Anne G" has done.
In the lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in LA County Superior Court, the pseudonymous plaintiff "Anne G" (who one assumes fears being blackballed if she uses her real name) has charged True Crime LLC (the company that produces the late-night cable series Femme Fatales), Time Warner and "Does 1 to 250" for having been "blind sided with rewrite after rewrite which necessitated her character to simulate sexual intercourse and her to appear nude but for pasties on her nipples and a sticker on her private parts, without the proper health and safety protections in place or a set that was closed except for essential production crew."
According to the complaint, the plaintiff "was contracted to perform as an AFTRA principal performer to appear on the Show produced by defendant TRUE CRIME and to be aired on defendant TIME WARNER's subsidiary Cinemax television network, based upon her understanding of what was being requested of her as a performing artist as it pertained to her role on the show. The contractual agreement in place, as well as the protections she benefitted from as an AFTRA union member were part of the bargained for exchange."
The episode complained of was titled "Jail Break," and premiered on Cinemax on July 12, 2012. However, some adult industry personnel find Anne G's complaint to be a bit suspicious.
"[Retired adult actress] Chloe did a whole season of Young Lady Chatterley, and I think she did at least one Red Shoe Diaries thing—I worked on one of those—and absolutely, the performers' contracts all said 'may involve nudity'," assured director Ernest Greene. "I mean, it would go without saying, but studio lawyers being what they are, nothing goes without saying, which is why I believe it would say that. They'd be crazy not to put that in there."
Sadly, Anne G's contract was not attached to the complaint, so we can't know whether the "nudity" and/or "simulated sexual intercourse" clauses were in her contract—but then again, the series Femme Fatales, which was based on a softcore men's magazine of the same name published for about 10 years beginning in 1992, has plenty of nudity in it, as can easily be gleaned by going to the series' website.
"If I were the judge, I'd say, 'I'd like to see the contract as it was originally written. Oh, it says here, "may require nudity"—Is that your signature? Well, I guess you don't have a complaint. Dismissed, with prejudice; don't come back'," Greene speculated. "That's what I would anticipate. But of course, I haven't seen the contract she signed; maybe hers has an exclusion, but if it had an exclusion, then all she had to say was, 'Hey, here's my contract. See this? I'm not doing it. I'm outta here, and you've got to pay me anyway.' So this strikes me as one of those, she wakes up the next day and says, 'I didn't get paid enough for that.'"
Actress Nina Hartley, a veteran of several late-night series as well as a major role in the mainstream film Boogie Nights, agrees with Greene's contractual experiences.
"Oh, sure, they'd have to do disclosure so they can't be sued later," Hartley said. "And I can't believe, if the show's been on for a couple of years, that she did not do her due diligence and check out an episode or two."
But apparently, Anne G (or her agent, who isn't mentioned in the complaint) didn't check out the show's bonafides, never watched an episode and never talked to anyone who'd appeared on the show before signing the contract. However, she claims that the on-set rewrites (which Greene said are rare for such productions, which usually operate under a very tight schedule) "completely changed the agreement" she'd originally consented to, and charged that she "informed Defendants that she was not comfortable performing in the new scenes requiring the requested nudity and performance of sexual intercourse." (Of course, if she'd actualy been asked to perform sexual intercourse, that would take late-night cable to a whole new level, so we'll assume she means simulated sexual intercourse.)
In any case, Anne G claims that the defendants threatened to sue her for $100,000 if she didn't perform as they instructed, so "Under the duress of significant pecuniary retribution, bullying and intimidation, Plaintiff was left alone to negotiate a soft-core porn scene albeit making it clear to production that she was not comfortable nor did she agree to this content."
Not only does Anne G claim she was "not comfortable," but in the very next paragraph, she charges that, "Plaintiff performed as requested all the while having emotional breakdowns in a state of shock." Among the things she alleges led to this condition were, "Multiple union rules and regulations [that] were violated, including but not limited to, the requirement to have a closed set when performers are required to be semi-nude or naked, the requirement to have fully functioning and properly fitted pasties over private parts, the requirement to provide the performer with the ability to be made aware of in writing and in sufficient detail to [sic] any script changes which require explicit nudity and depiction of sexual intercourse and the obligation of Defendants to fully disclose in writing the extent to which they are requesting the performer to engage in nudity and sexual content[,] thus allowing the performer an opportunity to consent or not to consent."
And not only was she upset that the defendants would have her "perform a scene depicting aggressive sexual intercourse with a male performer while she was topless with a pasty on her vagine and nothing more than a sock[!] on the male performer's private parts," but during the scene, Anne G claims the male "began to bleed from the mouth resulting in a transference of blood onto Plaintiff's face and body"—and they wouldn't even let her stop the scene to clean it up! So of course, she had to have an STD test, 'cause "Lord" knows where some of those actors have been! (Remember: According to AIDS Healthcare Foundation, this stuff doesn't happen on Hollywood sets because they've got such good health codes!)
Anne G is also suing for sexual harassment, part of which is because the directors made comments like, "Showing your tits [are] a prerequisite to even be on this show," and askign her, "How big are [Plaintiff's] nipples?" She claims they promised her more work if she "did what they wanted and showed her breasts."
There are many more similar or even stronger allegations, which can be seen in the complaint (which can be viewed here), but in any case, it will be interesting to see how this case progresses—and whether the plaintiff can indeed produce the "numerous members of the production crew" who told her that "this type of bait and switch casting conduct was employed as a matter of routine on the show," not to mention the "multiple other performing artists [who] had been subjected to the same alleged conduct."
Pictured: An ad for Femme Fatales, featuring lead actress Tanit Phoenix.