Sex workers reveal A&E’s reality show ‘8 Minutes’ promised them help but ultimately gave them nothing.
Four sex workers who were filmed as part of the A&E reality series ‘8 Minutes’ – where former cop and current pastor Kevin Brown “hires” sex workers and then attempts to convince them to change their lives by leaving the business – claimed the show was nothing more than a joke filled with false promises.
The women told BuzzFeed that after receiving nominal fees (around $200 for appearing in an episode) and agreeing to accept “medical, dental, housing, and employment assistance” for leaving sex work behind, attempts to follow-up with the show and network were met with silence. One woman, Gina, said she “didn’t get a fucking thing.” Another woman, Donna, claims the only “assistance” she was provided was the phone number of a counselor.
Kamylla received a call on her work number from the producers of the show, who immediately identified themselves as such (this is in contrast to the premise of the show, which implies that the women believe they are coming to a normal appointment, only to be met by Brown). She agreed to tape a segment for the show, in which she said she wanted help getting out of the business, and after the taping was told she’d soon hear back with more information and assistance.
She never heard back from them, and instead reached out herself, but no meaningful help was to come. Kamylla found herself broke and needing to work again. She posted an ad, using the same number the 8 Minutes producers had contacted her on, and was arrested in a sting. Now she was broke, frightened, and facing criminal charges, and when she reached out for help from 8 Minutes, Brown offered to pray for her.
The show ultimately left women exposed, declining to blur their faces for broadcast and not taking measures to protect their identities – one woman, Jazzy, said her husband found out about her sex work after watching her on the show. “It took less than an hour for this reporter to find contact information for three women using only the information A&E broadcast on television,” BuzzFeed’s Ariane Lange reported.
The show as called appalling, and ignorant of how sex workers really lived, when the show premiered last month. A&E apparently is trying to forget the show ever aired and according to reports, the show was ultimately cancelled earlier today.
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