Executive Produced By Meryl Streep, Sarah Jones Film Sell/Buy/Date Seeks Answers About The Sex Industry


Executive Produced By Meryl Streep, Sarah Jones Film Sell/Buy/Date Seeks Answers About The Sex Industry
More From ForbesFor as long as she can remember Sarah Jones has been captivated by the disparate messages she was fed about the sex industry and female sexuality. “From Pretty Woman to Mighty Aphrodite to Taxi Driver, depending on who was framing the narrative, the idea of men paying for sex was simultaneously taboo, shameful, stigmatized, but also romanticized and sensationalized,” observes Jones. A Tony-winning performer, writer and comedian, Jones is known for playing a mosaic of richly developed characters of all ages and backgrounds in her one-person shows, like Bridge and Tunnel. Sarah Jones' new film Sell/Buy/Date debuts in [+][-] theaters October 14. Courtesy Sarah Jones Growing up in New York she was cat-called on the streets. She studied feminism at Bryn Mawr College. Through it all messages about sexuality continued to be confusing as she tried to navigate her experiences. “Women should have a ‘girls gone wild’ attitude so as not to be prudes, but also shouldn’t be ‘slutty’ lest we risk being called ‘hoes,’” says Jones. “And as for the industry itself, the popular culture continued to objectify and dehumanize women in ‘the life’ while normalizing and even glamorizing the Johns, gentlemen’s clubs and pimp culture that drove the demand.” (function() { function createUniqueId() { return 'xxxxxxxx-xxxx-4xxx-yxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx'.replace(/[xy]/g, function(c) { var r = Math.random() * 16 | 0, v = c == 'x' ? r : (r & 0x3 | 0x8); return v.toString(16); }); } const randId = createUniqueId(); document.getElementsByClassName('fbs-cnx')[0].setAttribute('id', randId); document.getElementById(randId).removeAttribute('class'); (new Image()).src = 'https://capi.connatix.com/tr/si?token=2f8ffe6b-3135-4f5d-92bc-d6a427cad63a'; cnxps.cmd.push(function () { cnxps({ playerId: '2f8ffe6b-3135-4f5d-92bc-d6a427cad63a'}).render(randId); }); })(); Jones also noticed that most Hollywood storytelling revolved around straight white men and their points of view. “However, the women, who were also almost always white, were seen as accessories to the man’s journey,” explains Jones. “I wanted to create something that expanded the conversation and centered the voices that are usually marginalized or missing altogether.” Also, when she began writing and performing publicly, she taught poetry on Rikers Island to a class of young girls. “All of whom were Black or brown like me. At ages as young as fourteen and fifteen, most of them already had some experience with the sex industry,” says Jones. “I remember thinking their stories needed to be heard, and wondered if we as a society could have a broader, mainstream conversation around the sex industry in general.” MORE FOR YOUPatrick Byrne Of Overstock Fame Says He Was Involved In Monthslong Effort To Overturn 2020 ElectionFive 2022 XR Trends For Holiday Shopping In The MetaverseTips To Be A Disciplined And Successful EntrepreneurA scene from Sell/Buy/Date. Sarah Jones (left), [+][-] plays several characters including Nereida (center) and Bella (right) Courtesy Cinedigm To that end she wrote and starred in her one-woman show Sell/Buy/Date which was inspired by the experiences of people impacted by the sex industry. The play began off Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club and had several iterations including a production in Los Angeles. And then, during lockdown, she brought some of her stage characters to life on social media for her #yesimsarahjones IG Live Show to ignite conversation around the black lives matter movement. This month, Jones is debuting her feature film Sell/Buy/Date. Cinedigm released the film in theaters on October 14, 2022, which will be streaming in November. Jones wrote, stars and makes her directorial debut in the film which was executive produced by Meryl Streep. Part documentary, part narrative, the movie follows Jones and her characters, who range in age from a college student getting a degree in sex work studies to an eighty-something grandma, as they try to gain a more informed understanding of the sex industry. The story is told though Jones’ smart, compassionate and funny lens as she searches for her own clarity. It also delves into how economics, gender and race impact the industry. Bryan Cranston, Rosario Dawson, Ilana Glazer and Jones’ mother appear in the film. The eclectic characters who she plays in Sell/Buy/Date allows Jones to weave together different voices. And seeing them interact with Jones herself is a marvel. “Including the characters offered an opportunity to hear various, often opposing, opinions on the topic and explore the ways we can start to question our own beliefs about women, sex, power dynamics, and commodification if we are willing to listen and learn from people with lived experience,” says Jones. What also makes Sell/Buy/Date compelling is the breadth of people from different sides of the aisle offering their reflections on the sex industry to Jones. “I hope people experience the brilliance, resilience, beauty and strength of the people I got to meet on my journey in the film,” shares Jones of her interactions. She meets everyone from an anti-trafficking activist to the owner of a Las Vegas brothel to indigenous activists to a pro bono attorney representing asylum seekers who is also a pole dance instructor. They all provide their unique perspectives. “Whether they have lived experience in the sex industry themselves, or lent their voices as part of the larger excavation of this topic,” offers Jones adding, “I hope people can relate to each interviewee.” Jones also desires that people come away from the film feeling more informed and inspired to seek more answers. “I hope the audience is curious to learn more about how we can apply the same social justice values so many of us share to these issues,” she says. “which are closer to our lives than many of us realize.”As a first time film director Sarah Jones shared [+][-] that the joy was "learning that the same level of attention to every detail in developing characters for the stage translated well to creating the visual story I wanted to tell on screen." Danielle DeBruno Follow me on Twitter. Jeryl BrunnerEditorial StandardsCorrectionsReprints & Permissions

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