Stand up for Ethics & Labor
Rights in Ethical Porn
Hello Rooster was raped and sexually assaulted on the porn set of ‘prolific award-winning, ethical, adult filmmaker;’ Erika Lust. Support them in getting recognition and an apology, calling for safe conditions for sex workers and holding ethical porn production companies accountable.
It’s time for ethical porn to change!
Hello Rooster; Oluwaseun Abdul Rufai Ajala met Olympe de G; Barbara Soumet-Leman, director and performer, in April 2017. She approached them to take part in a Erika Lust production ‘Architecture Porn’ where she would act as lead performer and offered them to meet her beforehand to train for the scenes.
“I was appreciative of Olympe de G professionalism in offering to prepare for the scenes in advance. Not realising, I was being mislead into believing this was standard industry protocol, which it wasn’t.”
Olympe de G and Hello Rooster practiced and trained establishing their sexual boundaries for the shooting: ‘(1) no receiving sex in a doggystyle position and, (2) no receiving oral sex’ were Hello Rooster’s boundaries. They also decided on a safe signal to be used during the shoot if any of them weren’t comfortable with the scene.
“These agreements were not formalised in writing, as most conversations around consent aren’t. But I was confident in the professional way in which the film would be produced, especially considering the fact there had been an intense training and rehearsal prior.”
On the day of the shoot, in June 2017, Olympe de G and Hello Rooster restated the above boundaries.
During the scene, Hello Rooster’s boundaries were violated and although they used the safe signal, Olympe de G ignored. Hello Rooster was shocked, dissociated and asked for a break.
“The assault is on tape, part of the film ‘Architecture Porn’, meaning whoever watches it is actually witnessing a rape within the comfort of wherever they are and the possibility to pause, replay, move fast forward, etc. Basically like you would with any porn movie or series on Netflix.”
When they took a break following the assault, Olympe de G acknowledged she breached Hello Rooster’s boundaries and both agreed to talk about what happened later so to finish with the shooting.
“This much needed conversation never happened as Olympe de G kept asking to postpone it for various reasons: it being her birthday, not having enough time, etc.”
Olympe de G
Between June and December 2017, Olympe de G refused to discuss what happened with Hello Rooster. Since going public, she has used two stories to defend herself:
1. Hello Rooster is an ex-lover who didn’t get over a separation;
2. Hello Rooster is stalking her.
“Could you imagine Harvey Weinstein using any of these excuses of defence against one of his victims?”
Erika Lust Films
Hello Rooster approached Erika Lust Films in September 2017 after learning the production company blacklisted them.
When confronted, Erika Lust Films established the facts that Hello Rooster had been blacklisted following the demand of Olympe de G.
After hearing Hello Rooster’s story , they expressed being sorry, shared that a similar experience had happened in the past with another performer; Parker Marx, and that they should move on and get over it.
1. Due to Hello Rooster being vocal about their assault, Erika Lust have started using the excuse that Hello Rooster’s intention is to damage their brand.
“How should the top mind of an ethical porn brand handle sexual assaults? Definitely not telling victims ‘it’s happened before, in the past, get over it!’”
IS THERE ANY PROOF?
Email from Parker Marx
This email is evidence of a pattern in the behaviour of Olympe de G: abusing her position as a director on a movie set to breach performers’ boundaries.
ABOUT THE LEGAL BATTLE
“As a sex worker, it is extremely dangerous to be outed; for your birth name to be linked with a work that is highly stigmatised. It carries the weight of being isolated and disowned by family and losing ‘non sex-work’ due to stigma. Outing a sex worker, especially intentionally, is violence as it endangers our life & livelihoods. For this to be done by Olympe de G, who knows this experience very well, shows how intentional and malicious her action were.”
After Olympe de G and Erika Lust Films’ failure to address demands of a mediation regarding this breach of contract and the sexual assault, Hello Rooster felt they were left with no other option than to seek legal help. | Link
“Being left with no other choice but to navigate the legal system to seek justice has been difficult news. This meant having to undergo painful questioning, something referred to as a ‘second rape’, facing social stigma for coming forward about my experiences for many more months to come, all this while my demands could have been fulfilled by the mediation process I suggested.”
Erika Lust Films
Hello Rooster approached Erika Lust Films to have an out of court settlement in the form of an apology and to obtain a witness statement, which they initially agreed to, if they were not held responsible for any damages caused by Olympe de G. But alias, Erika Lust Films eventually pulled out of negotiations at the last minute refusing to proceed with a settlement, leaving the only option open to me, the difficult decision to continue by engaging in an expensive legal route to have a chance at having justice and accountability.
English | Spanish
“When I heard this news, it made me suicidal. It had gotten to the point where the only options I had left during that intense crisis period was: i). to harm myself or ii). to inflict harm to someone else. This is so unlike me. I reached out the local police, mental health services and Accident & Emergency (ER) with very little help from them at my darkest hour. I had tried to do everything in my power to negotiate and deescalate this matter from the start, only to end up being played and blamed by the very people who failed to ensure my safety on set. And if this wasn’t bad enough, I have to live with the extremely saddening and mentally damaging fact that my sexual assault is being sold for profit as ‘ethical porn’ by this same company.”
Olympe de G
As far as Olympe de G is concerned, a criminal investigation is being pursued in France.
French & English
“Due to my financial position as a freelancer; rufaiajala.com, I haven’t been able to pursue a criminal & civil case as fast as I had wished. It is a fact that the most marginalised have a hard time or aren’t in a privileged position when fighting for justice compared with those in positions of power. I am experiencing this as I seek justice against Olympe de G; a financially privileged person whose work as a senior exec at Apple France, has the financial capacity to threaten me with lawyers for sharing my story.”
WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING FOR
⇒ I want to understand why Olympe de G breached my boundaries.
⇒ I want to speak openly about my assault without being misrepresented, excused and called a stalker or engaging in harassment to minimise and derail my experience.
⇒ I want the CEOs of Erika Lust Films to recognise, take responsibility and apologise for their contributing actions in creating an unsafe working environment that led to my assault.
⇒ I want to support the cause of male and non binary victims, victims who are more likely NOT to vocalise or express their assault and abuse due to societal pressures and stigma.
⇒ I want my experience to trigger debates for better and safer conditions for sex workers, so this doesn’t happen to someone else (e.g. compulsory written boundaries).
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are 3 ways beside financial help to support me:
• Share my story on social media | #BelieveALLSurvivors. Please help support victims of marginalised identities.
• Join my online protest by signing my petition (change.org) |Email Erika Lust Films, Comment on their Social media; Instagram, Twitter, etc. ⇒ Let them know it's unethical to profit off the visual record of someone's rape and sexual assault.
“Frequently Asked Questions”
This example of a witness statement from a performer who has worked with Erika Lust as recent as 2019 shows that Erika Lust has failed regarding ensuring performer safety, and she isn’t involved in the discussion of boundaries between performer.
Erika Lust Films;
A Powerful Monopoly
Email between A