Actress Jada Pinkett Smith has been working closely with CNN to produce a new documentary that focuses on the link between the “glorified” stripper culture in Atlanta and sex trafficking. She took to her Facebook page to share some of the latest updates and offered her thoughts on what she considered to be a surprising discovery.
Smith’s latest film project is shedding light on a serious issue as the actress found that a major source of sex trafficking is not only right under our noses, but it’s also being praised and glorified in today’s mainstream media.
In a recent video log that she shared via Facebook, she explained that she had the opportunity to talk to several strippers in Atlanta who became victims of sex trafficking.
“I just finished my first day of shooting in Atlanta,” she said at the beginning of the vlog. “I went to a wonderful facility called Well Spring and got to meet three really dynamic women who had been trafficked. I learned so much from them today and I really learned a lot about perception.”
The perception, in this case, being that people are praising stripper culture, while actual strippers are being trafficked.
“I think the thing that caught me was the one of the ladies – a really bright young girl – the gateway to trafficking for her was stripping,” she said. “As we know, here in Atlanta the strip culture is pretty prevalent.”
The young woman told Smith that she started stripping so that she could feel independent and make money, and that’s when the mother-of-two says she was genuinely shocked.
“I missed that young women were perceiving stripping as a way of being independent and balling,” she said. “I missed that. I think that has something to do with my age because I was just talking to my girlfriend and was like, ‘Hey, when we were coming up stripping was the bottom.’ The stripping culture was not glorified when I was growing up. If you were stripping there was a problem.”
She compared that perception to what seems to exist today.
Later in the vlog she referred to that type of perception as a “myth” that needs to be broken and she has hopes that her documentary will be able to do just that.
One of the young women Smith spoke to admitted to the actress that she willingly took on a few “Johns” to make some extra money.
Initially, she felt she was in control and that’s what she liked about it. It wasn’t long, however, before she was trafficked by one of the men, and lost control of who she was sleeping with.
Smith’s documentary will dive deeper into the women’s lives and expose more hidden secrets of Atlanta’s strip scene and its link to sex trafficking.
The CNN documentary has not been given an official release date or title, but reports suggest it will air some time this summer.