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Jada Pinkett-Smith’s CNN Documentary Reveals Link Between Atlanta Strip Scene and Sex Trafficking

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.

Jada Pinkett Smith CNN documentary to release date“Whereas today, that’s not it,” Smith continued. “Girls look at strippers and go, ‘Yo, I want that!’”

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.

What people are saying

35 thoughts on “Jada Pinkett-Smith’s CNN Documentary Reveals Link Between Atlanta Strip Scene and Sex Trafficking

  1. Victor Neely says:

    It is not just the strippers who are the problems. It the tricks that supply the cash. When the words "It aint tricking if you got it"were spoken that gave the tricks the green light.

  2. Anthony Kemp says:

    The rap culture has made stripping a "good Thing"

  3. Eric Burden says:

    I think the….conscious but unconscious desires of women today is to be…."independent"….or should I say….in control? It is but to one's attention the role of our ancestral mothers….humble by some chose others would say…."Weak"….because hold they seemed to have bowed down to the demands of men. Jada mentioned the word perspective, true in the real sense the failure to understand…."Perspective"….has in today's times and relationships….alienated the sexes….especially with in the framework of the black family. I find the failure on behalf of both parties to understand, how to except, how to coexist in today's environment is the failure for both sides to understand the influence and dynamics of …."One's Emotions"….there is this line drawn in the sands of life that continues to grow and divide man's attempts to relate to mother natures best…."A Woman"….

  4. Eric Burden says:

    There are plenty of men looking for commitment in their relationships. Until men and women can sit down and talk about what keeps them separated….our relationship concerns will only get worst.

  5. Eric Burden says:

    Not true….

  6. Andrew Saar says:

    Eric Burden , Not true? Are you kidding me? I mean I'll happily stand beside you if you say "Not ALL men are like that", but to say that a lot of men don't want to commit is a fallacy, is either incredibly naive or absurdly ignoring reality. For virtually all of time, men (of which I'm one) have not wanted to commit and get locked down. I don't think that's right, but how in the heck can you argue that it's just not true?

  7. Eric Burden says:

    Andrew….I'm not sure if we are misunderstanding one another. If your photo is correct….you committed to the relationship of marriage which I am saying there are plenty, not all that are looking to be in a relationship. One must remember….women most times are willing to do this much earlier than a man. Quite a few men prefer get things some life experiences under their belt. So are we saying the same thing…..Confused….

  8. Renee Williams says:

    Eric Burden, I would and did gladly submit and/or give up my control for the right man with the right attitude. As a couple we should be and must be committed to taking care of each other and enabling each other to be the best we both can be, together and separately. Most women are in control of necessity, not particularly because they want to, and most likely would agree with what I said at the beginning of this post.

  9. Eric Burden says:

    Andrew….I believe we have missed each other in this conversation. Will you once again explain what you think I am saying? Thanks….

  10. Eric Burden says:

    Renee….I am glad to know that you and your significant came to …."Compromise"….for the growth of the relationship.

  11. Jesse 'Puncho' Bacon Jr says:

    Today's rap tries to make every deviant thing a good thing. They glorify anything that's bad.

  12. I don't think that the rap culture has made stripping a good thing, becuase i don't believe there is such a thing as a "rap culture". Rap music is part of OUR culture, especially the supposed bottom of our culture which in its most common state is a counter culture to the mainstream.

  13. Jackson Samuels says:

    Renee Williams submit!!?? give up control ?? ugh. that is not the foundation for a loving and respectful relationship.

  14. KinkyThought says:

    Waiting for the #notallstrippers army to jump on this and be mad because she's casting stripping in a bad light. The other side to rap culture glorifying stripping is the feminist movement's normalizing and near-glorifying stripping and sex work in general… which is another example of what works for "them" not always being for "us."

    While there are a handful of unicorn sex workers who have total control and agency over themselves and their lives, the vast majority don't and never have. But since we can't seem to address anything with nuance in this country, the focus has turned to that handful for the sake of women's rights. Because we apparently can't champion strippers/sex workers having rights, choices and agency unless we also champion the system and the work that most of them are doing *because* they lack all those.

  15. KinkyThought says:

    Waiting for the #notallstrippers army to jump on this and be mad because she's casting stripping in a bad light. The other side to rap culture glorifying stripping is the feminist movement's normalizing and near-glorifying stripping and sex work in general… which is another example of what works for "them" not always being for "us."

    While there are a handful of unicorn sex workers who have total control and agency over themselves and their lives, the vast majority don't and never have. But since we can't seem to address anything with nuance in this country, the focus has turned to that handful for the sake of women's rights. Because we apparently can't champion strippers/sex workers having rights, choices and agency unless we also champion the system and the work that most of them are doing *because* they lack all those.

  16. Keita Sharri Davis says:

    Media as a whole glorifies stripping. Rappers, certainly. But also these reality shows that are being shoved down our throats. Nene Leaks was a stripper and has said she enjoyed the money and has no regrets. Now she is a mega reality star. Eve was a stripper. Now she is married to a billionaire (which is awesome! Best to them both!). And let us not forget the Kardashians, who got their start in porn…

  17. YOU BE CAREFUL…………….. <3 …………..THEM FOOLS DON'T PLAY

  18. Alysia Yvonne Payne says:

    This is wonderful… I already love Jada but this just makes me respect her that much more… these are issues that are ours… I am so glad to see a celebrity take on a cause that is prevalent and goes against the ideal that these deviant cultures are good…. Stripping was bad when I was young… thank you Jada Pinkett Smith

  19. Alysia Yvonne Payne says:

    This is wonderful… I already love Jada but this just makes me respect her that much more… these are issues that are ours… I am so glad to see a celebrity take on a cause that is prevalent and goes against the ideal that these deviant cultures are good…. Stripping was bad when I was young… thank you Jada Pinkett Smith

  20. Alysia Yvonne Payne says:

    I think what he means, and someone may correct me if I'm wrong, is that "most men" (males, young men, etc) especially in the black community have this notion of you only live once and not wanting to settle down cuz "these hoes aint loyal" and having baby mommas and side chicks and main chicks and wifeys and etc, that they aren't committing… Generally speaking, most men before the age of 30ish do not want to settle down… it's shown in movies… this may not be true for you or for some small handful of people but the majority of men do not necessarily want to settle down and get married until they have had every single ounce of fun and sexual experience they ever believe is owed them… you have rappers incorrectly defining "independent women" and they want an independent chick and blah blah blah so these females who for lack of a better word are uneducated about why a woman needed to be independent due to men having property rights over women, they feel that ballin and having a lot of money is what these men want… so the rap culture starting from the top of the chain is deceiving young men and women alike in defining what makes a man or a woman… the man needs a lot of money in order to buy cars, hoes, houses, jewelry, etc… the woman needs to look a certain way in order to get the man with all the money and if she doesn't have one then she needs to be making her own money so she don't need a man… it's all a huge deception… more women are single now and MUST be independent to take care of their children because the "men did not want to commit and stay and get married"… if what you say is true then why is over 70% of the single mother population African american? if men were committing then why do men have 2,3,4 baby mommas?

    So Jada's perspective on the strip culture is new to her because as she said due to her age and the perception of strippers from before the 2000s… Now you have strippers everywhere and people clap for them… they are on stage singing (Nicki Minaj, Joseline Hernandez, Eve, Iggy Azalea) *I am being facetious and sarcastic but I believe that anyone who shakes their butt for money is a stripper, regardless of being in a strip club*… I've deleted videos and friends of people who post strippers in the club doing all kinds of nasty tricks cuz they think it's cool…

  21. Eric Burden says:

    Alysia….you are so correct in your observation. Men have this great desire to explore all that life has to offer…."Women"….and once they have conquered they are more so willing to settle down and start a family.

  22. I respectfully disagree with Mrs. Pinkett-Smith. I've lived in several major northern cities and I now live in Atlanta. I've found that the underground stripping scene in northern cities attracts a higher amount of criminality, violence, and depravity in general. In cities like Atlanta and Miami, who have brought strip clubs out into the open and regulate them, not only are they safer and less likely to be magnets for crime and violence, the strippers themselves are more likely to be upwardly mobile. I am a college professor and have had several students who were strippers go on to graduate and become successful in their respective careers. I’m not saying the strip scene here is perfect or devoid of sex trafficking. But compared to cities that virtually criminalize their strip scene, it’s safer for women, and provides opportunities for income that continues to draw bright and ambitious women from all over the world. Still, I will look forward to her film.

  23. Monique Carbonell says:

    Radical (root) feminists are very anti-sex industry. So, there are, in fact, feminists who very much recognize the reality of the situation and speak out against the industries responsible for pornography, stripping, prostitution, etc. Look up Gail Dines on YouTube. She's got excellent videos about this subject.

    Liberal feminists tend to be "sex positive" which amounts to capitulating to what men want anyway in the name of individualism and "agency." That doesn't work for me, nor does it for most women in the real world, but men love it as it increases their access to female bodies.

  24. It's the people who own the music business in general, media, culture and everything else. It's not one type of music, it's everywhere. These powerful people have an interest in maintaing these messages, and perhaps have "friends" among tje people who sexually exploit poor women.

  25. Christina Mari Minter says:

    there are exercise classes where you can pole dance… stripping is definitely glorified and not just by rappers and music videos…

  26. Christina Mari Minter says:

    there are exercise classes where you can pole dance… stripping is definitely glorified and not just by rappers and music videos…

  27. Bitches been sellin pussy long before rap came out…yall muthafuckas…

  28. Monique Carbonell & KinkyThought I used to be a DJ for a strip club for awhile and eventually quit b/c it was more of a headache than enjoyment. Sometimes, I feel like there is a very thin line for "exploitation". As was stated in this article, the women CHOSE to do this thing, just as any woman who does this, even in the porn industry. For every woman that opposes the "sex industry", you have at least 200 women who choose to work within it. You also have to factor in that there are women in this country who fight against women's rights….and they are women! It's baffling.

    I personally don't think she's casting a bad light on stripping. I think she's bringing to light some of the ills that go on in that arena. Sort of like how people make claims that weed is a "gateway" drug to other drugs. When it clearly isn't. Offered to you or not, it's up to you if you want to start using cocaine. The same with this young lady taking on a "john", then it progressed to her being in a different position where she felt like she was no longer in control.

  29. Alysia Yvonne Payne I feel it's a little deeper than just that. That's more surface, yet still an excellent point. Having worked for major labels at one point in my career, the science is deeper and a cycle was "created" to feed into what you posted. History plays a huge part in it. If you are not familiar w/ "Lynchism", read about it, then let me know if what you typed sounds a lot like it.

    Now, take into account that this very thing is used in mainstream music, mostly rap. Remember how conscious HIP-HOP was when it was in the mainstream for so many years. A lot of black people were black and proud, a lot of violence was curbed, folks were waking up to build, and a lot of great things started happening for the better. [FIGHT THE POWER] Suddenly, the industry got "laffy taffy" [remember the "black face" imagery behind the song?] and started shutting all that positive down. It was suddenly "cool" to glorify the ills of living in the ghetto. Let's sign those who are talking about dealing drugs, and hoes, and making money that they will give right back to us. And furthermore, while they are influencing a nation of people to do these things, we are becoming more wealthy by making more money from them dealing drugs, to help incarcerate themselves in our privatized prisons, which all contributes to the criminal system handled by law ENFORCEMENT, judges and so on. The other way is the medical industry and funeral business. Disease is a lucrative business too.

  30. The whole "is a good vs. bad" thing is funny–not to mention the use of the term "stripping," which is unnecessary and just adds another layer of stigma on it for the holier than thou. Hopefully, Ms. Pinkett-Smith will interview several of the doctors, lawyers, engineers and other accomplished professionals in Atlanta who paid their way through Spelman College exotic dancing.

  31. The people being trafficked, probably.

  32. I don't think it's the holier than thou mentality. She just pointed out that under the guise of stripping there lies a severe problem. There are women who pay/paid their way through school by stripping, but the majority of exotic dancers in 2015 are not using it as a means to an end…especially when you can earn a six-figure income without school debt.

  33. I guess you would if that pretty lil girl gets turned out and sold.

  34. She could have started in the industry that made her rich…HOLLYWOOD. I will bet that Hollywood has turned out more young women than the Atlanta strip scene. However, black folks never want to bite the white hand that feeds them.

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