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May 11, 2016

Is WIP Theater Discriminating Against Retired Porn Star Alia Janine?

Retired porn star turned stand-up comedian Alia Janine wrote an open letter to the WIP Theater in Chicago, IL in regards to its cancelling her show scheduled for Monday, May 23, as part of the "We Probably Fucked It" tour of the Midwest with porn star/comedian Silvia Saige. What provoked the letter posted on Facebook on May 9 was a result of the WIP Theater's claim, in canceling the show, that the two comedians were going to perform live sex acts on stage, which was absolutely not the plan of either comedian, instead of stand-up comedy. As Alia wrote in her letter, "Now, assuming the show was canceled because of the tour name, I waited for my booker to call me so I could tell him I was already prepared for just that. I have different versions of it made up to make it easier to market. I (obviously) like to make a statement, but I also know many venues cannot advertise something with 'fucked' in it. However, when my booker called and told me the reasons why our show was canceled, I have to say, I was stunned. Since I have been doing stand-up comedy I have never encountered such transparent ignorance and complete disrespect from another person or venue. You see, the person that canceled our show at your venue did not cancel it because of the language on the flyer, per se. They canceled the show because they presumed, since we were in bikinis on the flyer, we would be getting naked, and possibly performing some sort of live sex acts on stage. Let that sink in for a minute." Janine also had a few choice words to say regarding discrimination against sex workers: "Discriminating against sex workers isn't illegal, yet, but when you book a dude that has probably had more random things up his ass on TV than either of us combined and count the number of sex and porn related jokes almost every comedian has ever told on your stage, you just discriminated against two female comics. Not only did you discriminate against us, but also, you extremely over-sexualized everything about our show and us. That does not help the already hurting Chicago comedy scene where sexual harassment is a problem. Just because we are from the adult industry does not mean we have dicks up our asses 24/7, and it does not mean all we talk about is sex. I know that is difficult for some people to comprehend, which is actually the entire concept of our tour. For years, comics have used porn and porn stars for countless jokes, people have created ridiculous stereotypes about us, yourselves included, and now it is our turn to #ClapBack." Alia Janine retired from the adult industry over three years ago, and since then has performed stand-up all over the country, made a name for herself, especially in New York City where she currently resides, and has produced several successful showcases—Cutthroat Comedy, Hardcore Comedy, Whormones Comedy and sKool'D Comedy—all performed at popular mainstream nightclubs: The Standing Room, The Cutting Room, The Funny Bone and HQNYC. She has also performed at Chicago's own Laugh Factory and at The Southpoint Casino in Las Vegas' weekly showcase, The Dirty at 1230. Alia Janine's next showcase, Hardcore Comedy, will be held at HQNYC in New York City on Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m. More information, including ticket sales, can be found here.

 
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