JPMChase, PayPal Closes Adult Entertainers’ Accounts, Denies Payments for “Morality” Reasons
Matt Taibbi’s latest book The Divide details, among other things, how after the financial crisis of 2008—where a quarter of the world’s wealth vanished because of admitted fraud—no responsible banking institutions faced any prosecution. So it might strike some as surprising that many of these selfsame financial institutions refuse to work with anyone even tangentially related to sex work.
Perez Hilton—as much as it hurts to cite him—published a letter sent to him by the husband of adult star Teagan Presley. Other adult entertainers reported on Twitter that it had happened to them as well. Writing for TheFrisky.com, former adult entertainer Kitty Stryker has written about how banks such as Chase, JPMorgan, and even online sites like PayPal can close accounts and even withhold funds because of their connection to sex work.
Marc L. Greenberg, a former soft-core television producer whose films are considered “classics” is suing JPMorgan over their refusal of a Home Loan because of the “reputational risk” of his adult film past. In his complaint, Greenberg asks given their role in the financial crisis who they are to talk about “morality” at all.
Yet this prudish, false morality doesn’t just stop with adult films. In a post for XOJane, Tiffany Gaines details her fight with Chase Bank who “refused to process payments for [her] online store.” According to Gaines, CNBC reported that Chase Bank handled mergers and acquisitions for Trojan, leading her to wonder if they “were uncomfortable with a female-centric condom brand?” After the publicity, Chase agreed to process her payments, but not remove “condoms” from the prohibited list.
All of these people are engaged in perfectly legal employment, and are not all drug-addled victims or immigrant sex-slaves as society may have you believe. For many adult entertainers—from pornstars to cam girls—there remains a definitive stigma against them that, as Kitty Stryker puts it, “unemployable.”
Still, this represents clear discrimination against a specific series of professions from a company that—both given who they are and who they do business with—could find themselves out of business if they start weighing the moral turpitude of their clients.
Photo by Mo Viega via Flicker Creative Commons