Porn Stars Are All In on President Bernie Sanders

Marlow Stern
·4 min read
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Photo Getty
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Photo Getty

Bernie Sanders, perennial outsider, roll-call amendment king of the Senate, and one-time Hollywood co-star of Susan Sarandon, has found himself in an unlikely position: Democratic frontrunner.

Yes, after popular-vote victories in the Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada primaries, the democratic-socialist senator from Vermont is the leader in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination—fending off a meme-happy, money-burning billionaire, a kooky cabal of MSNBC haters, and party leadership. His is, insidious Very Online attack dogs notwithstanding, a self-described “multi-generational, multi-racial coalition” that includes everyone from Ariana Grande and Public Enemy to Dick Van Dyke.

And now the septuagenarian can add another group of admirers to his circle: porn stars.

The Daily Beast reached out to 30 of the biggest names in the adult industry, and while a number of them couldn’t go on the record—with several citing contract stipulations preventing them from endorsing a presidential candidate—more than half relayed their support for Bernie 2020 (only one confessed they’ll be voting Trump).

“I am a Bernie Sanders supporter. I voted for him against Hillary and, when given the opportunity, I will vote for him again,” said Alana Evans, president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG).

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Evans, who was once subjected to a very strange encounter with President Trump, said she feels Sanders is the most “sensible candidate” because of his plans for “health care and education,” and she isn’t nearly as high on the rest of the pool. “Bloomberg is a Trump in sheep’s clothing, and it would end up being eight more years of the same crap we’ve already had. Elizabeth Warren, at one point, had created a bill that would’ve potentially taken away the bank accounts of sex workers across the country, under the guise of preventing sex trafficking. I’m tired of seeing politicians use the label of ‘sex trafficking’ to garner attention for their platforms, when they don’t understand that many of the people that are labeled as trafficked are, in fact, consensual sex workers.”

The bill Evans is referring to is called the End Banking for Human Traffickers Act, which Warren co-sponsored with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and which would have enabled banks to discriminate against virtually all sex workers by targeting their transactions. (It never passed the Senate.) The Massachusetts senator has since changed her position on sex workers, voicing her support for decriminalization and backing the SAFE Sex Workers Study Act, a House bill aiming to study the effects of FOSTA-SESTA, a pair of so-called anti-sex-trafficking bills that have been criticized as making sex workers’ lives more perilous.

That’s one reason why adult actress Tasha Reign says she’s Team Warren: “She has a vagina. I want a fucking woman president. How archaic is America that we’ve never had a woman president? It’s beyond upsetting to me. I also like what Elizabeth stands for. She’s pro sex-workers’ rights. That’s all I need to know.”

Sanders is an original co-sponsor of the SAFE Sex Workers Study Act and voiced his support for the decriminalization of sex work before Warren did—this despite, like Warren, voting in favor of FOSTA-SESTA in 2018.

So, while adult star Janice Griffith “critiques his history on sex work,” she tells The Daily Beast that she’s supporting Sanders thanks to two of his policy positions: “Medicare for All and the abolition of ICE.”

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Plus, like her adult-industry colleagues, she’s not crazy about the competition. “Fuck Bloomberg, Klobuchar is a cop, Steyer isn’t a real contender, Buttigieg is a creepy plant mimicking talking points while skating around the issues never giving a straight answer,” said Griffith, who is also volunteering for Sanders.

The majority of the adult-industry folks The Daily Beast spoke to maintain that Sanders’ Medicare for All plan is a big reason why he has their support—which makes sense, given the difficulties that sex workers have in acquiring decent, affordable health care. They also like his prospects in a head-to-head matchup against Trump, who, despite allegedly conducting affairs with (and paying for the silence of) porn stars and cameoing in a number of softcore videos, stands behind a Republican Party platform that’s branded porn a “public health crisis.”

“I’m supporting Bernie because health care is my biggest issue as a voter and he’s the person with the best plan,” says adult actress and writer Sydney Leathers. “I also believe he has the most motivated base, and the best chance of beating Trump.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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