Sarah Vandella Discusses Her Opposition to California’s Controversial AB-2389, Change Petition
She’s one of the most popular and sought after performers in the adult industry. With an arsenal of professional and indie-content to her credit, as well as a girl next door charm and personal interaction, Sarah Vandella has earned herself legions of loyal fans and supporters.
But it’s the tenacity and determination the beautiful artist has in speaking out against a controversial California bill that has everyone talking, and now she’s calling on those supporters, and all fans of adult entertainment, to join her in raising their voice and signing a petition.
Vandella is fired up about AB-2389 [Adult Performers: Employment Rights], a bill recently introduced by California Assembly Person, Cristina Garcia, to the California State Assembly. The bill would require all adult performers, creators, webcam models, and dancers, to pay a fee to be licensed as well as complete a training program and submit their fingerprints for criminal records checks. If passed, the bill would also require adult companies and studios to maintain copies of these records for a period of no less than three years, and require performers to keep their licenses with them at all times and be subject to inspection at any time, including in their own homes.
I recently spoke with Vandella about AB-2389 and more in this exclusive new interview.
Can you give me little bit of background on AB-2389 and what it does?
Sarah Vandella: Assembly Person Cristina Garcia introduced the bill, AB-2389, Adult Performers: Employment Rights, to the California State Assembly. It’s a bill that would basically require everyone from the porn side, as well as independent clip creators, webcam models and dancers to pay to be licensed, complete a training program and submit fingerprints for criminal record checks. It would also essentially eliminate any performer between the ages of eighteen and twenty.
Would this bill also affect the studios you work for?
SV: Yes. Along with everything I’ve mentioned, the bill would also require companies to maintain copies of licenses that models hold for a period of at least three years. Every model and performer would be required to keep this license on their person at all times, which basically means that the performer’s home or studio is open to inspection at any time, with no warning and no warrant. What’s interesting is that the California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local authorities and agencies. That means the taxpayers are going to end up having to cover the cost. So, alongside the harassment, discrimination and criminalization this bill represents, it also calls for a heinous amount of money for taxpayers to shell out.
What can fans and supporters do to help?
SV: We are asking for this bill to be killed and not make the ballot. There’s now a Change.org petition set up to keep our message alive. Sex work is real work and the truth is we are legal and already regulated. This bill paints a picture of us to be a certain way, which is really a shame. It will do more harm than good and we can’t allow it to get on the ballot.
Can you speak a little about the professional side of the business so people have a better understanding of what goes on?
SV: Absolutely. It is professional and we do treat it as a business. We’re all tested twice a month. We all have lists of consents that include do’s and don’ts that we discuss with our co-stars and directors so that there are no surprises. Our agents make sure our ids are valid and that we’re tested and healthy and living our best life. This is a personal, intimate business where you have to have all of your elements working — body, brain and soul. It’s regulated within the industry and people treat this as a real, full-time job. We show up to set early with all of our affairs in order. Whether it’s memorizing dialogue, knowing key points of the scene or reviewing our co-star’s tests. This is what responsible, working adult performers do. We’re also paying taxes as we get paid and are mothers, fathers, students and people with real goals and dreams. Some of us are in the industry because we truly love performing and want a full career of creating a wonderful product and some of us have a goal, like doing it for a few years to save some money or go to school.
What’s a typical week like for you?
SV: For me, a typical week is spending half of my time filming for professional studios and the other half filming for my own platforms. In between, I’ll do SextPanther, which is call and texting with fans. A lot of my attention and care is split between my fan platform and the passion I have filming for other studios. That’s why it’s so important that I still have access to filming at my house and meeting with other tested talent that I trust and creating our own content. These elements are very important to us. I’m hoping Assembly Person Garcia would be willing to have a conversation with our representatives at APAG [Adult Performers Actors Guild] and FSC [Free Speech Coalition] about any grey area, but what we’re doing now is getting signatures on this petition and sharing it with as many people as possible. One of the best parts about the petition is that you don’t have to live in the state of California to sign it. So anyone who’s a fan, an ally, a supporter or an admirer of anyone in our industry; whether it’s in front of or behind the camera, we need your help to sign the petition and spread the word on social media.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
SV: I love filming and enjoy being on set, whether it’s for myself or another studio. I also enjoy the freedom of being able to create content at my fingertips. If I have a day off and suddenly decide I want to shoot something, I don’t have to make sure I have a license or am up to date on a class beforehand. The fact that I can be creative and make a living and that other people value and appreciate my work is really important to me.
What message would you like readers to take away from this interview?
SV: My message is for people to take the time to read the bill and think about all of the elements that are affected by it. Then ask yourself it it’s really beneficial or if it’s overkill. Educate yourself about the industry side, where we have platforms like testing facilities, Free Speech Coalition, and the Adult Performers Actors Guild already in place protecting us. These are industry leaders who know the business inside and out. Everything we do is already regulated. If you look at this bill, it’s blatant discrimination, criminalization and harassment of legal sex workers who are both taxpayers and people. What we’re asking is for the state to have a little trust and compassion.