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MSNBC Producer To Guest: “Have You Been A Whore?”

0312audacia.jpgMeet Audacia Ray. A former sex worker, Ray became a writer several years ago. As we all know, being a former sex worker-turned-verbose pundit is a damn quick way to earn yourself talk show appearances when Eliot Spitzer is caught purchasing a prostitute. Except that one unnamed producer at MSNBC’s Live with Dan Abrams flubbed his potential talking head hire. Badly.

He asked the former sex worker (who he was trying to get to appear on his television show) “have you been a whore?

The MSNBC request came through Seal Press, the publisher of Naked on the Internet. I said I would talk to the show’s producer and possibly do the show if I could talk about sex worker rights, politics, and trafficking. They were casting for someone who had been a sex worker to talk about the mechanics of hiring a prostitute, and the producer I talked to point blank asked me the question ["Have you been a whore?"], though then he quickly backtracked and said, “I’m sorry if I’m not using the right terminology,” and I told him that no indeed he was not. When asked if I have had sex for money, I told him I had been a fetish worker and sensual masseuse (I’ve briefly been an escort too, though for a fraction of the time of the other jobs) — which seemed to disappoint him, and he said things like, “So you weren’t a real… you didn’t have sex…”

And that, kids, is how you alienate potential talent for your show.

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