Cover image credit to Hot Girls Wanted on Netflix. 6 minute read.
Trigger warning: The following post contains triggering links, and a trailer for 'Hot Girls Wanted' that is very triggering. We advise you to discontinue reading if you're sensitive to triggering images.
Here’s a throwback for you: back in 2015, actress and activist Rashida Jones executive produced a documentary about the amateur porn industry. This groundbreaking Netflix documentary, “Hot Girls Wanted,” got more than a few people talking about the current state of an industry that seems to be everywhere.
Click here to watch the film’s trailer. Trigger warning for graphic sexual images.
Jones’ film took an inquisitive and exposing look into the bustling world of amateur porn, revealing a complex cast of characters that includes a seemingly endless line of fresh 18-year-old girls lured into the porn industry with promises of fame, luxury, and a fun job.
The cast of characters also includes the man doing the luring—porn agent Riley Reynolds, founder of Hussie Models LLC. He’s the dude that said in the trailer, “Every day, a new girl turns 18.”
Now, fast forward to today.
Related: How Teens Get Tricked, Coerced, And Trafficked Into Doing Porn
Reynolds made it through the film and through the several years since its release “relatively unscathed,” according to The Daily Beast, and has even become “the new face of Florida’s adult industry.” He does well on camera and carries himself with an air of legitimacy.
Turns out, though, that Reynolds might not be legitimate at all.
A challenge to the “porn king’s” reign
One of Reynolds’ “teeny-bopper” clients—the term he has given his preferred class of barely-of-age performers—with the stage name of Lenna Lux is suing Reynolds for operating under deceptive credentials and exploiting her through illegal and controlling fees and debts.
As The Daily Beast reported, Lux’s lawsuit claims that Reynolds does not have a license to operate a business in the state of Florida (he is licensed in California only) but has done so for over three years. He has allegedly collected commission from Lux and others in Florida without authorization to run a talent agency there—an action that, if true, constitutes a third-degree felony that could land him in prison for up to five years.
The Daily Beast reported that Reynolds did in fact apply for a Florida license in 2016 but was rejected due to his “alleged criminal record indicating moral turpitude and/or dishonest dealings.” The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation also rejected his early 2018 appeal, saying that he had “failed to establish proof of good moral character or rehabilitation.”
As the above statement suggests, the dirty underbelly of Reynolds’ Hussie Models LLC consists of even more than dishonest credentials.
Related: Popular Male Porn Star Talks About The Difficulty Of Being A Part Of The Industry
Lux’ performing career began when she accepted a “free trip to Miami” Craigslist ad Reynolds posted. Reynolds then booked nine gigs for her over her first several months, but withheld payment from four of those gigs to cover “debts” incurred from traveling and living expenses. Left in debt, Lux tried to find work with other agencies, but Reynolds found out and refused to release her from their contract. He then charged her crazy “termination” fees that further kept her from being able to exit stage left. Lux provided invoices documenting these outrageous fees.
Obviously, this is a legal and social nightmare. But it gets worse.
His alarming response on social
Possibly the most disturbing aspect of all of this is the facebook post Reynolds wrote a week after Lux filed the suit. Word censorship was added by us:
I have met the biggest p—s and pieces of s— from being in this industry, and if I could ever be locked in a room with them, the horrible and disgusting things I would do to them. I would go straight to hell……and I would without hesitation. I dream of it all the time. Screenshot this b—s.
This openly aggressive language is shocking. But sadly, it’s real. Reynolds has been called out for violent behavior before.
Related: 10 Ex-Porn Stars Share Their Most Disturbing Stories From Within The Industry
Another of Reynolds’ performers, unnamed in The Daily Beast’s report, said Reynolds forced her to participate in Hussie Models shoots that made her very uncomfortable. When she resisted, Reynolds threatened to kick her out with no place to go if she did not perform on camera. Another time, when she tried to cancel a shoot because of sickness, a “very upset” Reynolds gave her blue liquid he said was Mucinex. When she noted it smelled like alcohol, he became violent. He “grabbed me by the throat and dumped this liquid down my throat,” the woman stated.
A note on sex trafficking
As a sidenote, allow us to say something about this for a moment. Based on testimonies from former and current performers, we have reason to believe behavior like this happens all the time by porn production leaders who are behind the camera and away from the public view.
The name of the game here is force, fraud, and coercion. It’s clear that within the industry, sex trafficking is a serious, yet often unrecognized issue—performers may see it as uncomfortable mistreatment, but they often don’t understand what it actually is. And given Reynolds’ above actions and the legal definition of sex trafficking—“[that in] which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age”—his actions absolutely constitute as sex trafficking.
Reynolds is not alone
Reynolds isn’t the only industry “king” making the lives of young female performers difficult, encouraging dependency and helplessness to keep his own career cogs turning. We recently reported on concerning accusations against agent Derek Hay. There are definitely patterns here, and undoubtedly more that haven’t reached the public eye quite yet.
The corruption, violence, and exploitation in the porn industry must be addressed. This is why we fight—it isn’t as simple as individuals privately consuming porn. Consuming porn fuels the industry as a whole and its dark secrets.
People being objectified and used? This is exactly why Rashida Jones got involved with the first “Hot Girls Wanted” documentary to begin with, to fight this cycle that strips young girls of their dignity and autonomy.
Exposing Reynolds is just one of many hopeful changes that has come out of the film’s release. Check out the doc on Netflix—trigger warning for graphic depictions of what happens on porn sets—and join us in this fight.