May 28, 2004 12:00am
We Are Diane Sawyer's "Throw Away People"
Source: TY Management
by: Tabetha Yang
I generally spend free moments tuning in the news when I can and happened to catch Diane Sawyer's "Primetime Thursday" tonight at home. I have to say the segment was surprising, sad and a serious slap in the face to this Industry. Production Companies, Agents/Managers and Cable TV were painted as heartless, cynical, money hoarding, conniving, Ebenezer Scrooges! Likewise, Talent who enter this Industry as adults were painted as mindless, senseless drones that were pulled into some sort of demonic black hole on their way to Disneyland.
AIM was introduced as the Arch-Angel of Reform, which offered sanctuary to the Industries battle worn, but did not mention that (being a non-profit organization) it was funded and supported heavily by the very Companies the segment was out to crucify.
Is this how we want the world to view us? The same world that has America's hottest "pop stars" mimicking America's hottest "Porn stars" so as to cover their lack of talent because they cannot sell their records? What about the mainstream movie that was in local theaters a month or so ago titled "The Girl Next Door", which portrayed a young high school girl who was worshiped for her secret life as a Porn star?? Or how about the few reports that state: "Adult programming has been the innovator of most new technologies" or "The reason for home video (VHS/Beta)...initially was to supply adult programming."
I believe the same connection can be made with Pay-Per-View, therefore making it look like the technology of home entertainment was created and Driven by our own Industry! (PBS.org - Frontline: American Porn). Certainly you don't see or hear about the basic scene statistics that show out of a potential 300,000 - 400,000 Talent shot over the past 5 years that only 3 individuals contracted HIV while performing on set.
That is just one more reason why the Heard System was developed and why it should be used. Diane Sawyer stated to ex-Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop regarding Talents well being that "these companies want to make profits but not get involved." After this last week of talking to Agents and Production Companies, I firmly disagree with that, but this is what the media and perhaps even government would have the world believe.
Are we going to continue to stand by quietly while the legislative gallows are being built on the Hill? Dr. Koop referred to Talent as "throw away people", something that I think the Talent of this Industry that have been around a few years would take offense to - I know I did.
In the past as a Manager I have helped countless Talent by lending money, giving a ride across town, invited them to dinner with my family, gone shopping with them - even provided them a place to stay occasionally. I happen to know many Producer/Directors who have done the same as well, and never once did it ever occur to me to "throw them away" like an old suit I had out grown. Well here is how the Heard System (HeardSystem.com) can change some of this for everyone:
1. Increased frequency and types of testing have been proposed to include more STDs and occur every 14 days.
2. Quarantine lists would be created for every positive entered into the system including all non-life threatening STDs.
3. Production Companies and Talent Representatives that used the Heard System would share the cost of Talent's testing.
4. Scene data would be more thorough and generated within minutes so as to lessen exposure to other Talent.
This is just a fraction of its foundation and creates a way for Talent, Talent Representatives and Production Companies to work together for betterment of the whole. And as you probably have noticed I refer to it as a "System" rather than Just a "database". Because it is a way for the Industry to take the reigns of a charging horse that has wildly gone down the wrong path, without having to call in the Calvary.
With programs like "Primetime", reports in the LA Times and local news hounds looking for a "story" - we're being eaten alive. However the fact is - this Industry is envied from the other side of the fence and lusted after. We are the living example that fire and brimstone will not rain down on your head for having multiple sex partners - married or not. We are a leader - of sorts - of the free sexual world and those who wish to live their lives as openly as their favorite performer. Therefore it's time to step up and be accounted for in the most powerful way of all: through organization, unity and strength in numbers. Be Heard!! HeardSystem.com
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