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20/20 Blurry on Facts

Posted on As the adult industry quickly approaches the one year anniversary of the first reported HIV case, and the subsequent reporting of three others that turned the industry on its ear last summer, ABC’s new magazine 20/20 profiled AIM’s current director, Sharon Mitchell.

In what can only be described as a “puff piece” that would have made Hitler’s propaganda minister Joesph Gerbils proud, Mitchell was characterized as a glorified Florence Nightingale of the adult industry.

Before 20/20 canonized Mitchell, they first gave a little background about her. In what could have come directly out of a porn star interview in Juggs magazine, it was reported that Mitchell lost her virginity at the age of twelve, and dropped out of high school to pursue a career as a model and actress. Also reported, that the only reason Mitchell became a porn star was because her agent said she could be a “star.” Seventeen-year-olds, we gather, are influenced by the word “star” and everything that goes along with it.

As the profile continued, Mitchell’s stereotypical porn star story relates how her lifestyle was taking a toll on her health and her only escape from the world of porn was a $300 a day heroin habit. The only thing missing from this story was the obligatory mention of a sick uncle that sexually assaulted her when she was 10. Maybe that will come out in her book. That would be the same book that may explain how she claims to have been working on a porno set when she was 13. But we digress.

After a crazed fan tried to kill her, and her kicking of the 20 year heroin habit, it was mentioned that Mitchell decided to return to school to study public health. If not for an HIV outbreak in the industry during this time that convinced Mitchell to take up the HIV cause in the industry, today Mitchell could be inspecting the local McDonald’s for health violations.

Also mentioned in the profile was how Mitchell created a tracking and testing system for the adult industry. We guess that came as a surprise to the likes of William Margold and others.

As the profile switches gears and began to focuse on last spring’s HIV outbreak, it is mentioned how Mitchell shut down the porn industry until she could fully track the path of this outbreak and set up a talent quarantine list. Well, actually AIM did RECOMMEND that all production requiring direct sexual contact be suspended for a sixty-day testing cycle. Many companies did adhere to AIM’s advice…for a week or two. During public hearings involving local and state health officials in June of 2004, Mitchell conceded that adult companies were shooting regradless of her recommendations, but care was taken not to use talent on the quarantine list.

Throughout the entire profile of this so-called industry health advocate, not once was the word “condom” mentioned, even though, “She’s (Mitchell) quick to point out that the test result is only good on the day the blood is drawn and offers zero protection against future sexually transmitted diseases.” So much for being a crusader and den mother.

Be it running the adult industry health clinic, making porn, distributing porn, being a porn star, or everything else relating to porn, it all boils down to making money. Nothing more, nothing less. In an interview last year, director John Bowen summoned up the situation the best by say, ” Nobody in this business gives a fuck. They don’t give a fuck about each other; they don’t give a fuck about their health. They don’t give a fuck about AIDS.”

Old porn stars never die, they just open up health clinics to supplement their incomes.


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