APAG launches On Set Steward Program amid Twitter controversy


APAG announces On Set Steward Program, board member blames performers for not speaking up on set

Following weeks of revelations involving alleged sexual assault, harassment, and repeated boundary-crossing on porn sets, the Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG) announced their new On Set Steward Program.

From the announcement:

The OSS Program will offer trained stewards to be placed on adult sets as an advocate for the performers. All stewards will have to complete an extensive “performer safety training program,” must have previous experience on adult film sets, and will undergo background checks to ensure that our performers are in the best hands possible. Besides first aid training, and CPR certification, we will require all stewards to be QPR certified. QPR, meaning: Question, Persuade, and Refer. QPR is an emergency mental health intervention training designed to help identify when a person may be in crisis.

While the industry is on pause, due to the current status of Covid-19, the union will take this time to shape and finalize our steward program. Once the On Set Steward Program is fully launched, stewards will eventually be available in California, Nevada, Florida, and New York. We will be encouraging retired performers to apply, as well as current performers looking to get involved. We are already negotiating with companies to include our future stewards on their sets, and we are hopeful that all major studios will get on board.

Program overshadowed by Twitter victim-blaming

Unfortunately for APAG, hot on the heels of their announcement of measures intended to keep performers safe, one of their board members took to the @APAGunion Twitter account to imply that performers were to blame for not speaking up on set.

APAG Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Pierce then proceeded to double- and triple-down on her statement, using the APAG account to say that claims of abuse were turning into an industry “witch hunt”.

Later that same day, APAG president Alana Evans apologized for the Twitter storm, saying that it was “completely unacceptable”, and that Kelly Pierce no longer had access to the account. Naturally, Kelly was in the comments, telling performers upset by the situation to “grow up” and continuing to push the narrative that performers who don’t speak up on set are part of the problem.

Alana also posted a rather strange apology to her Instagram account. She acknowledged that APAG itself has used the “performers have to speak up at the time” argument in an attempt to empower performers, and then spoke about how the On Set Steward Program should help performers get support to speak up in the moment. She vowed that the union will no longer use the “speak up on set” approach to fight abuse in the industry.

Kelly also posted a response to the Twitter situation on her personal site, though it really wasn’t an apology. She says her tweets were “interpreted in a way [she] never meant”, and continues “I want to apologize to performers that would think I’d ever stand by any consent violation regardless if verbiage was used.” Perhaps she should go back into her own Twitter threads with that apology.

APAG, although they have removed Kelly’s Twitter privileges, has not revealed whether they will ask her to resign, as many performers are calling for.