Porn legend Sasha Grey says she will NOT back out of a national elementary school reading program -- despite pressure from parents -- claiming she will "not live in fear" of her XXX past.The "national elementary school reading program" is something called "Read Across America," which is a program apparently aimed at getting school children to, well, read across America. Apparently they think that inviting famous people (the kids probably know Ms. Grey from her appearances -- playing herself -- on the HBO television program "Entourage") to read to children for photo opportunities will somehow encourage them to read for themselves.
Then again, perhaps Ms. Grey's elementary school appearance wasn't part of that program after all:
A spokesperson for Read Across America told ABCNews.com that Gray [sic] was not affiliated with the program.First of all, who proofreads ABCNews.com? It's Sasha Grey, not "Gray." But that's less important than the fact that Read Across America denies that Ms. Grey is "affiliated with the program."
Since ABCNews.com didn't see fit to post Read Across America's spokesperson's statement, we don't really know what they're denying. Are they claiming that Ms. Grey has never been an employee of Read Across America, or are they claiming that Ms. Grey's reading session was not an officially-sanctioned Read Across America event?
I'd never heard of this program, so I went straight to their website to discover what they're all about. As it turns out, this seemingly altruistic program, with its goal of getting kids to read, has a sinister purpose that has nothing to do with pornography. Here's the first paragraph of the Read Across America website:
It's a commercial for a piece of corporate entertainment called "The Lorax," complete with a hyperlink to the official NBC/Universal website. Apparently, Read Across America is an exercise in corporatism (will "The Lorax" be on these new posters and teacher guides?) designed to prime public school students for the opening of a new NBC/Universal film in March 2012.
NEA Celebrates Reading with the Lorax in 2012Green is the theme for a very special Read Across America celebration in 2012. NBC/Universal's The Lorax Movie (featuring the voices of Taylor Swift, Zach Efron, Danny Devito and Betty White) opens nationwide March 2, 2012 and Universal, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, and Random House are joining NEA's Read Across America in a special Read Across America campaign featuring new posters, teacher guides, events and activities on the RAA website.
Do the elementary school students have any choice as to whether or not they participate in this program? Do they have to sit there and listen while they're fed NBC/Universal propaganda -- or is this some kind of voluntary, after-school kind of thing, for kids who want to know what kind of corporate entertainment they should consume?
As noble as pornography might be, I don't think that students need to be exposed to a "porn star," ex or otherwise. The parents of a first grader might not want to have to explain to their child who exactly Sasha Grey is. But for crying out loud is that really as bad as using an alleged educational platform as a pretense for selling a piece of corporate entertainment to a group of suggestible public school kids?
And by the way: If in fact Ms. Grey's appearance was not an officially-sanctioned Read Across America event, then how do they explain this doctored screenshot of their website, promoting Ms. Grey's participation?