Sasha Grey: If your idea of a quiet evening at home is curling up with a bowl of popcorn, a Fleshlight, and a copy of Black D!cks in White Chicks, it’s a name that might sound familiar.
And it’s a name you’ll be hearing a lot more of over the course of the coming days, as a controversy brews over the “retired” adult film star’s recent participation in the Read Across America program and her work with schoolchildren in the gritty Los Angeles community of Compton.
On Friday, TMZ.com posted images of Grey reading stories (Not the kind you’d find on the backpages of Hustler…) to a group at Emerson Elementary School. The appearance was part of a Read Across America event at the school on Nov. 2, and has attracted mixed reactions from parents.
One Compton mom, who didn’t want to be identified, told the local NBC affiliate that she didn’t see a problem with Grey’s reading.
“It doesn’t bother me as long as she wasn’t revealing a whole lot of anything. She was properly dressed…”
Other parents, like Teresa Martinez, disagree:
“People like her should not be around children. It’s a lack of respect to the children and society…”
Tiana Harris chimed in with:
It should have been someone making the distinction as to what kind of actress she was before she read to my child.”
Members of the Compton School Board say they’ve gotten an earful since the news of Grey’s appearance went viral about 24 hours ago, says Micah Ali.
“Many parents have contacted me and expressed their anger and their rage. Others have expressed need to give the young lady a second chance…”
Translation: “Heads will roll!”
Naysayers or not, Grey says she won’t back down from her work with education-focused initiatives. She announced her retirement from the adult industry earlier this year, after publishing a book of self-portraits and short essays (Neu Sex). She’s also landed traditional acting roles in HBO’s Entourage and the Steven Soderbergh film The Girlfriend Experience.
“I am proud to have participated in the “Read Across America” program at Emerson Elementary School in Compton, CA. I read ‘Dog Breath’ by Dav Pilkey to the sweetest 1st and 3rd grade children,” Grey wrote in a statement released Friday.
“Read Across America is a program that was designed to promote literacy and instill a lifelong love of reading in elementary school students. Promoting education is an effort that is close to my heart. Illiteracy contributes to poverty; encouraging children to pick up a book is fundamental.I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner. I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am. I will not live in fear of it…I believe in the future of our children, and I will remain an active supporter and participant in education-focused initiatives.”