National Ugly Mugs join the ECP in expressing deep concern at the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show segment entitled 'Sex for Sale' broadcast on 17th April 2018.
The piece included interviews with brothel workers who, we have been informed, were not consulted on their inclusion within the show before the film crew arrived which shows a shocking lack of commitment to journalistic ethics.
Additionally, the piece failed to address the legal situation of sex workers - particularly the law which criminalises two or more workers working together for safety - and presented the image that police turn a blind eye to brothel keeping which we know is completely incorrect. In fact, workers in many areas are at the mercy of individual forces and officers. They still have the threat of prosecution hanging over them if they choose to work together for safety.
Sex workers and their allies know that sensationalist media representations of sex work rarely hold much value in destigmatising sex work or securing better working conditions and human rights. Indeed, poorly made media portrayals often serve to entrench negative stereotypes and can endanger sex workers further. In this case, two workers are believed to have left the brothel since the show aired due to fear of exposure.
We call for a full apology from the Victoria Derbyshire show and we hope for a greater commitment to journalist integrity in the future.