Chase Bank Slutshames Their Adult Performer Customers

from the which-of-them-is-more-dirty? dept

Porn. It's what the internet is for, as they say. Also, it's very hard for some people to avoid. Entire governments, too. But what about the little people with big parts that make all this wonderfully ubiquitous smut possible? It's easy to forget about the hard (ahem) working individuals that make these small businesses and big industry spurt out their wares like (insert grossest applicable analogy here). And now it's apparently difficult for those mostly-young laborers to get paid, since some banks seem to have adopted a rather convenient moral code when it comes to who can open accounts with their institutions.

Chase Bank has reportedly sent out letters to hundreds of porn stars notifying them that their accounts would be closed on May 11. Teagan Presley confirmed to XBIZ that her personal account was one of the ones shut down.

“I got a letter and it was like please cancel all transactions, please fix your automatic pay account and make sure everything’s taken care of by May 11,” Presley told XBIZ. “I called them and they told me that because I am, I guess, public and am recognizable in the adult business, they’re closing my account. Even though I don’t use my account, it’s my personal account that I’ve had since I was 18, when it was Washington Mutual before Chase bought them out.”
In other words, Chase Bank is slutshaming adult performers and closing their personal accounts, whether those accounts are associated with the adult businesses in question or not. It's apparently something of a morality play. That may find some support with the more conservative and/or religious factions in America, but I'd say it's an interesting move by the same bank that has, among other transgressions: financed the Nazis, engaged in fictitious trades, wrongfully foreclosed on active US soldiers, financed other Nazis, bankrupted American towns through changes in their debt-rate programs, violated the Sherman Act, refused to return funds to Jewish families that were victims of those same Nazis they financed, lied to people trying to finance automobiles, and financed the damned Nazis. To invoke a morality clause with all of that on one's resume would be a bit like having Donald Sterling fire an employee for being racist.

Unfortunately, because the banking industry appears to have rules all its own, it's unclear whether anything can be done about this kind of blatant discriminatory policy.
Adult industry attorney Michael Fattorosi told XBIZ that Chase and other banks have “notoriously closed adult accounts or people in the industry’s accounts, but nothing like this.”

Whether legal recourse for those whose accounts were nixed is plausible — and, if so, which path is optimal — remains unclear, given that the situation is novel and that banks generally have the prerogative to do business with who they choose (yes, that often means flagrant discrimination).
And, yes, private businesses can choose with whom they do business, but I would suggest that if Chase wants to apply morality to their business, we should as well. That would mean they need to be paying far greater repercussions for their transgressions than the wrist-slapping they've experienced thus far.

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  1. identicon
    zip, 30 Apr 2014 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: odd legal quirk

    "From what I've heard, supposedly paying people to have sex in porn videos is legal as long as the person paying isn't one of the people having sex. Otherwise it's suddenly prostitution."

    Jenna Jameson got away with it. She owned the production company, signed the paychecks, as well as fornicated with the people she paid in a quid-pro-quo arrangement. That would seem to fit the very definition of "prostitution" -- unless maybe women can't legally be charged as "johns"?

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