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Sasha Grey, Literacy Advocate: What Are We So Afraid Of?

Reading Is Fundamental (Koga/LAist)
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Actress and adult entertainer Sasha Grey was on "The View" this morning to serve as a "living Hot Topic" to talk about the whole reading to school kids debacle. The hosts managed to not impersonate a henhouse and pressed Grey on her decision not only to pursue a career in porn, but to participate in a program that had her reading to youngsters at a Compton elementary school.

Grey said that had the school contacted parents prior to her visit and had any of the parents objected, she would not have done the reading appearance. However, Grey points to the failings of the Compton Unified School District for not being forthcoming before or after her appearance--they initially denied Grey had been reading at the school on November 2, 2011--as well as the press, who Grey says threw a "sanctimonious media firestorm" her way when the so-called scandal broke.

One of the school district's most frustrating attempt at denial was to say they only knew Grey from her role on the HBO series "Entourage." According to a statement issued by the CUSD (not available on the CUSD site but published by L.A. Now): "The outside talent coordinator listed the actress as a mainstream actress from the HBO show 'Entourage.' Although we have worked with this talent coordinator for several years, we will meet to review the participant selection process."

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Who does porn star Sasha Grey play on "Entourage" by the way? Why, it's the character of porn star Sasha Grey! Weirdsies, no?

What could perhaps be more outrageous is that parents are outraged at someone for reading to their children--the horror! Parents publicly lamented that the CUSD didn't pick a fireman or a policeman. Hey, how about the fireman who got busted for buying heroin? Because, certainly, our occupations cement our suitability for sharing a storybook with a room full of 1st graders.

Said Grey in a statement last week: "Illiteracy contributes to poverty; encouraging children to pick up a book is fundamental. I believe education is a universal right."

Is it so awful that an advocate for literacy happens to have made her fortune and fame doing hard-core sex scenes? Or are we so paralyzed that our five year olds might come home asking "Mommy, who is Sasha Grey?" (Hint: Maybe you don't have to tell them more than "actress." Remember, you're also telling them a fat old man in a red suit and a giant bunny come once a year to leave them presents.) So now we don't read to our kids, and we're too scared to talk to them, too.