Genea Sky shocked the world when a clip of her falling 15 feet from a pole went viral. Although the Texas stripper survived the incident, the aftermath is bringing light to how strippers get treated in the industry.
Sky suffered serious injuries including cracked teeth, a sprained ankle, a gash that needed stitches, and a fractured jaw that required surgery. Shockingly, as soon as the fall happened – as seen in the video, Sky recovered like nothing happened and proceeded to twerk on the stage. You can check out the clip for yourself below.
*Warning: This video contains graphic content.*
A friend made the page and explained, “Her job does not cover the expenses of her medical bills. Since she sustained such serious injuries, she will be out of work for an extended period of time. Any donations towards her surgeries would be helpful and appreciated!”
According to TMZ, the Texas strip club where Sky works didn’t want to take responsibility for her fall at first. She’s not a full-time employee so she’s not allowed to get workers compensation. According to her GoFundMe page, it’s also unlikely that she has adequate health insurance. As the club sees it, the entertainers choose their routine, so the company is not liable for any incidents pertaining to the strippers’ acts.
Nonetheless, the club is looking into ways to help Genea financially, according to Eric Langan, CEO of RCI Hospitality Holding Inc., which owns the club.
“I’m so thankful for all the positive messages I’ve been getting and all the love and it really means a lot,” Sky said in an Instagram video. “So that’s why I decided to post this video just to say thank you, and just let you guys knows that I am having a hard time, but I am okay and I’m going to be okay. It’s just a really humbling experience to just be alive. I’m really thankful for that.”
Obtaining rights for strippers has become a burgeoning debate considering many strippers are independent contractors or part-time employees. Many are also paid under the table. Strip clubs tend to prefer independent contractors to avoid giving benefits such as health insurance or workers compensations. It can also cut payroll costs.
However, there are definitely groups fighting for employee status for strippers. According to the Los Angeles Times, a national strip club chain called Deja Vu Services was battling class-action lawsuits in 2019 involving more than 5,800 dancers at 25 California clubs who say that they were misclassified as independent contractors.
In November, the company switched its’ California strippers to employee status, but it still came as a detriment to talent. The company pays the strippers minimum wage, sets quotas for selling drinks and dances, and slashes their cash commissions to offset the cost of payroll taxes. About 1,500 strippers quit to find work out of state or they work “under the table” at noncompliant competitors, according to operations director Ryan Carlson.
“The clubs are punishing us for exercising our rights,” one former Deja Vu stripper named Domino Rey explained. She and a few other fellow strippers formed an advocacy group, Soldiers of Pole, to “help us unionize to protect the most vulnerable in the industry and do away with rampant wage theft.”
With life-threatening incidents like Genea Sky’s, it might not be long before such groups spread their cause across the U.S.
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