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Laverne Cox, Meryl Streep Partner For Sex Industry Documentary

laverne cox

The film is based on Sarah Jones's 2016 one-woman show. 

Laverne Cox is teaming up with Meryl Streep and Rashida Jones to executive produce a new documentary exploring one of the most critical issues at the intersection of race, feminism, and power: the sex industry.

Sell/Buy/Date will be directed by Tony Award winner, Sarah Jones, who originally brought the project to life in a one-woman show that debuted off-Broadway in 2016. The show also played in Los Angeles for limited runs in 2018.

In the critically acclaimed production, Jones channeled over a dozen multicultural characters as she explored their independent relationships with sex work.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, for the documentary Jones will be revisiting the people who helped inspire the characters in her show -- which includes former and current sex workers as well as those who buy their services. For the artist, it's an issue she's uniquely passionate about.

"Long before I started performing my characters, at the start of my career I found myself on Rikers Island teaching poetry to incarcerated teenage girls -- not exactly light-hearted fodder for the kind of humor I'm known for," Jones said in a statement. "As young as 14 years old, many of these girls had been arrested on charges of prostitution. I remember thinking, 'How can children not old enough to drive or vote be locked up for this 'crime?'"

The project reunites Jones with Streep, who produced Jones's 2006 Tony Award-winning Bridge & Tunnel, a one-woman show that explored the diverse immigrant makeup of New York City through thought-provoking monologues and complex character work.

Sell/Buy/Date will be Jones's directorial debut and the first project with her new social justice-focused entertainment company, Forment Prods.

Of course, Cox is not new to the documentary space. Last year, she produced and starred in the critically acclaimed Disclosure, which explored the history and evolution of transgender representation in TV and film.

Cox also executive produced 2016's Free Cee!, which confronts the culture of violence surrounding trans women of color, as well as 2014's The T Word, which follows the lives of seven trans youths who share common obstacles and dreams.

Sell/Buy/Date is set to begin shooting in March 2021.

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