Londoner's Diary: Oz sex workers attack Campion over BBC drama

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Australia’s sex-worker community is furious with the BBC’s Top of the Lake: China Girl and its creator Jane Campion. The dispute has arisen after she resorted to subterfuge, with her male co-director, in order to carry out research for the show at a brothel. 

Series two of the critically acclaimed drama, starring Nicole Kidman and Elisabeth Moss, pictured, follows the investigation into the murder of a young Asian girl and explores the experiences of migrant sex workers. Campion told the Guardian last month of her research methods. “We made up a very feeble story [to enter the brothel] that I was his aunt and that he was confused about his sexuality and didn’t know whether he was into women or not,” the film-maker said. “We said he was a virgin as well. The story got more ridiculous but they were all very kind.” 

In response, Melbourne-based sex workers handed out letters damning Campion on Sunday to attendees of a talk about the Sydney-set crime drama at the Melbourne International Film Festival. “In her ‘research’ for this show, Campion undermined sex workers’ screening processes in order to ‘sneak into’ a brothel and fictionalise the stories of sex workers without their knowledge or consent,” the letter stated. “Campion ‘consulted’ the Scarlet Alliance, our national peer-run association, about the plot of the  show, only to completely ignore its concerns.”

The BBC declined to comment. Campion, an Oscar-winner for The Piano, has said in the past that she “included the Scarlet Alliance’s viewpoint in the story to get that voice across”. The sex workers were unconvinced: “By prioritising her own desire to tell a specific story about migrant sex workers, Campion is complicit in reinforcing harmful, stigmatising stereotypes about sex workers and Asian women.”

THIS may be a case of David and Goliath, or Apple and erm… apple. Author Nick Salaman is organising the The Great British Apple Festival — think cider-tasting and apple-bobbing — this weekend in Shoreditch Park. But he laments to The Londoner that a certain tech company is trading on his favourite fruit’s name. “The apple is the celebrity here,” he tells us. “I feel strongly about that fellow taking the apple’s generic brand-of-nature name and using it for some kind of fiddly electronic gadgetry!”

Is Farage on the mooch for a new job?

The White House could do worse: Nigel Farage (Photo by HGL/GC Images) (GC Images)

NEWS reaches us that the White House is having a tough time finding a replacement for Anthony “the Mooch” Scaramucci. The former White House communications director was unceremoniously sacked after just 10 days in the role after an expletive-ridden interview with The New Yorker. So we wonder if acting Ukip leader Nigel Farage is a contender? He and his crew have been in the States to attend a Conservative conference but they have managed to pay an informal visit to the White House to see VP Mike Pence. We never thought we’d say this but Farage might be the best man for the job. It would get him off LBC at least.

Quote of the Day:

Men have lower standards: Salma Hayek (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images) (GC Images)

“Men do a lot less, they are less demanding of themselves and their standards are lower, yet they feel entitled to ask for a raise or a promotion.”

Actress Salma Hayek pulls no punches about gender politics in an interview on Net a Porter 

A little sunshine at last in south-east London

Her best blue steel: Kaya Scodelario (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for American Airlines)

The sun came up at dusk for Kaya Scodelario last night at a special screening of Little Miss Sunshine in south-east London. The Pirates of the Caribbean 5 star left her actor husband Ben Walker and their new baby at home to watch the comedy film on the rooftop of the Bussey Building. Dougie Poynter was flying solo for the American Airlines-sponsored screening, while newly engaged Millie Mackintosh and Hugo Taylor enjoyed a date night, made in Peckham.

Funny without even trying: Alex Salmond AFP/Getty Images

ALEX Salmond may have sold out the run of  his Edinburgh Fringe show,  Alex Salmond… Unleashed, where he’ll reveal details about his time in office without “restraint”, but he’s not making any friends among the critics. Several have had requests for press tickets turned down for Sunday’s opener, while others, known to be fans of the former First Minister, have been allocated  a seat. “He’s hand-picking who he lets in,” said one aggrieved reviewer. Seems  a bit fishy.

Gogglebox is no family show

Wise guys: Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart with some of the cast of the Soprano’s (WireImage for Beaches Resorts)

The Londoner escaped the biblical weather on Wednesday evening to see Jamaican hotelier Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals luxury resorts, in the eponymously titled luxury travel store in South Kensington. 

Butch is in town to tell everyone about his new hotel, Sandals Royal Barbados, which by the looks of things, will give Sandy Lane a run for its money in the luxury stakes when it opens in December: all 222 rooms have their own private butler and a concierge service. But who should we bump into but Gogglebox’s Mary Killen, pictured, and her doppelgänger daughter Posy Wood. Gogglebox is the most popular show on TV, drawing upwards of five million viewers, but that doesn’t faze Posy. “I’ve never seen it,” she told The Londoner. 

How is this possible? Giles and Mary are the most popular people on the show. “I just haven’t gotten around to it yet,” she laughed.

Tweet Of The Day: 

The BBC should introduce Lawson like “balance” to everything it does. I volunteer for the “but golf is rubbish” slot on BBC sport. 

After Nigel Lawson’s appearance on Radio 4’s Today programme, Nick Barlow suggests a way to even out the balance

Game player of the day: Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” threat to North Korea will echo with World of Warcraft fans. Politico suggests he got it from chief strategist Steve Bannon who got it from the video game.

Johnson furnished with David’s magic

Who wore it best?: David Furnish or Magic Johnson   davidfurnish instagram

BITCH stole my look!!! Elton John’s other half, David Furnish, has called out former basketball player Magic Johnson for wearing the same T-shirt. “Why does this keep happening  to me?” Furnish asks. Either they frequent the same clothes emporia or Furnish is a trend-setter.

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