Sex Worker Documentaries: By The Numbers

Belle Knox

Porn star Belle Knox

“The Cut” reported earlier this week that there’s a documentary in the works about the student/porn star from Duke University. For those just tuning in/forgot, Miriam Weeks (nom de porn Belle Knox) got outed as a performer earlier this year when a classmate recognized her from one of her videos.

Months later, Conde Nast has decided to capitalize on her story and turn it into a docuseries through its Conde Nast Entertainment branch. The series follows Knox as she works hard both in school and on set.

Belle Knox’s story is just the latest in a line of documentaries focused on sex workers.

But how many are sex-worker documentaries are there? I looked at two official sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

Wikipedia:

Within the category “Documentary films about prostitution,” 38 pages are listed.

Of these 38 films:

Single-subject portraits (focusing on one notable person): 5

Multi-subject portraits (focusing on a few people): 13

General subject (focusing on an overall subject, e.g. trafficking): 20

Since Wikipedia is user-edited, it’s possible that some films got left off, and some didn’t completely fit the category.

IMDb:

The entertainment industry’s database has a helpful list: Highest Rated “Prostitution” Documentaries. The list numbers 434 films.

Of these 434 documentaries:

Single-subject portraits (focusing on one notable person): 17

Multi-subject portraits (focusing on a few people): 20

General subject (focusing on an overall subject, e.g. trafficking; included TV episodes): 331

Unrelated (only tangentially related, e.g. part of a stand-up act, etc.; included TV episodes): 66

 

Clearly, documentaries about sex workers are alive and well, and will continue to be good for business.

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