African American strippers sued Danny's Downtown Cabaret for racial discrimination a jury awarded them $3 million.
A Mississipi jury sent out a clear message to the adult entertainment industry - they have to abide by the law, just like everyone else.
5 African American strippers had brought a suit for racial discrimination against a well-known Jackson cabaret, and they won.
The 5 women accused the cabaret of providing different conditions for strippers of different races.
The strippers claimed that club limited when black women could work and fined them $25 if they didn't show up for a shift. The white strippers had flexible schedules at the club and were not subjected to fines for missing work.
The Equal Opportunity Commission sued the cabaret on behalf of the women and revealed that Danny's manager used racial slurs against a black dancer.
Bill Walter, who represents Danny's Downtown has indicated that he will ask the judge for a reduction of the punitive damages
The commission revealed that Danny's owners forced the black strippers to work at another club they owned called Black Diamonds, where working conditions and security were inferior and the dancers were paid less per set.
Jurors decided that the women would split $3.3 million for back pay and past and future suffering - a historic first that confirms the rights of adult entertainment workers.
Bill Walter, who represents Danny's Downtown has indicated that he will ask the judge for a reduction of the punitive damages. Failing that, he will appeal to the sentence.
For the EEOC, this case was a triumph, showing employers that they are not above the law and that discrimination is not acceptable and will be punished.
Like many aspiring stars, Tasha Smith got herself a job while she waited for her big break, and for her, that job was stripping.
“I needed to survive. For me, I needed to support my comedy career, my acting career…Most of the comics I know, didn’t even know I was stripping. I would go from the comedy club, to the strip club, do a quick 3-4 hour set…go back to the strip club.… So it was just a way that I was just surviving.”
Tasha has shared her enduring respect for exotic dancers. She revealed that they are hardworking women who work in conditions that are sometimes less than savory with great dignity.