- Title: Twitter thread about woman's sex trafficking tale now a movie
- Date: 28th June 2021
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JUNE 11, 2021) (REUTERS VIA ZOOM) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTRESS, TAYLOUR PAIGE, SAYING: (ON HOW SHE FELT AFTER SEEING THE FILM FOR THE FIRST TIME) "Like, oh, my God, I hope Zola likes it, and I felt, but I was like, wow, that was really fun and I love these people so much. And Riley is really good." (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTRESS, RILEY KEOUGH, SAYING: (ON WHAT HER FAMILY THOUGHT ABOUT SEEING HER IN THIS ROLE) "I think it's probably shocking for everybody, but, you know, my parents haven't seen it, actually, so I am looking forward. I think they'll probably go to the theater and watch it, which is cool. And I hope they'll like it." (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTRESS, TAYLOUR PAIGE, SAYING: "They will." (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTRESS, RILEY KEOUGH, SAYING: "You know, they're parents, they like everything. Everything I do, they're like, 'wow,' you know, it could be... yeah, so."
- Embargoed: 12th July 2021 17:16
- Keywords: sex work social media stripper saga trafficking tweets twitter zola
- Location: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA + NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / UNKNOWN FILM LOCATIONS
- City: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA + NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / UNKNOWN FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Film,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA004EJBCV9P
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDIT CONTAINS PROFANITY
A viral Twitter thread about one woman's experience of sex trafficking during a 2015 trip to Florida has been turned into a movie, "Zola."
Inspired by A'Ziah "Zola" King's 148-tweet thread and a subsequent story in Rolling Stone magazine about her experience, the drama follows Detroit waitress and exotic dancer Zola whose customer Stefani convinces her to travel to Florida for a weekend.
But the trip soon turns sinister when Zola realizes they are traveling with a pimp who has other intentions.
"What I do is sex work and that's what I'm used to and that's what I'm confident in doing," King said in an interview. "But the difference here is I was put into a situation that the conversation turned into sex trafficking."
King's account of the trip, whose details she later said she embellished, lit up social media, trending under the hashtag #TheStory. Some of those she named in the tweets have disagreed with her depiction of what happened.
"I don't really feel anything on that specific experience anymore," King, a producer on the film, said about watching her story unfold on the big screen.
"I'm a completely different person in a completely different space. At this point in time when I watch the movie, I can enjoy the artistic side of it. ... This is many different conversations. This is a sex work conversation, this is a race conversation. This is a feminism conversation."
"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" actress Taylour Paige plays Zola while Riley Keough, known for "Earthquake Bird" and "Mad Max: Fury Road", portrays Stefani.
"I was a little bit stressed at first because I didn't get to hang out with Zola," Paige said of her role preparation.
"But (director) Janicza (Bravo) was like, 'Remember, this is an interpretation of an interpretation of a perception, and it's hyperbole. So ... this is like the exaggerated version.'"
"Zola" will be released on June 30.
(Production: Alicia Powell)
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