Cherrystems Media (operating Ciné Sinclaire and Cherrystems) was founded in 2008 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – on Treaty One territory. We have been learning constantly since inception, and that will only continue as we move forward. Have we taken missteps? Absolutely. Will we continue to work to serve the community that we want to see in the world? Absolutely. Moving forward, we do welcome critique and dialogue on our actions to ensure that we are creating a space that is positive for all.
We are making this statement because this is a time of great unrest in North America and the world. Being based in Canada, we are indirectly effected by the election of Donald Trump in the United States, but still enjoy a great amount of privilege by being in a country that supports human rights, immigration, and diversity (to an extent, and this is nuanced and not perfect, for now). We have realized that we can't sit silently and allow the status quo to continue without saying something. These have always been our operating standards, but it is more important now than ever that we share them publicly.
Without further ado, here is a statement of our human-centred beliefs:
Feminism is an essential guiding principle at Cherrystems Media. No TERF or SWERF feminism in here. Intersectional, inclusive, fixing-its-shit and learning Feminism is what we strive toward. This is the only way that we know Feminism to exist. It is a living, breathing, learning creature based on facts, research, fairness, and respect for other human beings. Our feminism does not require women to have a uterus, and does not reduce women to their capacity to bear a child or to have breasts or dress or act a certain way. Our feminism does not follow gender norms. To us, Feminism is an active resistance of gender roles, patriarchy, and intolerance. If we fuck it up, we actively welcome discourse.
We are anti-fascist. When a group or person tells us not to question something, we will crack open the books, communicate and collaborate with other groups, and be sure that the truth and fairness prevail. Because we are told to listen, does not mean we will listen blindly. Democracy exists to allow a discourse, and when that discourse is shut down, we will shout from the mountaintops (even if we have to travel from our prairie home to somewhere with a mountaintop) that we exist, we have rights, and we are not going away.
Sex work is work. There is no argument. There is a popular moral argument that selling sex is akin to selling one's body. We at Cherrystems Media feel that, under capitalism, everyone that has a job sells their skills and their capabilities. Sex work is not different in any way from mainstream non-sex work employment. We do oppose exploitation and trafficking, but these are separate issues mainly addressed by our opposition to patriarchy.
We are anti-Trump. Donald Trump and his entire administration are a real threat to the livelihoods of a great number of people. We respect that there is a presidency system in the USA, but we do not respect Trump in his disrespect of the American people (which includes immigrants, LBGTTQI* folks, people of colour, refugees, and everyone in between).
Cherrystems Media are not affiliated with any religion. We come from all walks of life, and we support everyone's right to choose their own religious beliefs or to live without religion. We create a diverse community and are supportive of each other's beliefs or lack thereof, just as the world should be. That said, we will not allow the religious views of any individual or group to dictate the ways in which we operate.
The colour of someone's skin does not determine their worth as a person. We will actively work toward lessening the divide between racial groups, acknowledging that folks with darker skin actively suffer a great deal because of that skin tone in today's society. We will address this by giving priority to people of colour on casting calls, working to document the narratives of people of colour, and working to provide people of colour with better access in terms of events, travel, industry relations, and training.
White supremacist (aka nationalist/alt-right) views are growing in Canada. We need to do everything that we can in order to fight against these views bleeding into our system of politics.
If you have any questions regarding our policy, things we've left out, please do not hesitate to reach out.
The Cherrystems Team