License to Pimp

a film about strippers & labor conditions


“License to Pimp” characters: Daisy, Lola, & Mariko

What would you do if the strip club you worked at became a brothel?

Would you adapt to it? Fight it? Or quit?

LICENSE TO PIMP is a feature documentary about the dilemmas that strippers face when they must pay for the privilege to work in strip clubs where management violate their labor rights. Filmed in San Francisco, the filmmaker (an ex-stripper) investigates the various factors that enable the strip clubs to pimp their workers and deny them basic rights that workers across America are guaranteed.

The film chronicles the choices of three strippers & the filmmaker and offers a rare & intimate window into an aspect of this industry that few are privy to.

We follow LOLA, an underaged Latina immigrant who struggles to remain a lap-dancer while working alongside co-workers who prostitute to pay management their stage fees. DAISY is a whistle-blower who lobbies city and state agencies to demand that they enforce the law so that workers’ rights are protected.  Determined to keep 100% of her earnings for herself, MARIKO strips outside the strip club circuit and must learn tactics to remain safe.

Through these women’s stories, we see the current working conditions for exotic dancers not only in San Francisco, but throughout the nation and globally.   As strip clubs misclassify workers as independent contractors and engage in other illegal, unsafe, & unfair labor practices, this documentary aims to uncover the options available to workers to negotiate their labor.


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