The COVID-19 outbreak has entered a new phase. As it becomes obvious that the public-health and economic effects of this health emergency will be with us for longer than anyone initially anticipated (this week, Governor Jared Polis extended the stay-at-home order to April 26), entrepreneurs are looking for ways to cash in through connections to the virus.
The boldest bid we've seen to date involves an adult-entertainment website targeting laid-off McDonald's employees and other furloughed hospitality workers to become models specializing in online erotica.
IsMyGirl, which is based in California, sent a call across the country, including Denver, to "flip McDonald's workers expected to experience loss in income into adult entertainers." The former fast-food employees could earn $100,000 a year or more, IsMyGirl advised in a release that announced:
In response to news of McDonald’s closing seating and the potential for having nearly 517,000 employees with unpaid sick leave as a result of COVID-19, IsMyGirl.com, an adult social media platform that helps models, influencers and adult entertainers to monetize their content, has offered all McDonald's workers an exclusive offer to earn 90 percent of their proceeds (after credit card processing).
"As a result of the Coronavirus, many people have not been able to go work and earn a living. To supplement their incomes, people are turning to the online adult entertainment industry. In addition to earning, models are able to conduct their business from the comfort and safety of their home," said Evan Seinfeld, multi-platinum musician, actor, and founder of IsMyGirl. "In an effort to help McDonald’s employees, and to make sure they can continue to provide for themselves and their families, we want to help provide them with a legitimate option."
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We asked McDonald's for a comment on this tactic, as well as the potential for widespread layoffs that thus far have not materialized. The response we received from Lindsay Kirsh-Rainey, field branch reputation manager for McDonald's USA in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains region, makes no mention whatsoever of IsMyGirl, and instead focuses on the company's compassion for its current employees.
"The majority of McDonald’s restaurants across the United States are independently owned and operated by several business men and women dedicated to serving the communities in which they do business," Kirsh-Rainey writes. "While we continue to serve our communities, the safety, wellness and economic security of our customers and employees is our top priority as it has been throughout our 65-year history. McDonald’s announced that we would provide two weeks paid leave for employees of company-owned restaurants who are impacted by the virus. This pro-active policy in addition to the emergency paid leave mandated by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act means that employees working for a large number of our franchisees will have paid sick leave if they are impacted by COVID-19."
Of course, plenty of other restaurant workers are out of a job right now, which explains why IsMyGirl has extended its opportunity to hospitality workers and individuals who worked at other eateries. The company boasts that "20 percent of models on IsMyGirl make money without any nudity."
The company hasn't revealed how many people have taken the firm up on its offer, but the proposal does offer convenience. After all, the models can work from home — like so many of us these days.