Erin Brockovich meets Joy Mangano – Interviewing Ela Darling

Blog by: Micah Blumberg

Micah is a freelance writer with Virtual Reality Media Associates

Ela Darling has been called the modern Erin Brockovich  for her legal activism, but she seems to be just as brilliant as an entrepreneur as Joy Mangano who was recently played by Jennifer Lawrence in the 2015 film called “Joy.”

Women in VR
Darling is a proud member of the “Women in VR” foundation (a video interview is at the bottom of the page). She is also a humanitarian who speaks out about treating other people ethically and with respect. She has called for the tech industry to be more welcoming of all people, but especially people who are traditionally underrepresented in the tech industry, particularly women, people with diverse backgrounds, and transpeople.

Darling is a woman’s rights activist who is excited to encourage and help more women to join the tech industry, to find their niche, and to be successful wherever they apply themselves.
So Women in VR?
Well according to Darling, tech is a traditionally male dominated industry, and she hopes to change that by encouraging people who are not well represented to come in, join, stand up, and be counted. What Darling see’s in “Women in VR” is a place where she can lend her voice, where women like her can lend their voices, to uplift those who are grossly underrepresented, to create a more welcoming Virtual Reality industry, and to help encourage a stronger future for all people who use Virtual Reality.


From Left: Nina Hartley, Robin Wilson-Beattie, Ela Darling Photo Credit: Robin Wilson-Beattie, who gave permission to use in the article


Her company is, but it’s not only about porn in VR.

Darling’s company, that she co-founded, has pioneered an innovative new live streaming 3D and 360 technology for use in Virtual Reality (patent pending). She has already been working on licensing her technology to others, who want to create family friendly live shows in Virtual Reality. She has been written about in Re/Code, The Las Vegas Sun, Wired, The Memo, GQ magazine to name a few. This former librarian has received awards and numerous award nominations. She advocates for under-represented people, speaks out against unjust laws and serves on a board that protects sex workers in the adult film industry.

Her company developed, owns, and has filed to patent its core technology. It is a 360 and 3D approach to live web cams for Virtual Reality headsets. (I helped to test the technology on Google Cardboard prior to the interview so I was able to see that it works very well.) The pre-release version is currently available for the Oculus Rift, Gear VR, with plans to support all available VR headsets when they launch in a couple weeks, and as new VR headsets become available.

Her technology is a value added proposition for other performers!
Darling hints at a future of already completed licensing deals with other stars, especially with non-adult stars, like YouTube stars, comedians, other celebrities, who plan to use her technology to deliver live performances to a live audiences in real time via whatever Virtual Reality headsets the audience member already owns. So that in the near future, with her technology, you can opt to watch a live G-rated show, that features a live stream of a performer, inside Virtual Reality, in 3D, with a 360 degree viewable area.

She is positioning her technology is a value added proposition for other performers because in addition to being live streamed in 3D they can have a film crew present in the room with them, invisible to the audience, to film everything that the performer is doing for other mediums like the traditional flat 2D screen. In this way the performer can monetize their content across multiple platforms they don’t have to film exclusively for VR.
Advocate for Performer’s rights!

Ela Darling is not just a live cam VR porn actress that you can chat with in Virtual Reality via her website She is a strong advocate for performer’s rights, and an outspoken change maker who fights against bad laws in California that target the Adult Film industry.

On the Board of Directors of APAC (Adult Performer Advocacy Committee) 

Darling serves on the board of directors of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, where she is one of four members that have helped establish, among other things, a Credit Union to protect legitimate and legal sex workers from having their bank accounts closed, and money belonging to their entire households frozen by the likes of unreasonably discriminatory mainstream banks like Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. The board she serves on has also connected performers like herself with mental health professionals, legal people, tax advisors, they have hosted seminars and panels for sex workers, and the work she and her board does is something that Darling feels very passionate about.

The Free Speech Coalition

Darling has received a glamorous award from The Free Speech Coalition in recognition for her activism. The Free Speech Coaliton is a trade organization in the adult film industry, a legal organization that helps to craft laws that protect individual rights among other things.

The award and recognition was for the work she has been doing on behalf of others who are under-represented across industries, Darling has used her platform to elevate the voices of her fellow performers and artists, she has worked to dispel rumors, and myths about the adult film industry, and she has fought against unjust laws that are cropping up in California against the adult film industry that could make life more difficult for her fellow performers and artists.

Ela award

Ela receiving the Free Speech Coalition Award

Other Awards, Nominations, and Achievements

Ela Darling also won the Best Fetish model at the Los Angeles Fetish Film Festival. She was honored because it’s a much more artistic and cerebral recognition somewhat removed from porn.
Darling has been nominated numerous times, for example she was nominated for Best All Girl Performer by XBIZ and her company was nominated for best VR site and best alternative website by AVN .

Among Darling’s other achievements: her company was the first to do live camera chats in Virtual Reality. She is the worlds first virtual reality cam girl. She was the first to do pornographic holograms in VR and the first VR hologram girl.

Future of VR

“I think the future of VR lies with the people most dedicated to creating compelling content for it and in that regard I think porn has a lot to offer. At this point, the best thing to bring to the table is vision, drive, and a passion for Virtual Reality. The time to dive in is now while the fields are lush. Don’t wait until it’s the popular thing to do, find your path in VR today.” – Ela Darling

Next Appearances:
Ela Darling will be speaking next at Versions in NYC in March  and also at SXSW in Austin March 18th .

Video: Original Video of Ela being Interviewed by Women in VR

About the Author:

Micah Blumberg is a person deeply immersed in the local and global AR VR community. He admins for The AR VR Women Group on Facebook.  Micah has been co-organizing the AR VR Women meetups in San Francisco with Jodi Schiller. Micah promotes San Francisco Virtual Reality events – the largest meetup in San Francisco and Micah also runs SFVR’s social media. Micah admins for the largest Gear VR group on Facebook and the largest Oculus Rift group on Facebook. If you’re interested in connecting to Micah, reach out to one of his respective media groups linked above.


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