hbo deuce
October 27, 2017

HBO’s The Deuce Recycles Female Sexual Exploitation for Profit

The final episode of the first season of HBO’s new show, The Deuce, will air Sunday night, bringing to a close, for now, yet another HBO series that profits off of the sexual exploitation of women.

HBO’s claims that it made a show to critique the misogyny and exploitive harms of pornography and prostitution are about as convincing as a lecture from Harvey Weinstein on the harms of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Regardless of how brilliantly entertainment pundits claim David Simon and George Pelecanos captured the grit of 1970s New York, or how eagerly they sought to critique the supposed corruption of New York City’s police, none of that negates their use of the pornography and prostitution of that era as a convenient opportunity to show gratuitous nudity, sex scenes, and violence against women as a form of entertainment.

Pornography and prostitution are inherently exploitive. Research shows that women in pornography suffer from physical trauma, mental health problems, financial insecurity, and substance abuse in addition to increased vulnerability to sexually transmitted diseases. Pornography relies on, and compounds, sexual abuse as shown by the fact that pornography performers are almost 3 times more likely to have been victims of childhood sexual abuse.

It is socially irresponsible for HBO to normalize and promote this anti-woman industry, under a thin veneer of critiquing misogyny. The network has a clear history of profiting from female sexual objectification.

As the series comes to an end, the best we can say for it is that The Deuce is just one more exploitive production contributing to a culture of sexual entitlement that will produce future Harvey Weinsteins. The Weinstein scandal and resultant #MeToo campaign show it is time for an end to the rank sexual objectification of women in the entertainment industry, a specialty of HBO.

To learn more about visit: endsexualexploitation.org/thedeuce andendsexualexploitation.org/hbo.

Haley Halverson

Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach

Haley Halverson is the Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation where she develops and executes national campaigns to change policies and raise awareness. Haley regularly speaks and writes on topics including child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, sexual objectification, the exploitation of males, and more. She has presented before officials at the United Nations, as well as at several national symposia before influencers from the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, and more. She is the host of the “Sexploitation?” podcast and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts at Johns Hopkins University.

Previously, Haley served for two years as Director of Communications for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation where she oversaw strategic messaging development, press outreach, email marketing, and social media marketing.

Prior to working at NCOSE, Haley wrote for Media Research Center. Haley graduated from Hillsdale College (summa cum laude) where she double majored in Politics and interdisciplinary religious studies, and conducted a senior thesis on the abolitionist argument regarding prostitution. During her studies, she studied abroad at Oxford University and established a background in policy research through several internship experiences in the DC area.

Haley has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including the New York Post, USA Today, BBC News, Fox News, the Washington Post, Voice of America, Dr. Drew Midday Live, The DeMaio Report, the New York Daily News, USA Radio Network, the Washington Times, CBC News, The Rod Arquette Show, the Christian Post, Lifeline with Neil Boron, EWTN News Nightly, KCBS San Francisco Radio, LifeSiteNews, The Drew Mariano Show on Relevant Radio, News Talk KGVO, and American Family News.

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