October 10, 2003

Fox’s fake ‘Skin’ — in reality, hardcore pornography business is debased and illegal

NEWS RELEASE from MORALITY IN MEDIA, Inc.

NEW YORK (20 October 2003) — Robert Peters, President of Morality in Media, had the following comments in response to tonight’s launch of “Skin” on FOX TV Entertainment:

“‘Skin’ pits a Los Angeles-based hardcore pornographer against a Los Angeles District Attorney charged with enforcing state laws against obscenity and child pornography.

“According to TV critics who have seen the program pilot [see, e.g., Frank Rich, “Finally, Porn Does Prime Time,” New York Times, 7/27/03; David Bianculli, “Mix of hugs and XXXs,” 10/20/03, New York Daily News], the pornographer is portrayed as a decent family man with good values, the prosecutor as something less than that. That characterization may have dramatic value, but to the extent that it is taken to represent the relative merits of pornographers versus prosecutors it is false and does a disservice to society.

“In reality, the essential nature of the hardcore pornography business (racket) is to degrade (and, in many cases, brutalize) one group of human beings (almost always females) in order to appeal to the base and sick sexual desires in other humans (almost always males).

“In reality, hardcore pornography celebrates, inter alia, bestiality, bondage, ‘domination’ (humiliation and degradation), gangbangs, ‘golden showers’ (urine), incest, marital infidelity, rape, prostitution, ‘rough sex’ (e.g., strangulation and slapping), ‘scat’ (feces), ‘school girls’ (i.e., 18 year olds that look years younger), teen promiscuity, torture, and unsafe sex galore.

“In reality, the victims of this wretched business include the performers (many in their teens); the children and adults who become addicted to hardcore pornography; the spouses of hardcore pornography addicts; the children and adults who are sexually abused, sexually harassed and raped by hardcore pornography addicts; and the persons who contract a sexually transmitted disease (including AIDS) as result of the production or exhibition of hardcore pornography.

“In a 1964 obscenity case, Jacobellis v. Ohio, Chief Justice Earl Warren also wisely and correctly stated ‘There is a right of the Nation and of the States to maintain a decent society.’

“As to what motivates many in Hollywood’s ‘creative community’ to be so enamored with and protective of the world of hardcore pornography, three things would seem clear:

“First, many are themselves slaves of hardcore pornography. Second, many subscribe to the false notion that the First Amendment not only protects opinions, viewpoints, discussion and debate about obscenity (which it clearly was intended to protect) but also the obscenity itself. Third, many define their political and social allies more by what they hate than by what they approve of; and in Hollywood, as well as in the San Fernando Valley (the porn ‘capital’ of the nation), there is a disdain for Judeo-Christian moral and family values and those who adhere to them.

“‘Hollywood’ also cannot bear the thought that federal and state obscenity laws exist and are still being enforced, which undoubtedly explains why ‘Skin,’ according to various TV critics, portrays the fictitious hardcore pornographer as engaging in a business that is ‘legal’ (See, e.g., Noel Holston, “‘Skin,’ Titillates, Warts and All,” New York Newsday, 10/20/03).

“But just as Hollywood’s portrayal of hardcore pornographers is a myth, so is Hollywood’s perception of the law of the land. In Miller v. California (1973), the Supreme Court stated:

‘This much has been categorically settled by the Court, that obscene material is unprotected by the First Amendment…The dissenting Justices sound the alarm of repression. But, in our view, to equate the free and robust exchange of ideas and political debate with commercial exploitation of obscene material demeans the grand conception of the First Amendment and its high purposes in the historic struggle for freedom. It is a “misuse of the great guarantees of speech and free press.”‘

“On August 7, Mary Beth Buchanan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, announced the first federal obscenity case involving a Los Angeles-based commercial distributor of allegedly obscene material in more than a decade. And it won’t be the last.”

MORALITY IN MEDIA is a nonprofit national interfaith organization, with headquarters in New York City, working through constitutional means to curb traffic in obscenity and to uphold standards of decency in the mainstream media. Morality in Media also operates the ObscenityCrimes.org Web site, where citizens can report possible violations of federal Internet obscenity laws to Federal prosecutors. Author: MIM   10/20/2003

Further Reading