July 23, 2007

Open Letter (July 2007) to Marriott International CEO Bill Marriott: Get rid of pay pornography channels


NEW YORK (July 23, 2007) – Robert Peters, President of Morality in Media, sent the following letter to Marriott Hotels CEO Bill Marriott on July 18, 2007:

Mr. J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr.
Chairman and CEO of Marriott International
Marriott Drive
Washington, DC 2005

Dear Mr. Marriott:

Whenever possible, I avoid staying at Marriott Hotels, despite their quality and affordability, because Marriott Hotels is a major distributor of hardcore pornography on its pay-TV channels.

I realize that Marriott is not the only major hotel chain that distributes pay-TV pornography. Marriott is, however, the only major chain whose founder (your father) was honored by Morality in Media (see enclosed brochure) for his efforts to fight pornography.

Recently, however, I did stay at a Marriott while visiting family on Mother’s Day. My sister-in-law made the reservation for my wife and I without letting us know in advance where we would be staying.

I have been told (truthfully or otherwise) that hotels that are actually owned by your family do not carry pornography, and for that reason when I saw the large portrait of your father and you in the hotel lobby, I thought that perhaps this hotel was “family owned” and that there would be no in-room porn.

I was further encouraged when I checked the Hotel Resources book in our room under the topic “Movies, TV and Radio,” where I read: “If you’d like to watch a movie, we offer new releases in four categories: Comedy, Drama, Action and Adventure.” “Hallelujah,” I thought, “no porn!”

Right then (I had expected to write to you much sooner), I decided to thank you for not offering pornography in our hotel and to encourage you to adopt the same policy for all Marriott Hotels.

Before we checked out, however, I decided to make sure this was a “porn free” hotel by turning on the TV and clicking to Menu Options. Sadly, what I found was not only a link to “Hollywood Movies” but also to “Adults Only.” There was a “Must Be 18 To Enter” warning, but proof of age was not required to proceed and view film titles (with pictorial/written promotional material) like these:

“Reign of Tera 2” (“hardcore action”)
“Lesbian Secretary” (“hardcore”)
“Hardcore POV” (“This is hardcore point of view”)
“Rock Hard Porn: Young Sluts”
“100% Sex: Sophomore Sluts”
“Dorm Room Bang-A-Thon” (“We found the sweetest sluts…and screwed the decency out of them”)
“Crazy Campus Sluts”
“Hustlers Barely Legal #60”
“Hustlers Desperate House Tramps”
“Horny Housewife Auditions”
“All Sex: XXX fantasies” (“imagine your raunchiest, dirtiest, fantasies come to life”)

If you say you are not an arbiter of morals or of good taste and that you are just giving many of your customers what they want, you really should be ashamed of yourself.

You should also be aware that distribution of such materials, among other things, contributes to the breakup of marriages, to prostitution, to sexual assaults against both children and adults, to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and to the erosion of decency.

You should also be aware that in the 1973 Miller v. California obscenity case the Supreme Court said that persons who traffic in materials that “depict or describe patently offensive ‘hard core’ sexual conduct” are “subject to prosecution for the sale or exposure of obscene materials.”

Morality in Media, among many others, is of the opinion that a criminal prosecution of a “mainstream” corporation that is in the business of distributing hardcore pornography is long overdue.

It is my earnest hope, however, that even after so many years of ignoring complaints about the sale of pornography in your hotels, you will yet do the right thing for your family, church and nation.

I would expect that any loss of customers who decide to stay elsewhere because they are addicted to pornography will be more than offset by the gain in customers who want to stay in nice but also pornography free hotels. Your own conscience should also rest much easier.


Robert Peters, President of Morality in Media Author: Robert Peters   07/23/2007

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