Pornhub Execs Flee Amidst Growing Evidence of Rampant Child Sexual Abuse

NCOSE Press Statement logo

Washington, DC (June 22, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) said that the resignations of both MindGeek’s CEO and COO, and the reported layoffs of likely half of its employees, are more evidence that the infrastructure of the pornography industry is crumbling and that MindGeek needs to be investigated. MindGeek is the parent company of Pornhub, which has allowed filmed child sexual abuse, rape, sex trafficking, and other non-consensual explicit material on its websites.

“It is no coincidence that MindGeek’s two top executives have fled amid a growing number of lawsuits we and other law firms have filed on behalf of sex trafficking survivors whose abuse has been shown on Pornhub, and because of the intense outcry from survivors, advocates, corporations, and even from news outlets like the New York Times, The New Yorker, and the BBC that revealed Pornhub’s criminality,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“For over a decade, MindGeek has been confronted by numerous survivors who have come forward about their sex trafficking or child sexual abuse being filmed and then uploaded, monetized, promoted, made downloadable, and shared countless times on Pornhub and other MindGeek-owned websites. Pornhub has profited from the mass distribution of filmed sexual crime as well as non-consensually recorded and non-consensually uploaded videos.

“The evidence of MindGeek’s complicity in mass sexual crime is overwhelming and continues to grow. It is time for both criminal prosecution and regulatory preventative action. However, as long as pornography tube sites don’t have to ensure that all who are depicted in explicit material have truly consented to participate or that all are actually adults, more criminality will happen in this pernicious industry. Currently there are no such regulations for pornography tube sites, and as a result, thousands of victims are powerless in removing recordings of their abuse while Pornhub and other websites make millions of dollars from their trauma.

“Given that Pornhub has offices in the U.S. and has servers in America, it is time for the United States to hold Pornhub accountable for the mass criminal exploitation of countless victims over the past decade,” Hawkins said.

NCOSE and other survivors and advocates held a virtual U.S. Congressional briefing in 2021 that presented evidence of the rampant criminality on Pornhub and included testimony from survivors. An online petition has garnered over 2.2 million signatures to shut down Pornhub for aiding sex trafficking. Multiple class action civil lawsuits have been filed in the US and Canada on behalf of sexually abused children and trafficking victims. In response, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover credit cards rightly cut ties with Pornhub. U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-NE, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-OR, Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL have spoken out condemning the widespread rape, sex trafficking and non-consensual content on Pornhub, and some have called for a US Department of Justice investigation. 

Furthermore, Canadian Parliament’s House of Commons Ethics committee launched an investigation into MindGeek’s complicity in mass sex crimes. During one of these investigative hearings, MindGeek executives who were called to testify lied about having a partnership with the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). It was also revealed that Pornhub reported zero instances of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, i.e. child pornography) to U.S. or Canadian child protection agencies or law enforcement from 2008-2020, which is a criminal offense in Canada and in the U.S. On March 15, 2021, over 70 Canadian Senators and MPs from all eight political parties called on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to initiate a full criminal investigation into MindGeek.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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