This global hotel chain was a 2016 Dirty Dozen List target for its sale of hardcore pornography via on-demand television offerings. We are happy to announce that Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, which includes brands like the Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, Aloft, Le Meridien, and more, has recently implemented a new policy to no longer provide pornography choices as part of their pay-per view television offerings. They are currently working to remove pornography offerings from all existing cable vendor contracts worldwide.
NCOSE alerted Starwood in 2015 that they were a target for the 2016 Dirty Dozen List and that many other hotels have recently gotten out of the business of distributing hardcore pornography. Starwood commented:
Thank you for raising your concerns to us. As you may already know, Starwood is deeply committed to enriching the communities in which we work and live by being a responsible corporate citizen. Like you, we condemn all forms of exploitation of men, women and children, and our Human Rights Policy acknowledges and respects the principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This policy is publicly available, and reflects Starwood’s commitment to conduct its business in a manner consistent with these principles and to protect human rights within the company’s sphere of influence. We are already taking actions to eliminate adult video content from in-room entertainment offerings, by working with our video content providers and our hotel owners.
Starwood then alerted us on February 10, 2016 that they officially changed their policies regarding their distribution of pornography on January 1, 2016 and that it will be removed from all 1,270 properties worldwide.
PLEASE THANK STARWOOD, as well as the other hotels that have changed their policies in recent months (Hilton, Hyatt, and InterContinental Hotels Group):
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is a major hotel and leisure company with more than 1,270 hotels and resorts across 11 renowned brands, in 100 countries. Although Starwood prides itself on its commitment to human rights standards as articulated in its “Human Right Policy Statement,” Starwood was actually facilitating sexual exploitation. Unlike many of its competitors, Starwood until just recently offered on-demand pornography in its guestrooms, despite the growing evidence of pornography’s neurological harms, and its links to increases in child sexual abuse and sex trafficking. Starwood must change its policy: no hotel should profit from sexual exploitation.
In 2013, Nordic Choice Hotels, Scandinavia’s largest hotel group, implemented a ban on all porn services citing sex trafficking within hotels as a major influence. “The porn industry contributes to trafficking, so I see it as a natural part of having a social responsibility to send out a clear signal that Nordic Hotels doesn’t support or condone this,” said Petter Stordalen, owner of the hotel company.
Hotels are locations where sex trafficking transactions occur as they provide convenience, relative anonymity, as well as temporary, private accommodations. Polaris’ “2015 Statistics” from its National Human Trafficking Resource Center indicate that hotels rank second among the top venues for sex trafficking.
In addition, sexual assault of hotel staff is not an uncommon occurrence, with recent cases being reported in California and Connecticut. These factors make it irresponsible to provide for sale sexually explicit material in hotel rooms, much of which is degrading, violent, and may excite sexually violent fantasies among hotel guests.
Additionally, children may accidently access this content, causing them confusion and upset at what they have seen. Exposure to pornography is an attack on their innocence, and can shape their sexual ideas and templates from a young age, whether or not it is sought out.
As if distributing and profiting from pornography is not bad enough, Starwood was also complicit in attempting to cover the tracks of those who buy this material. Specifically, films offered through Starwood Hotel’s pornography channels, Starwood advertised that, “Movie titles do not appear on your bill” thus aiding buyers in their efforts to keep spouses, partners, employers, and others in the dark regarding their pornography use.
For these reasons, the social impacts and laws against pornography, we named Starwood Hotels and Resorts to the 2016 Dirty Dozen List and asked them to remove all pornography from their cable subscription services.
WE ARE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THAT THEY HAVE SINCE CHANGED THEIR POLICY.
The proof shown here was gathered in December 2015. WARNING: The material in the proof section includes graphic descriptions and photos of the child-, racist-, and incest-themed pornographic films sold by Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Could be a possible trigger.
Speak Up at Hotels
If you are staying at a hotel that offers pornography, you can demand that they turn off these channels before you even go to the room. They do have the ability to remove!
This will clearly send the message that this is material that is not acceptable.
In addition, mention to them that many other hotels have recognized that it is not ok to profit from and facilitate sexual exploitation – Marriott, Omni, Drury, Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, and InterContinental Hotels Group have all implemented no-porn policies.
Share your STORY
Personal stories help elected and business leaders to see the grave harm associated with this material and can be very helpful in getting them to change their policies. All will be shared anonymously. Please email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay updated on these projects
Dawn Hawkins and Lisa Thompson discuss the numerous hotels that have removed on-demand pornography options as a result of the Dirty Dozen List and public pressure. WATCH VIDEO HERE: Starwood Hotel & Resorts (which owns brands like Sheraton and Westin) and InterContinental Hotels Group (which owns brands like Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza) have both committed to…
We are happy to announce that as of January 1, 2016 the Starwood global hotel chain (which includes brands: the Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, Aloft, Le Meridien, and more) has implemented a new policy that no longer provides pornography choices as part of their on-demand/pay-per view television offerings. BACKGROUND: NCOSE alerted Starwood in 2015 that…
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is a major hotel and leisure company with more than 1,270 hotels and resorts across 11 renowned brands, in 100 countries. It includes properties such as the Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, Aloft, Le Meridien, and more. Although Starwood prides itself on its commitment to human rights standards as articulated…
Use these tools to help spread the message! Download, print and handout, or share online.