TUPELO, Miss. - One of the consistently recurring themes among the nation's religious pro-censorship organizations is the attempt to coerce hotels and motels to stop providing adult movie choices on their in-room pay-per-view (PPV) systems. The last time this theme surfaced was during last summer's presidential campaign, when several groups, including the Tupelo-based American Family Association (AFA), highlighted the fact that then-Republican candidate Mitt Romney, a staunch conservative , had at one time served on the board of the Marriott Corporation, and during his tenure, had never tried to purge adult PPV from the company's hotel chain.
But ten months have gone by since the Romney incident, so it was undoubtedly time to resurrect the theme, this time in the form of a letter dated April 3 and signed by "47 pro-family leaders" including Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, AFA founder Donald Wildmon, Morality In Media president Robert Peters, ultra-conservative Free Congress Foundation founder Paul Weyrich, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission chairman Dr. Richard Land and conservative law firm Liberty Counsel founder Matt Staver.
The letter requests a face-to-face meeting with Marriott CEO John Marriott III to discuss the removal of adult PPV, which statistics have shown provides the majority of the income generated from hotel PPV systems.
According to an article on the OneNewsNow website (operated by Wildmon's American Family News Network), the letter claims that pulling the pay-per-view movies would be in line with Marriott's public statement of "promoting the well-being of children and families" and stand against "... such tragedies as human trafficking and the exploitation of children."
To date, in-room adult programming has not scientifically been shown to have any effect on "human trafficking and the exploitation of children," nor is it clear that the "well-being of children and families" are affected by anyone's viewing of adult material.
With adult PPV being such a profit center for all lodging venues that offer it - Omni Hotels is the only major provider that doesn't - the pro-censorship groups might have better luck attempting what was done in Sweden several years ago, and more recently on Finland's Åland Islands: Prohibit government and military employees from patronizing hotels that offer adult in-room movies.
Currently, approximately 2,400 of Marriott's nearly 2,800 locations offer adult PPV in their rooms.
According to the OneNewsNow article, Marriott has not yet responded to the censorship groups' letter.