LOS ANGELES—Vivid Entertainment founder/co-chairman Steven Hirsch today blasted Morality in Media president Patrick A. Trueman for making “inflammatory and ridiculous assertions” about the impact of pornography on society.
In response to Trueman's allegations that there is an “untreated pandemic of harm from pornography” and “according to many studies, children and adults are developing life-long addictions to pornography,” Hirsch stated, “Contrary to Mr. Trueman’s claims, there are no reputable facts or studies to back up his assertions."
He added, “Mr. Trueman makes his living trying to control the legal choices adults have in the kind of entertainment they can enjoy. It is obviously in his economic interest to make inflammatory and ridiculous assertions about the so-called detrimental effects of adult entertainment, since that is what he is paid to do. He preys upon weak politicians, eager for votes from people who drink his anti-free speech Kool-Aid.
“Instead of advising people who don’t like adult films to simply not watch them, Mr. Trueman chooses to try and control what everyone can and cannot watch, a fundamental right protected by the First Amendment," Hirsch continued. "But I think people like Mr. Trueman don’t intimidate anyone, any more. They reject the nonsensical diatribes of a man who wants to rob them of their right to make their own decisions about what they view and read.”
Hirsch demanded that Trueman immediately cease making defamatory and untrue personal attacks on him or face legal consequences. He referred to a recent statement issued by Trueman calling him a “man whose business is sexually exploiting young girls for profit.”
“We do not sexually exploit or coerce anyone,” Hirsch said. “All of the people with whom we work are consenting adults and they perform in our productions according to strict standards regarding age, health tests and other legal criteria.”
UPDATE: This time, it took Morality in Media spokesperson Dawn Hawkins just five hours to respond to Hirsch's demand—and of course, the religio-conservative organization isn't about to give an inch to a "pornographer."
"I love that our efforts really get the porn industry riled up!" Hawkins exclaimed in an email to supporters. "Hardly a week goes by that they don’t target us in their industry publications. They seem to be scared that Morality in Media is dominating the news on pornography and setting the record straight on the harms associated with porn."
Actually, the "porn industry" gets a good laugh out of MiM's periodic outbursts of bluster, often served with a sippy-cup of "We're on the verge of bankruptcy—we need your money NOW!" And as for "setting the record straight on the harms associated with porn," one only need read their website carefully to see how bankrupt their various "studies" are, filled with lots of anecdotes and no hard evidence.
In attempting to defend MiM president Patrick Trueman's possibly actionable statement that, "Neither Republicans nor Democrats should be taking advice from a man whose business is sexually exploiting young girls for profit," Hawkins felt the need for a minor ad hominum attack:
"(I just want to throw this in the mix: Pat successfully directed prosecution efforts against Hirsch's company for federal obscenity law violations in the 90's!)," she wrote.
Vivid's attorney Paul Cambria remembers the incident well.
"Yeah, they indicted Steven, [business partner] David James and the company somewhere down in Mississippi, around the same area as 'Ole Miss'," he recalled. "I negotiated a deal with the U.S. attorney down there to let Steven and David out of the case, and to take a plea on behalf of the corporation, because that seemed to be the best way to settle the whole matter. So the corporation pled guilty and paid a fine—I don't remember exactly how much it was, but what I do recall is that it was tax deductible, so we weren't even out-of-pocket in the whole thing."
Great victory, Dawn!
"Well, now Hirsch is REALLY UPSET," Hawkins continued. "He is threatening legal action against Pat for saying that Hirsch exploits young girls. (Apparently he is upset that we didn't mention he exploits 'old girls' too?)"
So... sexually-active 18-or-older women make their way to Los Angeles, realize that most Hollywood "actors" spend most of their waking hours as waiters or construction workers or some similar job, decide they'd like a job that pays substantially more than flipping burgers or typing in the steno pool, and approach adult companies like Vivid looking to perform in sexually explicit movies—and Hirsch is exploiting THEM?!?!? (Tell the truth, Dawn: You and your boss just don't like seeing young adults consensually sweating up the sheets and experiencing orgasms, do you?)
"It is quite motivating to me to know that we've got them on edge all the time," Hawkins claimed. "We just keep winning battle after battle and there's not much they can do to stop us because we have YOUR HELP and hundreds more are joining our ranks daily."
Yeah, right; that's why in August alone you put out a couple of donation solicitations because the "surplus" you claimed at the end of June would last you through the fall was gone less than two months later? If we were actual donors to MiM, we'd probably ask for an accounting of where all that cash was spent—but then again, MiM donors aren't what we'd call a discerning lot. MiM says "We fight porn" and the good little Christians and Jews just reply, "Wow! Great! Here's my check!" And if the "battle after battle" they "keep winning" are things like getting the Republican National Committee to add a (unworkable) plank to its platform promising to "vigorously enforce... [c]urrent laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity," and getting all of the spring's Republican presidential hopefuls to sign a similar pledge, then their definition of "winning" needs a little (make that "a shitload of") work.
"I just wanted to give you a heads up so you can enjoy the small victory too," the press release concludes without identifying what that "small victory" even is. "Because so many are helping us set the record straight, the porn industry is having a hard time spreading it's [sic] lies about the consequences of pornography. WE ARE GETTING SOMEWHERE AND THEY ARE NERVOUS ABOUT US!"
Oh, yeah; we almost forgot: "DONATE NOW!" 'Cause after, "small victories" like this can apparently soak up one heck of a lot of cash—and of course, if Hirsch's threatened lawsuit succeeds, they may need a heck of a lot more.