Netflix Documentary ‘Money Shot’ Examines 2020 Pornhub Scandal: ‘I Wanted to Tell All Sides,’ Says Director

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Netflix’s Money Shot: The Pornhub Story Explores the success and scandal of the world’s biggest porn website. Director Suzanne Hillinger talks to Yahoo about the new controversial documentary. (Photo: Courtesy Netflix)

When you scroll through Netflix’s new releases on Wednesday, there’s one title that will definitely grab your attention: Money Shot: The Pornhub Story, The documentary, simply put, looks at the success and scandals of Pornhub, the world’s largest porn website.

“We knew making this film that there was going to be a built-in audience of people who use Pornhub regularly, whether they admit it or not. Or people who are just curious: ‘About What a documentary the porn industry is doing on Netflix?'” director Suzanne Hillinger told Yahoo Entertainment. “I felt like a huge responsibility to tell a really honest and nuanced story that didn’t continue the oversimplification or sensationalism of porn artists and porn in general – which movies about the industry often do . We wanted to kind of entice the audience and then teach them a few things.”

However, those “things” are much denser than its title suggests.

money shot Begins by examining the online rise of Pornhub which coincided with the rise of social media. The porn platform completely changed the way adult entertainment was created and distributed, and, for more than a decade, the company flourished despite its typical anti-porn detractors. But in December 2020, the money-making website, with little moderation, faced its first serious setback.

Journalist Nicolas Christophe wrote an op-ed for new York Times Accusing Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, of sex-trafficking and allegedly showing thousands of child pornography and rape videos on the website. article, title “pornhub kids“shown in interviews with victims, who detailed how Pornhub would not flag non-consensual content multiple times. And if a video was removed, an unverified user could repost it within hours. Could. The cycle continued. Within days. Publication of times Following the article, Visa and MasterCard suspended their credit card services with Pornhub, causing ripples across platforms. Pornhub quickly changed its policies to ban unverified uploads and disabled over 10 million videos. But when Hillinger read the op-ed from two years ago, he was surprised that “only two porn performers were cited in the piece.”

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“I felt that the voices about the biggest porn platforms were missing from this story – and it is the people whose backs the company benefits from. So, I really wanted to tell the story of Pornhub, mostly through the lens of people who make pornography out of it, because I felt like it was really missing from the conversation,” she continued.

money shot There are interviews with porn stars such as Cheri Deville, Siri Dahl and Gwen Adora, who talk about how they were affected by the scandal and its wide-spread impact. Hillinger interviewed porn artists “who were really affected financially” by the backlash in 2020, but found it difficult to get lesser-known creators to speak on the record.

“People who really depended on Pornhub to pay rent, to keep a roof over their heads, to provide income, to pay for children or education or whatever – they are really economically vulnerable people. were and they actually found it too dangerous to participate in the film,” says Hillinger. “I had conversations with people that they were like, ‘I don’t think I can control my face in your documentary because I might lose my apartment.’

DeVille and other porn actors believe that the on Pornhub is a ruse, and that it is actually a war on the legal sex work industry. The documentary touches on how far-right Christian groups are behind some anti-sex trafficking campaigns aimed at dismantling the porn industry under the guise of “let’s save the women and save the children”. The artists say that if they care about sex-trafficking, these groups should take action against tech companies like Facebook and Twitter. however, money shot Let’s address the other side of the argument: Pornhub’s total lack of restraint caused the website to distribute non-consensual content, sometimes involving minors.

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“I’ve always wanted to tell all sides,” explains Hillinger, “and let the audience decide for themselves.”

Hillinger says, “I think porn is one of the most polarizing subjects on earth and people have their opinions about it, whether it’s good or bad. They have their opinions about work and I Really just wanted to present all angles of it.” Let the story and the audience grapple with it, face their own prejudices and figure out how they feel about the story now that they’ve heard it from all sides. Because there’s no clear cut conclusion and that was always really important to me. There’s no narration in the movie and that’s actually intentional because I just didn’t want any kind of God voice ‘and that’s what you should think about in the story.’ I just wanted everyone to share their own, their own take.”

Hillinger hopes viewers will take two main takeaways from the documentary.

“That sex work is work and many of the people who make pornographic material do it consensually and ethically. They own their material and they come in with their ideas and they give consent. They’re doing a job.” They are content creators, the kind of people who make viral videos on Instagram,” she says. “These are their jobs, jobs that they are passionate about, that they love doing, that there is an audience for. The fact that they can support themselves on this work should give it so much relevance and credibility. “

Hillinger also hopes that viewers will understand that “there is a lot that needs to be done by platforms that rely on user-generated content to make a profit.”

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“Moderation is a complicated thing and you need highly skilled moderators. I think when people say, ‘Oh, you know, the internet is Pandora’s box and once you open it it’s wild, wild. It is like in the West. Well the internet was made by people and there are smart people still writing code and making software. Certainly, a more secure world we can have without censoring free speech,” she concluded. . “And it’s going to get really complicated. I hope it’s an issue that can be taken more seriously once people realize that this is an Internet problem, not a porn problem.” and can be taken as a whole.

Money Shot: The Pornhub Story Drops Wednesday, March 15 on Netflix.