France porn industry abuse allegations laid bare

Porn - Image Geralt / Pixabay

The porn industry in France has been the subject of debate in parliament following the arrest of three men on Tuesday as part of a sprawling investigation into alleged abuse of vulnerable women.

A report by France 24 on Friday, September 30 said that senators had proposed a raft of stronger measures aimed at cracking down on the industry and the abuse and trafficking of women.

Those arrested are thought to be actors linked to the adult video platform French Bukkake, who are part of a wider investigation by police into the porn industry in France.  

The widespread abuse of vulnerable women subject to sexual violence and coerced into performing sex acts on and off camera by actors, directors and producers, have been uncovered by the investigation which was started in 2020.

Currently, there are 15 men facing prosecution with more charges expected shortly, with the two main brands Jackie & Michel and French Bukkake under investigation. The owner of the French Bukkake site Pascal Ollitrault (professionally known as Pascal OP) and Mathieu L. (professionally known as Mat Hadix), are now both awaiting trial.

More than 40 alleged victims have joined as civil plaintiffs alongside activist groups.

A report released by the French Senate on Thursday released a report entitled “Porn: Hell behind the scenes” lists 23 measures to improve conditions for workers in the pornography industry. It also introduces stricter controls for platforms hosting adult content and measures to prevent children and teenagers under 18 from viewing porn online.

12 per cent of those visiting porn sites in France have been found to be under the age of eighteen.

Activists say that the investigation and the senate’s response feels for the first time, like change is actually taking place with previous investigations changing little within the industry.

The report details chilling views of the industry including rape, trafficking, torture, pimping, recording and sharing images that violate the right to integrity of the person. The victims say that everything was done to exert control over them, including feeding them dog food.

Messages taken from the phones of the site owners show that actresses were supplied with excessive amounts of drugs and alcohol on sets, frequently used for sex outside of filming, systematically provided with falsified negative tests for sexually transmitted diseases, pimped to other productions for a commission fee and extorted for thousands of euros for the removal of their videos on sites they had not consented to appear on.

Implementing changes to the law has proven difficult with cases in court currently considering whether identifying age restricts user’s rights to privacy.

Media Professor Neil Thurman from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany told France 24 that the technology exists to do this within the privacy laws; He said: “The technology is reasonably well advanced,” says. “It’s just that porn sites don’t want to reduce their numbers by putting on a block on visitors if they don’t absolutely have to.”

Action from the French Senate may force the use of such technologies through, yet questions of right to access are likely to persist. There are also questions over how comprehensive a block on minors accessing porn sites could be as there are many ways to circumvent blocks.

What may prove more difficult is blocking the amateur porn business that work outside of existing laws and without workplace protection.

The world will be watching to see how effective the changes are following the porn industry in France being slammed over abuse allegations.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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