Nearly 50 nutter organisations are asking the Marriott hotel chain to take pornographic movies out of guest rooms.
In an April 3 letter to CEO John Marriott III, 47 pro-family nutters requested a meeting to discuss the issue. The letter goes on to say 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.
Among the nutters who signed the letter are: Dr. James Dobson (Focus on the Family), Bishop Harry Jackson (High Impact Leadership Council), Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Paul Weyrich (Free Congress Foundation), Dr. Richard Land
(Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission), Matt Staver (Liberty Counsel), and Robert Peters (Morality in Media).
Don Wildmon, the founder and chairman of the American Family Association, was one of the signatories to the letter. He says it is time for Marriott to put families first: Children can go [into a Marriott room and] accidentally ... access the
porn. So we're asking Marriott simply to put people above profits and [to] drop the porn movies from their guest rooms."
Wildmon says so far, Marriott has not responded to a request to meet with representatives of the pro-family groups to discuss the matter.
According to a press release from AFA, Marriott has approximately 2,800 hotels in the U.S. -- and about 2,400 of them offer in-room pornographic movies.
Marriott International will meet in Washington May 14 with anti-porn nutters that have petitioned the hotel chain to remove adult movies from its rooms.
Coming in response to an April 3 letter signed by 47 "pro-family" groups, the meeting may or may not serve to further the groups' agenda, as making such a broad change to the corporation's policy would be a very complex proposition,
Marriott officials say.
Marriott is a publicly traded company, so Mr. Marriott would not make a unilateral decision, said VP of communications Roger Conner, referring to CEO J.W. Marriott Jr., to whom the letter was addressed.
This is the first time a major hotel chain has agreed to meet with anti-adult lobbying groups, but even so, Conner stressed that it's the individual properties and not Marriott International that decide whether or not to offer adult programming,
and that receive compensation for it from Lodgenet and other providers.
Adult industry attorney Paul Cambria, however, pointed out to Cybercast that, Adult entertainment is completely protected by the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court has said so time and time again.
Pro-family nutters have wrapped up what is being called a "productive" meeting with officials of Marriott International.
The meeting focused on the hotel chain's practice of selling in room pornographic movies at some of its properties.
Last month, leaders of 47 pro-family groups sent a letter to Marriott CEO John W. Marriott the Third, which asked for a meeting with Marriott executives about the issue.
Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, says the meeting in Washington D.C. was a good first step: Two things came out of the meeting . They are going to look into a system where people would have to call the front desk
and get the movie turned on.
Secondly, notes Wildmon, the Marriot executives will discuss the issue further with some of their franchisees. And he says pro-family nutters will have another meeting with Marriott representatives in about six weeks to check progress on the
Marriott International is coming under heavy fire from nutter activists urging the hotel giant to banish sexual fare from its bedroom TV.
Focus on the Family met with hotel executives in Washington DC, and provided Marriott with a petition signed by 102,000 nutters who want pornographic films purged from the list of movie offerings.
Daniel Weiss, media and sexuality analyst for the group, said Marriott has billed itself as a family-lodging establishment, and its decision to provide adult films to its customers is contrary to its reputation.
Weiss said hotels and motels have been major contributors to the proliferation of pornography in mainstream culture: We've heard from people who have developed addictions, businessmen, people who travel a lot, who found that away from their
support structure and families they were very vulnerable to this type of material. They indicated that hotel porn was very significant in their addiction.
When WND asked Marriott Vice President of Communications Roger Conner why the hotel offers sex films in its rooms, he provided the following response: That's one of those any-kind-of-'why' questions. It's very universal in nature. For 25 years
or more, not just Marriott, but the whole industry has offered a wide range including adult movies.
Asked if he believes customers would miss the pornographic films if they were not offered, Conner said, It would be interesting to know. I don't want this to sound flippant, but who knows?
Marriott International offers families an option to block pornographic movies by calling the front desk or using the remote control, but Focus on the Family and other nutter groups would like the hotel chain to consider a policy where the
pornography would automatically be turned off unless a guest requests it.
For some people, that may just be enough of a hindrance that they won't access that material, Weiss said. They won't get caught up in it if they have to come out of the anonymity of ordering it in their room and call somebody.
Marriott executives said they will think about the suggestions and respond to concerns by July 1, though Conner acknowledged that not everyone left the meeting satisfied: We know it's not a perfect world that we live in, unfortunately, so it's
not a perfect response for those that we met with yesterday. There were some who said they wanted more of an immediate response or decision. But, based upon the complicated business model and contracts that are in place, we can't simply walk away
from it as we speak.
Hotels do not lose a large percentage of revenue when they boycott adult content because they only take 10 to 15% of the profits from the sale of pornographic films, Weiss said. He has faith that Marriott International will live up to its
reputation as a family friendly establishment and make its 3,000 hotels porn free: I think at this point we want to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they will do the right thing. We're going to take a cautious wait-and-see
The Arlington Group, a coalition of Christian nutter organizations that includes Focus on the Family, met with Marriott International officials in April to try and persuade the hotel chain to stop offering pay-per-view adult movies in its rooms.
Marriott offers the programming in most of its 3,000 U.S. hotels, and the Arlington Group representatives urged the chain to adopt an "opt-in" television system, in which guests would have to contact the front desk to receive adult
entertainment. Currently, the programming is available in hotel rooms until guests opt out.
At the meeting, the group presented Marriott officials with 102,000 signatures from people wanting the chain to stop offering adult entertainment. Of those signatures, 9,000 were from Marriott Rewards Card members.
Marriott responded in a letter dated June 26 to Donald Wildman, president of the nutter action group American Family Association, which is part of the coalition.
The letter said the company was in conversation with its adult-entertainment provider, Lodgenet, about the opt-in procedure, said Roger Conner, vice president of communications for Marriott International. Marriott took no other action but
promised it would raise the issue at its owners meeting in late July, Conner said.
In a terse letter to Marriott dated July 14, Wildman imposed a deadline of Aug. 15 to hear a definite response on concrete actions taken toward the removal of pornography from your properties.
Rochester, Minnesota, was one of the first places to enact a smoking ban in hotels, now the city is going after publicly-available pornography.
Olmsted County passed a county-wide resolution for prevention of sexual violence, said Jeanne Martin. She says the public health initiative starts by asking Rochester hotels to voluntarily stop offering pay-per view porn movies.
Olmsted County administrator Richard Devlin says the first step will be to restrict employees from staying in hotels or motels that have pornographic material in the room. County Commissioners will vote later this year on whether to prioritize
clean hotels as the first choice for public officials and employees who travel.
Devlin hopes this message spreads across the state, eventually leading to all hotels restricting access to pay-per-view porn: That's kind of our ultimate goal, is to discourage that type of material in hotels and motels, said Devlin.
The Minnesota Department of Health has created a list of hotels that do not offer adult pay-per-view entertainment. 75% of hotels in the state with more than 30 rooms do not.
A movement to make porn films condom-only is sure to gain further traction as two groups plan to protest the Marriott hotel chain.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Pink Cross Foundation claim Marriott acts as a middleman in selling condom-less porn productions because it makes millions from the pay-per-view lineup it offers in its hotel rooms.
The groups are planning a Porn In at the downtown Los Angeles Marriott. They also will announce a viral and print ad campaign for a hotel boycott.
They will protest in front of the Figueroa Street Marriott with banners and three-foot wide condoms. Later, a press conference will be held in a hotel room with streaming porn on the room's flat screen.
Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said that until he gets a commitment from Marriott officials to block condomless adult films to their hotel guests he will urge a public boycott of the entire Marriott chain, which
pencils out to about 3,000.
We want to highlight the brazen hypocrisy — the Mormon Marriott's moral masquerade — of such a so-called family oriented hotel chain profiteering off adult films that endanger the lives of the performers acting in them, Weinstein said.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has taken a stand after an adult performer tested positive for HIV several months ago.
A county in Minnesota is taking a stance about pornography. In most situations, Winona County will no longer reimburse workers for staying at hotels that offer pay-per view pornography.
Winona County is now the first in the USA to pass a clean hotel policy. The decision makes employees stay in porn-free hotels if they want reimbursement.
Chuck Derry with the Gender Violence Institute claims: Contemporary pornography 90% of it is degrading and violent towards women and girls. For the board members, it was an ethical decision. Derry says, The public is not going to pay
for employees that stay in establishments that support this kind of material.
Policy initiators hope this action will cause a ripple effect throughout the US.
Free Wi-Fi and widespread availability of Web-based adult-entertainment viewing may be contributing to pressure on LodgeNet, which provides various electronic guest-services to 1.9 million hotel rooms.
LodgeNet gets more than half of its revenue from providing hotels with guest services, including movies and entertainment viewing, Interactive TV, high-speed Internet access, and other connectivity solutions.
The decline in per room revenue continued to be driven by conservative consumer buying patterns as well as less popular theatrical content during the quarter as compared to the year-earlier period, LodgeNet stated.
Adult-entertainment viewing undoubtedly is a big-ticket item for LodgeNet and other vendors in their in-room, on-demand offerings, and the widespread availability of porn on guests' laptops these days may be contributing to the less popular
theatrical content which LodgeNet referred to.
Overall, LodgeNet has been hurt by the slump in business travel and materially lower purchases by consumers.
Following news reports that an unnamed hotel chain customer of in-room television provider LodgeNet was planning to phase out in-room porn, Marriott said that it was the chain in question.
But the company announcement also strongly implied, though it did not actually state, that existing rooms will continue to serve up adult fare while new rooms being built over the next several years will not.
Indeed, the announcement made to USA Today actually augurs more access to adult content in Marriott rooms in the future rather than less. Considering the company's stated commitment to upgrading in-room technologies that will supersede the
traditional way in which video and other in-room entertainment has been made available to its customers, guests can look forward to unlimited access to desired content of all types.
The company said in response to a query by USA Today:
It is our practice to keep adult content out of the reach of children and unavailable to any adult who chooses not to view it. We have strong controls in place that allow guests to block these materials. Changing technology
and how guests access entertainment has reduced the revenue hotels and their owners derive from in-room movies, including adult content. We are working with in-room entertainment providers and technology vendors to transition to the next
generation of in-room entertainment. This new platform of Internet-based video-on-demand will facilitate our exit from the traditional hotel video systems that included adult content in the menu selection, and will also provide guests greater
choice and control over what they watch across our system.
In a confusing statement perhaps referring to to existing hotel movie service, Marriott added:
As we transition to this new platform, adult content will be off the menu for virtually all of our newly built hotels. Over the next few years, this will be the policy across our system.
AVN commentators suggested that maybe there is some shrewd business thinking going on.
Bill Marriott told an interviewer from the Associated Press:
I've always been concerned about [pornographic] movies in rooms. In the next three or four years, we won't have any more of those. That's something we've had a real problem with because the Church is very, very opposed to pornography, as it
should be, and we are for families. But the owners of our hotels were making a lot of money. In fact, the only movies that make any money are pornography.
The Church, of course, is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons. And according to one hotel insider, porn accounts for 80 to 90 percent of all in-room movie purchases?
Now Marriott can keep the religious nutters happy by turning off their in-house porn systems. But the replacement entertainment will provide internet access and a high definition TV for a suitable fee...
Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is co-founder and a member of the faculty of Zaytuna College. They have authored a widely circulated open letter to hoteliers, moralising about
the supposed evils of hotel room porn:
We are, respectively, a Christian and a Muslim, but we appeal to you not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures but on the basis of a commitment that should be shared by all people of reason and goodwill: a commitment to human dignity
and the common good. As teachers and as parents, we seek a society in which young people are encouraged to respect others and themselves--treating no one as an impersonal object or thing. We hope that you share our desire to build such a society.
Pornography is degrading, dehumanizing, and corrupting. It undermines self-respect and respect for others. It reduces persons--creatures bearing profound, inherent, and equal dignity--to the status of objects. It robs a central aspect of our
humanity--our sexuality--of its dignity and beauty. It ensnares some in addiction. It deprives others of their sense of self-worth. It teaches our young people to settle for the cheap satisfactions of lust, rather than to do the hard, yet
ultimately liberating and fulfilling, work of love.
We recognize that we are asking you to abandon a profitable aspect of your business, but we hope that you will muster the conviction and strength of will to make that sacrifice and to explain it to your stockholders. We urge you to do away with
pornography in your hotels because it is morally wrong to seek to profit from the suffering, degradation, or corruption of others. Some might say that you are simply honoring the free choices of your customers. However, you are doing much more
than that. You are placing temptation in their path--temptation for the sake of profit. That is unjust. Moreover, the fact that something is chosen freely does not make it right; nor does it ensure that the choice will not be damaging to those
who make it or to the larger community where degrading practices and materials flourish.
We beg you to consider the young woman who is depicted as a sexual object in these movies, as nothing but a bundle of raw animal appetites whose sex organs are displayed to the voyeurs of the world and whose body is used in loveless and utterly
depersonalized sex acts. Surely we should regard that young woman as we would regard a sister, daughter, or mother. She is a precious member of the human family. You may say that she freely chooses to compromise her dignity in this way, and in
some cases that would be true, but that gives you no right to avail yourself of her self-degradation for the sake of financial gain. Would you be willing to profit from her self-degradation if she were your sister? Would you be willing to profit
from her self-degradation if she were your own beloved daughter?
Furthermore, we trust that you need no reminding of the fact that something's being legal does not make it right. For example, denying black men and women and their families access to hotel rooms--and tables in restaurants, as well as other
amenities and opportunities--was, for countless shameful years, perfectly legal. In some circumstances, it even made financial sense for hotel owners and operators in racist cultures to engage in segregationist practices even when not compelled
by law to do so. However, this was deeply morally wrong. Shame on those who denied their brothers and sisters of color the equal treatment to which they were morally entitled. Shame on you if you hide behind legality to peddle immorality in the
pursuit of money.
Our purpose is not to condemn you and your company but to call you to your highest and best self. We have no desire to hurt your business. On the contrary, we want you and your business to succeed financially--for your sake; for the sake of your
stockholders, employees, and contract partners; and for the sake of the communities that your hotels serve. We believe that the properly regulated market economy serves the good of all by providing products and services at reasonable prices and
by generating prosperity and social mobility. But the market itself cannot provide the moral values that make it a truly humane and just institution. We--owners, managers, employees, customers--must bring those values to the market. There are
some things--inhuman things, unjust things, de-humanizing things--that should not be sold. There must be some things that, for the sake of human dignity and the common good, we must refuse to sell--even it if means forgoing profit.
LodgeNet, a major distributor of adult entertainment through its hotel cable TV network, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection..
US nutter campaigners will be well pleased, they have been campaigning against hotel room porn for quite a while. Unfortunately for them it probably just means that people are downloading or bringing their own porn.
LodgeNet said that fewer hotels used its services --- 1.5 million currently, down from two million in 2009 --- and guests ordered fewer pay-per-view movies. For years LodgeNet has been under threats posed by laptops, streaming Internet TV and
portable devices. But prior to the boom of portable electronics, the hotel room was a virtual monopoly for cable TV suppliers. One of its most lucrative areas is porn. Analysts back in 2011 speculated that about half of the company's revenue came
from adult entertainment.
The Nordic Choice hotel chain is in the process of converting to Bring Your Own Porn (BYOP). It is in the process of replacing in room porn channels with contemporary art.
The chain's owner, Petter Stordalen has made ludicrous and defamatory claims that the porn industry contributes to trafficking. He said:
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.
Starting with his flagship hotel in Norway's capital, Stordalen has now replaced porn with interactive TVs in each room offering "art on demand" with a choice of nine works of contemporary video art, including Sam Taylor-Wood's Still
Life from 2001" -- a film showing a bowl of fruit slowly decomposing.
Stordalen plans to roll out video art to other hotels, with Copenhagen next on the list.
Morality in Media is wetting its pants over the fact that Hilton Hotels & Resorts has announced a policy change: They will no longer give guests the choice to watch X-rated fare on their in-room TV system.
In an emailed announcement to supporters, Morality in Media crowed:
Thanks to thousands of complaints from customers, and our leadership, Hilton has decided to make their hotels a safe environment and to no longer profit from sexual exploitation.
We want to publicly thank Hilton for its decision to create a safe and positive environment for all of its customers.
Hilton Worldwide will phase out pornographic programming from its hotel rooms' video-on-demand inventory. The company said that it currently doesn't offer pornographic films in the vast majority of its hotels and will phase it out at the
remainder of properties subject to the terms of their contracts. Hilton said in a statement:
We have listened carefully to our customers and have determined that adult video-on-demand entertainment is not in keeping with our company's vision and goals moving forward.
The Hyatt Hotel Corp. has announced that it will pull all adult entertainment from its guest rooms worldwide. Hyatt said adult entertainment will be phased out as terms of contracts expire with each of the companies that provide Hyatt's in-room
TV shows, movies and other entertainment.
Hyatt is following the lead of Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide that have already begun to ban porn from in-room entertainment systems. Hyatt did not explain why it made the decision, saying only:
Hyatt has made the decision to stop offering adult entertainment video on-demand at any Hyatt hotel.
Industry commentators say that the decision to remove pornography has been partly motivated by a steady drop in revenue from in-room entertainment throughout the industry as more guests turn to the Internet to download movies, games and video
clips on their laptops and portable digital devices.
A recent study by PKF Hospitality Research found that annual hotel revenue in the United States from in-room movie rentals -- including adult films -- dropped from $339 per room in 2000 to $107 in 2014.
The InterContinental Hotels Group has decided to remove on-demand pornography from every location in its international chain.
Dawn Hawkins of Morality in Media, now known as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation crowed about the decision:
We are grateful to Intercontinental Hotels Group for the priority the company placed on working with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation in order to ensure that none of its hotels profit from sexual exploitation. InterContinental Hotels
Group has committed to rigorously enforce a brand standard prohibiting the distribution of pornography across all of its brands, such as Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza.
Free streaming pornography has largely made in-room, on-demand pornographic services unprofitable. Robert Habeeb, president and CEO of First Hospitality Group, estimated that a 200-room hotel could make just $2,000 a month from the rental of