HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Amazon just made a Top 12 list, but not the kind that companies would like to be on.
On Thursday, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) unveiled its 2016 Dirty Dozen List, a compilation of what the organization calls “mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation in America.”
“HBO has a long history of using sexual exploitation and violence to entertain,” said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the NCOSE. “In part, porn culture and pop culture have become synonymous as a result of HBO’s penchant for intentionally intermixing interesting plots with scenes of graphic nudity, sexual violence, rape, and incest. It’s time for HBO to stop profiting from sexual objectification, exploitation, and violence.”
Beyond HBO and Amazon, this year’s list includes Cosmopolitan magazine, Verizon (“profits from teen, incest, racist, and slavery-themed pornography through its FIOS TV, as an Internet service provider, and as a wireless carrier”), Snapchat and YouTube.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide made the undesirable cut, but has since been removed through some policy changes.
Below is the full list of 12, in alphabetical order. The explanations are in NCOSE’s own words.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is known for lightning-fast shipping, its Kindle e-reader, and selling virtually anything online. Regardless of their corporate policy, which prohibits pornography from being sold, Amazon is a worldwide facilitator of sexual exploitation. They distribute pornography and sadomasochistic paraphernalia; their Kindle e-reader exposes children to sexually explicit images and content with incest, rape, and child themes; and Amazon Web Services is used to host pornography and prostitution websites.
American Library Association
The ALA zealously continues to encourage public libraries to keep all public-access computers unfiltered, thereby allowing patrons, including children, to view illegal, obscene material. This has turned the once safe community setting of the public library into a XXX space that fosters child sexual abuse, sexual assault, exhibitionism, stalking, and lewd behavior in libraries across the country.
Amnesty International has developed a policy document supporting full decriminalization of prostitution. Full decriminalization of prostitution is one of the world’s most disastrous approaches to the sex trade because it allows sex traffickers and sex buyers to carry out their activities as mere “sex business operators” and “customers,” and it normalizes the sexual violence and exploitation inherent to prostitution as a form of “work.”
Backpage.com is a classified advertising website that serves as “the hub” for prostitution advertising through its “adult entertainment” section and provision of free basic posting of such ads. Facilitating such advertising enables sex traffickers to remain anonymous, while simultaneously granting them access to a wide audience to market adults and children for illegal commercial sex acts. According to 51 State Attorneys General (including Guam and American Samoa), many cases of sexual trafficking involving children are directly related to the posting of these ads.
This staple of the supermarket checkout line is a porn magazine. Cosmo hyper-sexualizes fashion, and glamorizes things like public, anal, and violent sex, as well as use of pornography in nearly all their issues and web content. As long as Cosmo persists in normalizing pornography and sexually risky behavior, it’s time for it to be covered like all other pornography magazines in retail stores.
Department of Justice
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) refuses to enforce existing federal obscenity laws against pornography despite the fact that these laws were previously enforced and upheld by U.S. courts. From the time Obama took office … no enforcement actions against illegal obscenity have been initiated by DOJ, and in 2011 former Attorney General Eric Holder dismantled the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force.
HBO, a division of Time Warner, is an American premium cable television network. For years HBO has pushed boundaries in its programming, by providing increasingly graphic depictions of pornography and sexual violence as entertainment. Its popular series “Game of Thrones” has pushed these boundaries to the extreme with gratuitous nudity and extreme sexual violence.
“Sexpresso” Coffee Shops
These coffee stands originated in Seattle with a business model based on sexual objectification. Young women wearing only pasties, thong underwear, other lingerie, or bikinis ostensibly serve coffee. However, the pornified working conditions result in frequent sexual harassment of staff, have been associated with indecent exposure and prostitution, and are an affront to public decency and health. Sexpresso cafés bring strip club atmosphere to the neighborhood coffee shop.
Arguably the most popular smartphone app used by Millennials and teens, Snapchat is frequently used for sexting and the sharing of child sexual abuse images. Additionally, the built-in feature Snapcash enables users to monetize and profit from the exchange of sexual content.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
This global hotel chain was a 2016 Dirty Dozen List target for its sale of hardcore pornography via on-demand television offerings. However, Starwood has mandated elimination of pornography from all of its hotels globally. We applaud Starwood for its exit from the business of sexploitation, and it is therefore removed from the Dirty Dozen List.
Verizon Communications, the largest U.S. wireless communications service provider, profits from sexual exploitation each year through pay-per-view movies and dedicated pornography channels on its Fios TV services, as an Internet service provider, and wireless carrier. Verizon has defended their decision to offer incest, child, and trafficking themed pornography as a benefit to their customers.