Money Shot: The PornHub Story Review- A Well Done Documentary Showing Both Sides of this Issue

Porn has been an industry that has brought a lot of people happyness over the years, but in some cases, it has caused people to not like how sex of this nature has been portrayed to the public. In one case Pornhub which is a pornography website owned by MinkGeek a company out of Montreal Canada has been one that some people aren’t happy with. Namely some activists and government officials in Canada and abroad.

This documentary film has shed a light on multiple sides of how this industry has been used to exploit women and has advertised rape and abuse by allowing unverified users, to post videos of these events on their site. Activists such as Laila Mickelwait from TrafficingPorn are one of the site’s main antagonists. Along with Dani Pinter legal council for NCOSE and Whitney Burgoyne former MindGeek employee, and Michael Bowie lawyer for Brown and Rudnick who is representing some of the victims in a class action suit. These people compare what is going on at this company to the HBO gangster show Sopranos-esque racketeering scheme. They feel criminal activities are going on with this company.

Others such as porn performers Siri Dahl, Gwen Adora, Asia Akira, ambassador, Cherie Deville, and Allie Nox think otherwise. After a New York Times article by Nicolas Kristoff exposed this company and website for what he believes is allowing criminal activity to be shared on the site. A lot of women who were legitimate sex workers were losing a lot of money. They feel there should be a way to differentiate between true accounts and illegal accounts. Verified users shouldn’t pay the consequences of unverified users. This is their livelihood and their way of paying their bills and so forth.

The film uses multiple ways to tell its story. One of them is the classic way of talking heads. People from both sides of this argument get to give their opinions. And zoom calls are another way we get to hear some of the different angles of this story. Technical aspects show various scenes of the website and how it works properly and how illegal videos are added to the site. And explained by narration. This is an in-depth way of showing all sides of this story and industry.

The fact that rape & drug victims/survivors or child pornography videos are online, is appalling to me. Employees are supposed to moderate this type of activity and a shadowy subject lets the viewer in on the way videos were moderated, Which wasn’t very good. This isn’t something that the company’s owner truly cares about or more would have been done to stop this type of illegal activity. 

Even though there are opponents against all of this there are others like Mike Stabile from the  Free Speech Coalition, and Noelle Purdue Porn Industry Professional, who talk on the side of the site and its owners and business model. I feel the ending with a live sex scene with Siri Dahl isn’t necessarily the way to go regarding the film. I understand this is her business and she wanted to come out to say how this is her livelihood she shouldn’t have done this as part of the documentary. The filmmaker Susanne Hillinger made a mistake here. The dichotomy of both sides of the story was very well done despite the minor problem I have with the film.

Money Shot: The PornHub Story Streams on Netflix On March 15th

3 stars 

Dan Skop Allen

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