Cover photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

The topic of porn is not one that you hear many movie stars, athletes, or other celebs speaking up about. These high-profile celebs are usually pretty careful with what they say to the media, especially when talking about subjects that a lot of people consider taboo. However, due to the science and research that is coming out daily on the harmful effects of porn, more and more celebrities are starting to take a stand and voice their opinions about the prevalence of porn in our society and how it has affected them personally.

We found eight movie stars who have publicly addressed the issue of pornography and why they’re against it. Their reasons and experiences are varied, but the message all boils down to the same fact: porn is negative.


 

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Terry Crews

Crews first spoke out about pornography in his book Manhood, where he opened up about how he was addicted to since the age of 12 years old and how his porn habit deeply affected his marriage. Then, earlier this year, Terry began using the Facebook live video feature to go in-depth about his past struggle, how it damaged his relationships, and how we was able to finally overcome it. In a series of videos to his 7 million+ Facebook audience, Terry Crews addressed what he called his “dirty little secret,”

“This thing has become a problem, I think it’s a worldwide problem,” Terry said in his first Dirty Little Secret video. “Pornography really messed up my life in a lot of ways. Some people deny it and say, ‘Hey man you can’t really be addicted to pornography, there’s no way.’ But I’ll tell you something: if day turns into night and you’re still watching, you probably got a problem. And that was me.”

The real-talk video series quickly gained millions of views, and was picked up by news outlets like CNN and The Today Show, generating a nationwide discussion on the harms of pornography.

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In an excerpt from an interview with the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Crews and his wife of 25 years, Rebecca, opened up about the effects it had on their life together:

Terry, did you have a collection or was it just online?

Online. It wasn’t a collection, I was smart enough not to keep anything in the house… I (was) suffering from something. I was a loving father, husband, the whole thing, but in the back of my mind I needed something like pornography just to chill. It’s almost like not admitting you’re an alcoholic or something like that. But the thing is you can’t live in two worlds and I was getting farther and farther away from Rebecca. Pornography is an intimacy killer. It just started building up a wall. A lot of people get divorced and they don’t even understand how the separation began. It wasn’t that she caught me. She was like, ‘Something is wrong with you,’ and I finally had to admit it was a problem… I realized I couldn’t stop.

Terry officially joined the #PornKillsLove movement by repping one of our popular Porn Kills Love tees and giving Fight the New Drug a shout out to his millions of followers.

Support for my people over at @FightTheNewDrug! #PornKillsLove

A photo posted by Terry Crews (@terrycrews) on


Both Terry and Rebecca Crews follow Fight the New Drug on Instagram and Twitter. They are relationship goals for sure.

 

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Emma Thompson

When it comes to British actors and actresses, few are more accomplished than Emma Thompson who has appeared in 40 films, and has been nominated for five Academy Awards and won two. The London-born actress has starred in such films as Harry Potter (she played Professor Trelawney), Love Actually, Nanny McPhee, Stranger Than Fiction, and Saving Mr. Banks. But in addition to her incredible career, we’re celebrating Thompson for the fact that she’s unafraid to speak out against the harms of pornography on our society.

In a 2014 interview with the UK’s Daily Mail, Thompson declared that she was waging war on “internet slime.” The actress explained that between movies, she focuses on educating her daughter on the dangers of porn online. Like a lot of parents, she expressed her deep worries about porn and hyper-sexuality on social media where, she said, “there’s no jurisdiction or protection.” She even revealed she has created a handbook for her daughter to help guide her through the moral maze. “Those quick clicks are dangerous,” she says.

Thompson also talked about her concerns for young men who look at pornography online and “cannot function sexually because they’ve lost the use of their imagination.”

At the time of the article, she was working on a documentary about online sex abuse, and had just begun narrating an independent film that explores the dangers of living in a tech-obsessed society influenced by porn and isolated communication behind the protection of a screen.


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Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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Everybody loves some JGL right? Well here is a reason to love him even more. In late 2013, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut hit theaters. The widely released Don Jon, was the topic of much discussion in the media because of the movie’s subject matter—porn.

The media described it as a movie simply about porn and a lot of people probably went and saw it because of that. However, after seeing the movie, many realized what it was actually about: love, relationships, and false depictions of both in pornography/media.

The movie, which was written, directed, and starred in by Gordon-Levitt, features Jon, a good looking, macho man who has no trouble with the ladies. However, he finds that regardless of all the beautiful women that he meets, and then after getting into a relationship with his dream girl, played by Scarlet Johannson, he realizes he is severely addicted to internet porn and openly admits that real women/real sex can never compare to porn.

In an interview talking about his character in the movie and the message of the film, Gordon-Levitt said:

“Everything in Jon’s life is sort of a one-way street. He is not connecting or engaging with anyone. That goes for the women in his life… It’s an item on a checklist. He doesn’t listen; he just takes. At the beginning of the movie, he is finding that dissatisfying because there’s the sequence where he brings a young lady home from the bar and he is comparing her to this checklist that he has gotten off of what he likes to see in a pornography video. Obviously, a real human being is not going to map onto that because there is a fundamental difference between a human being and an image on a screen.”

Since the movie, Gordon-Levitt has been open about his feelings about how the media and pornography negatively depict people and relationships.

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Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones has been all over the news lately for speaking out at the porn industry for damaging young women. The actress produced the popular documentary Hot Girls Wanted, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and then made a big splash when it was released exclusively on Netflix. The doc gives a raw, in-depth look at the exploitation of young women joining the porn industry in the internet age. Since its release, Jones has also been vocal about porn failing to properly represent equal female sexuality.

In the interview above, Jones speaks out about “the difference between sexuality and sexualization.” She says, “Women should feel pleasure and have sex and feel good about it – and there’s a lot of shame involved with porn.”

She then goes on to say: “It’s performative, it’s fulfilling a male fantasy. It’s not about how you feel about it, it’s like going with it because you’re making money from it.

The ‘female empowerment’ thing makes it tricky to have that conversation, because you’re making money and therefore you’re ’empowered’, but what is the real cost to your soul, to your psyche?”

Talking about the teenage girls that the film follows, Jones says: “They’re not connecting with or considering the real cost, the psychological cost, the emotional cost, the physical cost to your body – the trauma it does to your body to have sex for a living is a real thing. And I think by the time they realize it, it’s not too late because they can go back to their lives, but they’ve lost their childhoods.”

Jones also took a stand against today’s over-sexualized pop culture, describing it as “objectified, sexualized, performative”.

 

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Russell Brand

Our video of Russell Brand’s rant about the harmful effects of porn quickly went viral on Fight the New Drug’s YouTube channel last year. With over 2.2 million views on the video, people all over the world were talking about the comedian/activist who cited science and research behind the harms of porn and then shared his personal experiences with it.

The video gained so much attention that Brand posted another video the next week, answering people’s comments from the previous video and further shedding light on the subject using his impressive vocabulary and knowledge.

When it comes to porn, Russell Brand knows his stuff.

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Hugh Grant

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When actor Hugh Grant appeared on U.S. chat show Watch What Happens Live, he spoke about having three children, his preconceptions about fatherhood, and how his new role as a parent has changed him for the better. At one point in the interview, Grant was asked when the last time he watched porn was.
(Click here to watch the exact part in the interview)

Grant answered quickly, “Ah, I’m rather proud of this! About three years ago. Yes, I went cold turkey.”

The interviewer then asked if quitting porn had changed his life for the better.

Grant’s response? “I now have three children. I think there is a correlation.”

We think so too, Hugh.

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Juliette Binoche

This acclaimed French actress won an Oscar for her role in The English Patient, and has starred in films such as Chocolat (in which she was nominated for another Academy Award) and Dan In Real Life. She is also the first woman to have won best actress awards at the Berlin, Cannes, and Venice film festivals. We recently uncovered this quote from an interview she gave to UK site The Independent in 2012:

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Josh Radnor

In a recent exclusive interview with Fight the New Drug, Josh Radnor spoke out publicly for the first time against pornography and shared why is against it. As an actor he is most notably known for his role as Ted Mosby in the Emmy Award-winning TV show How I Met Your Mother, and for writing and directing Liberal Arts and Happythankyoumoreplease.

We caught up with Josh for an exclusive interview in Richmond, Virginia, where he was filming the second season of Mercy Street, his latest television series. We asked him a series of questions about his thoughts and feelings about the effects of pornography on individuals, relationships, and society as a whole. When asked about how he approaches this issue from a factual standpoint, he told us:

“People make the argument that pornography has always been around – like it’s some kind of sturdy, time-honored tradition – but it’s a baseless argument. It has never been around the way it is today, with the instant availability and variety and barbarity of it all.  Internet pornography is this crazy experiment unleashed on the human psyche. Bodies and brains are being sent on a wildly untested chemical roller coaster. Like with any drug I think there are people whose circuitry is not vulnerable to the addiction and many others who aren’t so fortunate. Because it’s all so new and has exploded so fast, research is only now beginning to come out. Reports of chronic porn watchers detoxing off porn mirrors classic drug withdrawal – shakes, sweating, insomnia, depression, inability to focus, suicidal ideation, etc. There are those who say there’s no such thing as pornography addiction and that watching porn is harmless. History will not be kind to those people. They’ll be the doctors from the fifties in the cigarette ads.”

Our interview with Josh was shared thousands of times on Facebook and generated a large discussion on the actor’s Twitter account. One of our favorite quotes from the interview:

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This just goes to show that it doesn’t matter who you are, the facts remain the same: porn is harmful.

What YOU Can Do

Join with us and these talented stars to take a stand. SHARE this article to spread awareness on the harmful effects of pornography and spread the word that porn is not cool or normal.

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