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Four French Porn Performers Charged with Rape, a First for France’s Adult Industry

Three of the four performers were charged and taken into custody over videos available for streaming on an amateur French porn website. 

By January 10, 2022No Comments

Four French porn performers have been charged with rape—a first for the country’s adult film industry. A fifth person, also arrested, is not being prosecuted.

Three of the four performers were charged and taken into custody in October of 2021 over videos available for streaming on an amateur, graphic French porn website.

In what’s been described as a resurgence of the #MeToo movement in France over the past year, women are coming forward with claims of harassment and abuse in the industry.

Related: Can You Tell The Difference Between #MeToo Stories And Porn Plot Lines?

The charges come a year after women started speaking out about the abuse they suffered on both amateur and professional porn film sets in France’s porn industry. The four individuals who were arrested, including two porn film producers who go by the pseudonyms Mat Hadix and Pascal OP, were charged with pimping and modern slavery in 2020.

But this is the first time that porn performers in France have been charged with rape.

A source close to the investigation said that, so far, at least 50 abuse victims have been identified.

French porn performers speak out about their abuse

One female performer who asked to remain anonymous told news news agency AFP that a director forced her into sex acts that left her in pain for days.

Another said she was coerced and forced to engage in a sexual act with a man who was not wearing a condom. The man lied about testing negative for sexually transmitted diseases and actually had herpes, the woman said.

Other women recounted multiple experiences where they were forced by directors to accept scenes that were not discussed or agreed upon prior to filming.

Related: How Porn Performers Can Be Sex Trafficked Without Realizing It

Dozens of other women have come forward with stories of abuse, particularly after several women’s rights organizations began campaigning and raising awareness about abuse in the porn industry.

Prosecutors are also investigating “Jacquie et Michel”—a French website that coins itself as a hub for “amateur” porn videos. The site has been the target of abuse claims by women who say they’ve suffered abuse on set.

BHW - The World

What does exploitation look like within the porn industry?

The porn industry is a platform on which performers, and particularly women, have long been portrayed and assumed as consenting to all of the videos they’re portrayed in. But what’s happening in the French porn industry is yet another reality check that this simply isn’t the case.

Understanding that sexual exploitation can have many forms is crucial for tackling this global issue. The actual definition of human trafficking is illuminating—particularly for anyone with a narrow understanding or assumptions about what exploitation actually involves.

Related: Alia’s Story: How I Was Sex Trafficked As A Popular Mainstream Porn Performer

The TVPA defines sex trafficking as a situation in which “a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.”

That means that human sex trafficking includes so much more than Hollywood portrayals of young girls being kidnapped into white vans. Cases like this do happen in real life and aren’t to be taken lightly, but they do not represent even close to the majority of trafficking cases.

Sexual exploitation also, and perhaps more commonly, happens when presumably consenting porn performers of all genders are coerced, forced, and manipulated to endure more for a scene than they initially signed up for and were informed of.

Exposing the dark side of the global porn industry

The porn industry is a global entity that has issues of exploitation and abuse everywhere. While perhaps often in the spotlight as a problem in the US, exploitation happens in every corner of the world.

Of course, France is not the only country whose porn industry is or should be under investigation, but what’s happening there is yet another example of people in mainstream porn production being accused of exploitation.

This is a global issue that requires global awareness and accountability if we hope to see lasting change and an end to exploitation and trafficking. Each area of the world is undoubtedly part of the problem, and each can also actively be part of the solution.

Related: How These 6 Major International Child Exploitation Operations Were Shut Down

As more individuals speak out about their experiences facing abuse and exploitation, more offenders and industries are held accountable, and more individuals make this issue known on a global scale, we can look forward to a world free from sexual exploitation.

This is why we educate on the harmful effects of porn and its ties to trafficking and exploitation—because porn is not harmless personal entertainment.

To read more about the ties between the porn industry and sex trafficking, click here.