2009, pornography has grown into a $10 billion business, and some of the world’s most-known corporations are silently sharing in the profits. Companies like Time Warner, Marriott, and Vodaphone earn huge amounts of revenue by piping pornography into homes and hotel rooms, but you won’t see anything about it in their company reports. Even the Catholic Church invests in companies that distribute pornography, along with pension funds that earn huge profits from investing in ventures that relate to porn. Hardcore Profits is a two part television series that explores how in the 21st century, pornography has never been more profitable, nor more pervasive.
English documentary filmmaker Tim Samuels explores how pornography is now piped into people’s lives via new technologies and how this is creating powerful new revenue streams for supposedly ‘family friendly’ mobile phone and credit card companies. Tim discovers how the Internet has spawned ‘Porn 2.0′. He travels to the United States headquarters of a porn website with millions of users, and is shown some of the latest porn technology. He finds out that the spread of porn is having far-reaching consequences. On porn sets in Los Angeles, Tim sees that condoms are rarely used, and in Africa, he finds that porn movies from the West undermine safe sex education, and increase the risk of spreading HIV.
In the second part, Tim explores the way in which porn is becoming more pervasive and extreme, and how even pensioners and religious organisations aren’t immune to indirectly profiting from porn. On set in America, Tim meets actors who say they feel pressure to undertake increasingly hardcore sex acts, and talks about this with porn publisher Larry Flynt, who tells him that even he thinks porn is going too far. After meeting with an ethical investment adviser to see if it is possible to avoid porn when creating investment portfolios, Tim examines pension and religious investment funds that seem to be profiting from the porn industry.