Justice for Hollywood Rape Victims, but Not Children

News & Politics

Justice has been served for two women raped by “That ’70s Show” star Danny Masterson. On Thursday, a judge sentenced Masterson to 30 years to life in prison for his crimes. Despite having a legal defense team and the Church of Scientology in his corner, the Hollywood B-lister got the maximum sentence allowed by California law. He will be eligible for parole in 2049 at the age of 73.

With more than two out of every three rapes going unreported, seeing justice for victims is rare, making the Masterson sentence all the more important. This development, though, comes alongside another news story: P*rnhub has a backlog of 706,425 flagged videos. That is, nearly three-quarters of a million videos involving minors, unwilling or drugged victims, and content questionable even by p*rn standards were reported at least 15 times each. At a minimum, that’s 10,595,375 flags.

Laila Mickelwait, founder of Traffickinghub, released redacted emails between the P*rnhub/MindGeek CEO and his direct reports. In this chain, it was revealed that one person working Monday through Friday with regular business hours was responsible for reviewing the flagged videos. It would take that person reviewing 50 videos a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year for 56 years to get to all of them — and that’s assuming nothing new goes on the stack.

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Any reasonable person would see these numbers and at least consider the review system inefficient at best and non-existent at worst. So why was nothing done about it? More importantly, where is the outrage?

Related: How Far Will Scientology Go to Protect Its Celebrities?

Leah Remini, fearless crusader against Scientology, has a large enough platform to shine light on the Masterson cover-up. My colleague Chris Queen’s article “How Far Will Scientology Go to Protect Its Celebrities?” quotes Remini lamenting the “silence from mainstream media members who breathlessly covered every raised eyebrow and cough in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial.” Mickelwait could do the same.

On August 30, Mickelwait tweeted “P*rnhub’s executives refuse to verify the age or consent of those in the millions of free and ad revenue generating videos it distributes and profits from. P*rnhub is still a CRIME SCENE.”

And she’s right. P*rnhub is making a profit by sexually exploiting children and unwilling parties. So where is the justice? Why is P*rnhub still operating and its executives still depositing profits generated from documented criminal activity?

For years, the company has been sued, investigated, and banned but, short of resignations (but still shareholders!), no one has been held to account. Perhaps it’s because former CEO Feras Atoon was not welcomed into the homes of millions via a sitcom. Maybe the former COO David Tassillo isn’t attractive enough to grace the nightly news. Is the company’s new leader Alexzandra Kekesi in a protected class as a female executive?

Perhaps if the Federal Bureau of Investigation was less focused on making criminals out of school board meeting attendees, one of the thousands of agents could entertain the notion that P*rnhub is Transnational Organized Crime. By the FBI’s own standards, P*rnhub commits the same crimes as other TOCs:

  • Operating, wholly or in part, by illegal means
  • Engaging in traditional criminal activity, such as illegal gambling (or monetized child rape), but with a greater reach
  • Protecting their activities through international commerce, complex communication mechanisms, and an organizational structure that spans national boundaries.

If that dog won’t hunt, then maybe the White-Collar Crime division will:

  • Money laundering (age-appropriate porn is still legal in most places)
  • Falsifying of financial information (illicit transactions designed to escape regulatory oversight)
  • Often connected to organized crime.

Given the violent, grotesque nature of this entire story, it’s fair to ask why large outlets are not covering this story.

  • Netflix reportedly paid $100 million for the Prince Harry-Meghan Markle flop.
  • Is the story not partisan enough for Fox News?
  • CNN is busy running another story about January 6.
  • MSNBC thrives on character assassination, and Trump sucks all of the oxygen out of that room.
  • “The View, you would think, would be all over this because of how many hours they gave the topic of consent during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation.
  • HBO usually requires years for its documentaries.
  • There’s a chance this story might be too salacious for NPR.
  • Surely ABCNBC, and CBS could tone the details down enough for the evening news?

There remains only one thing to do: find someone calloused enough to go into P*rnhub and find a B-list celebrity engaging in these criminal acts. Apparently, that’s what compels justice these days.

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