Meet the Celebrities Who've Spoken Out Against Porn

Terry Crews, Pamela Anderson, Kirk Franklin and more.

BY JESSE CAREY CULTURE September 07, 2016

Earlier this year, Time magazine published an explosive cover story about the dangers that the proliferation of pornography poses to society. In “Porn and the Threat to Virility” writer Belinda Luscombe explained,

A growing number of young men are convinced that their [physical, in-person] sexual responses have been sabotaged because their brains were virtually marinated in porn when they were adolescents. Their generation has consumed explicit content in quantities and varieties never before possible, on devices designed to deliver content swiftly and privately, all at an age when their brains were more plastic–more prone to permanent change–than in later life …

Porn has always faced criticism among the faithful and the feminist. But now, for the first time, some of the most strident alarms are coming from the same demographic as its most enthusiastic customers.

Just a few weeks ago, anti-abuse advocate Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted from her bedroom as a child and held for nine months, released a jarring video, explaining the role that porn played in her captivity.

He said, ‘Oh, I have something, and I’m going to show it to you. You have look at it. You have to look at it.’ And then I remember he pulled out this magazine full of hardcore pornography ,and I remember he would just sit and look at it and stare at it. And he just talked about these women and then, when he was done, he would turn, and look at me, and be like, ‘Now we’re going to do this.’ It just led to him raping me more, more than he already did, which was a lot …

I can’t say that he would not have gone out and kidnapped me had he not looked at pornography. All I know is that pornography made my living hell worse.

But, Time and Smart aren’t alone. In recent months, numerous celebrities have begun to speak out about the dangers of porn, and why it is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Pamela Anderson: ‘How many marriages will implode?’

Last week, model and actress Pamela Anderson (who has appeared on the cover of Playboy more than a dozen times), wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the massive risk porn poses to culture.

Along with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, she called porn a “a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness” and an “experiment in mass debasement.”

They wrote, “We have often warned about pornography’s corrosive effects on a man’s soul and on his ability to function as husband and, by extension, as father … How many families will suffer? How many marriages will implode?”

Terry Crews: ‘It really, really messed up my life.’

In a video he called “Dirty Little Secret,” former NFL player and actor Terry Crews, explained the devastating toll it took on him: “Pornography, in a lot of ways, it really, really messed up my life … My wife was literally like, ‘I don’t know you anymore. I’m out of here.’”

He encouraged those who also struggle to come forward, and get help: “By not telling people, it becomes more powerful. But, when you tell and when you put it out there in the open … it loses its power.”

Russell Brand: ‘Our attitudes toward sex have warped and perverted.’

Comedian and actor Russell Brand released an articulate video, explaining porn not only how negatively effects people’s ideas about sex, but about love itself.

Our attitudes toward sex have warped and perverted and have deviated from its true function as an expression of love and a means of procreation. I heard a quote from a priest who said: ‘Pornography is not a problem because it shows us too much. It’s a problem because it shows us too little.

He said that the “icebergs of filth floating through every house on wi-fi” pose a risk greater than we can even begin to understand. Brand admits to his own past issues with porn, and says, “I feel like if I had total dominion, I’d never look at pornography again.”

Pointing to several studies about the effects of porn, Brand said porn leads to the objectification of women and damages real-world relationships and ideas about love and commitment.

Kirk Franklin: ‘It was literally like a drug calling me.’

Gospel music star Kirk Franklin told Oprah that once he got married, he believed his problem with looking at porn would go away, but, as explained, “That’s when I started realizing how much it was an addiction … I had to accept that I had a problem.”

He even told the story of throwing out his porn, only to go out, and try to find it: “I tried to go to sleep that night, and it was literally like a drug calling me. About 3 or 4 in the morning, in my flip-flops and boxers, I got in my car and drove back to that dumpster and dug [looking for my porn].” Franklin later confessed his addiction to his wife, and sought help from members of his church to kick the habit.

He’s since been open about the struggle, warning others (like this interview below with CBN), about porn’s dangers.

Raquel Welch: ‘They barely have ambition anymore, and it makes for laziness.’

Back in 2012, Hollywood legend Raquel Welch gave a blunt interview with Men’s Health magazine, explaining why she thinks porn is damaging culture:

I think we’ve gotten to the point in our culture where we’re all sex addicts, literally … It’s just dehumanizing. And I have to honestly say, I think this era of porn is at least partially responsible for it. Where is the anticipation and the personalization? It’s all pre-fab now. You have these images coming at you unannounced and unsolicited. It just gets to be so plastic and phony to me. Maybe men respond to that. But is it really better than an experience with a real life girl that he cares about? …

I just imagine them sitting in front of their computers, completely annihilated. They haven’t done anything, they don’t have a job, they barely have ambition anymore. and it makes for laziness and a not very good sex partner. Do they know how to negotiate something that isn’t pre-fab and injected directly into their brain?

Juliette Binoche: ‘There’s a sad and pathetic side to it.’

In an interview with the UK’s The Independent, acclaimed actress Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, The 33, Dan in Real Life), said she was shocked when she found out her own husband looked at porn:

A lot of men take porn as not that important, not that serious, whereas women tend to take it personally. It’s like, ‘How can he make love to me after watching something like this?’

I think the first time I was aware that … – a partner was using porn? – … Yes. I was really shocked because I didn’t understand it. Lovemaking for me is related to feelings, and sensations with feelings, and so when you don’t have the feelings it becomes animal-like because you’re not in touch with your heart . There’s a sad and pathetic side to it.

JESSE CAREY

Jesse Carey is an editor at RELEVANT and a mainstay on the weekly RELEVANT Podcast. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two kids.

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