The problem with Starz’s ‘Girlfriend Experience’

Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Updates

The STARZ network recently debuted The Girlfriend Experience, a series about “a second-year law student who takes on an unlikely job: working as a high-end call girl.” The program has sparked anguish and anger among people working to end commercial sexual exploitation and those who have been victimized by prostitution. Survivors know first-hand that what’s on screen bears no resemblance to the daily reality of prostitution and sex-trafficking.

Hollywood often downplays the exploitation and violence deeply rooted in the illegal sex trade. Fairy tales like Pretty Woman or Secret Diary of a Call Girl play well with audiences but also instill in viewers—especially the young—that glamor and money are easily attained by selling sex. Sadly, the reality of prostitution is far more brutal and dangerous. A vast majority of those sold in the illegal sex industry are not there by choice, but by force or because of situations beyond their control. But still, shows like The Girlfriend Experience continue to be produced, perpetuating dangerous stereotypes that lure vulnerable young people into prostitution and justifying the behavior of sex buyers, whose money and choices fund this harmful industry.

We need to fight “Pretty Woman syndrome.” Let’s make people aware how damaging the illegal sex trade really is for so many men, women, girls, and boys. Share these videos across your social networks and remind people that sex-buying harms the most vulnerable among us—it’s NOT A VICTIMLESS CRIME.