In an age of Wi-Fi and portable screens it may not mean a lot in practice, but Hilton Worldwide’s decision to stop providing porn to guests through its video-on-demand service is an important symbolic move. The hotel chain announced recently:

We are making immediate changes to our global brand standards to eliminate adult video-on-demand entertainment in all our hotels worldwide. While the vast majority of our properties already do not offer this content today, this content will be phased out of all other hotels subject to the terms of their contracts.  We believe in offering our guests a high degree of choice and control during their stays with us, including Wi-Fi on personal devices.  However, we have listened carefully to our customers and have determined that adult video-on-demand entertainment is not in keeping with our company’s vision and goals moving forward.

The decision has been welcomed by America’s National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which has had Hilton on its “Dirty Dozen” List of companies that it says promotes sexual exploitation. That list includes retailer American Apparel, Carl’s Jr. parent CKE Restaurants, magazine Cosmopolitan, Facebook, YouTube, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Sex Week, and Verizon. NCOSE director Dawn Hawkins said:

“We want to publicly thank Hilton for its decision to create a safe and positive environment for all of its customers. Hilton has taken a stand against sexual exploitation. Pornography not only contributes to the demand for sex trafficking, which is a serious concern in hotels, but it also contributes to child exploitation, sexual violence and lifelong porn addictions.”

Hawkins said that thousands of supporters contacted Hilton through the organization’s website since 2013 to state their opposition to the availability of hotel porn.

“Earlier this year, Hilton Worldwide reached out to us explaining that they were looking at making these changes and to set up a meeting to talk about these issues in person,” Hawkins said. “At the meeting, we learned that Hilton Worldwide is committed to helping curb sexual exploitation and certainly open to changing policies they have that contribute to exploitation.”

Breitbart adds: In 2012, Catholic law professor Robert P. George of Princeton teamed up with the well-known Muslim intellectual Shaykh Hamza Yusuf to write letters to the CEOs of major hotel chains asking them to consider removing hotel room pornography, noting its “degrading, dehumanizing” and objectifying nature.

Good work, Hilton. Retailers and magazines should be persuaded to follow suit and eventually shame the internet giants into getting rid of porn. 

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet