Money Shot: The Pornhub Story looks like a seriously divisive documentary

Everyone has something to say about the trailer for Money Shot: The Pornhub Story, aka Netflix’s newest documentary. 

In 2020, The New York Times ran an incendiary piece about Pornhub, one of the most popular adult-content sites on the planet.

In the article – which was damningly headlined The Children of Pornhub: why does Canada allow this company to profit off videos of exploitation and assault? – journalist Nicholas Kristof shared the horrifying stories of multiple women who, as minors, were exploited by having their sexual assaults shared on Pornhub.

“Its site is infested with rape videos,” writes Kristof. “It monetises child rapes, revenge pornography, spycam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. A search for ‘girls under18’ (no space) or ‘14yo’ leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos.

“Most [of these] aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.”

Gwen Adora in Money Shot: The Pornhub Story.

Within days of the article’s publication, MindGeek (the corporation that owns Pornhub) released a statement announcing that it would ban unverified users from uploading content and disable video downloads. As per The Guardian’s report, Visa and Mastercard, too, declared they would no longer process payments from the site. 

With countless existing rape videos and other illegal content still available to view via Pornhub, MindGeek made the decision to delete all videos from unverified users – but it was too little, too late. 

Indeed, the Commons committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics invited MindGeek’s leadership to appear before it, “to explain the company’s failure to prohibit” this content from being shared on their site.

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Still, there’s no denying that for sex workers, Pornhub has provided a sustainable way to make a living – a livelihood that’s being threatened by the countless lawsuits being filed against MindGeek.

And now, Money Shot: The Pornhub Story – a new Netflix documentary from Totally Under Control director Suzanne Hillinger – is set to explore the moral contradictions involved in user-uploaded pornography.

Here’s what you need to know.

What’s Money Shot: The Pornhub Story about?

“Pornhub, the internet’s most famous adult entertainment platform, fundamentally changed how pornography is made and distributed,” reads the official synopsis.

“This enabled erotic content creators to reach a massive audience while the company made billions of dollars – but it also became embroiled in allegations including non-consensual material and trafficking on the site.”

Watch the trailer for Money Shot: The Pornhub Story below:

“As anti-trafficking organisations seek justice for victims, can the online giant protect those from whom they profit?” finishes the synopsis.

“Or is this a new wave of censorship for adult performers making consensual porn?”

What are people saying about Money Shot: The Pornhub Story?

The trailer has already proven divisive on YouTube, with many wading into the comments to share their thoughts on whether or not the documentary should have ever been made in the first place.

“A story we don’t need,” reads one.

Another adds: “So many good shows and this is what Netflix thinks we want?”

“You cancel amazing shows and put your budget on this? What the fuck?” demands one more.

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Others, though, have defended the streaming platform.

“This seems like an intriguing documentary,” reads one supporter. “There’s loads of people who use the service on a regular basis, even in a more discreet manner. It seems like Pornhub has gone through so much and yet that doesn’t stop there. Will be watching this.”

Another adds: “This actually looks interesting. And I’m not saying this as a Pornhub fan.”

Perhaps, as one viewer wryly notes, the “whole universe will explode on the day of [this] documentary streaming.”

Who features in Money Shot: The Pornhub Story?

Along with Pornhub corporate employees and journalists, performers including Wolf Hudson, Siri Dahl, Natassia Dreams, Cherie DeVille and Asa Akira discuss the rise of the site and its major controversies.

When will Money Shot: The Pornhub Story be available to watch?

The documentary will drop on Netflix on 15 March.

Will you be watching?

Images: Netflix

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