Ga naar de inhoud

Maand: april 2024

„I was bleeding and ended up in hospital.“ Women accuse producers of Xvideos of violent porn shooting


Xvideos, the most-visited pornographic website in the world, faces difficulties due to its content, which is being investigated by the police and card-payment companies. That is why we have looked into the business of the people behind the website, which is located near Prague’s Wenceslas Square. We started gathering testimonies of women who complained about the practices of another company of the same owners, Legal Porno, which focuses on filming extreme pornography. A number of women said they had left the studio injured.

We have found the complaints about the treatment by the production of Legal Porno on social networks but also on closed forums run by the owners of Xvideos. Other women who were contacted by Deník N and who were promised anonymity have confirmed these accounts. The women said they had suffered injuries during the filming of extreme practices. Many of them said they had had no idea what they would be filming.

The production of Legal Porno is operated by GTFLIX TV, which – as the Xvideos server – is located in Prague’s Krakovská Street, close to Wenceslas Square. Both companies are part of the pornographic empire owned by the French siblings Stephane Michael Pacaud and Malorie Deborah Pacaud.

Legal Porno specialises in the most hardcore pornography, for which clients pay well. However, sometimes such shooting represents an extraordinary strain on the bodies and psyche of the actresses. Some of them described to Deník N that they had left the set torn, bleeding and unable to control their bowel movements.

In most testimonies, the same motives are repeated over and over again. Before, and sometimes during, the shooting the women did not know what the producers planned to do with them. The women usually had to engage in very dangerous and complicated practices, for example several men having anal sex with a single woman at the same time.

In addition to publicly available statements, Deník N has obtained testimonies of three women who, independently of each other, shared their experiences with filming for Legal Porno. We do not disclose any details that might identify or endanger them.

Lidocaine against pain

The first witness the reporters spoke to still works in the pornographic industry. She did not leave it although her experience with Legal Porno was one of her first in the industry and, as she says, it has marked her forever. She speaks only very carefully about her experiences: “We had agreed that there would be one guy, but in the end there were three blacks,” says the actress. She says she took the work as she needed money quickly and knew that Legal Porno paid more than other productions.

The woman explained that although she was not raped, she did not feel comfortable because she saw from the beginning that the original agreement had not been kept. However, she needed the money. She describes a similarly difficult situation as other actresses – they feel pressured at the moment, it is often their first experience, they are already on the set where several people are waiting for them, and they cannot refuse once the crew is ready.

The filming process was also unexpected for the woman. Among other things, the actress claims that, without prior agreement, she was given local analgesics to relieve pain. „The worst was the ignorance; I was not prepared for it at all. I didn’t know that lidocaine could hurt me when they started putting it in my anus. They didn’t rape me, but I know very well how they behave, everyone knows how they behave,“ says the actress, adding that they pushed her to complete the scene.

“So they put lidocaine in my anus, it burned terribly, they wanted me to complete the shoot, I kept bleeding so they gave me more and more lidocaine as they wanted to finish it, but it still didn’t work, it hurt terribly,” she describes. She says not only the production but also herself wanted to complete the scene. The actress knew that if she were unable to do it, she would get no money. And that is what happened – because of great pain and strong bleeding she stopped the shooting and left empty-handed.

“They really wanted to complete the scene with me, but in the end they stopped when I said no,” the actress adds. “I did not complete the scene. Nobody paid me anything,” she said.

Lidocaine is used as a local anaesthetic, most often in dentistry. It may affect the heart rate. Its use in Legal Porno has been confirmed also by one of its directors, who uses the nickname Giorgio Grandi and who wrote about it in an official forum. He reacted to a blog post in which an actress described the practices used during shooting. “I use a gel that contains between 1% and 2.5% lidocaine,” wrote the director.

To the witness who talked to Deník N it never occurred to complain about this treatment. Also other actresses said that the entire industry knows that this production uses rough practices against women. According to the actresses, it is a public secret at which nobody should be surprised.

Another witness told the reporters about a similar experience. After the shooting, she even ended up in hospital. “I had to have an operation but I don’t want to come back to it. I will not tell you more about it,” another actress said.

A very trustworthy source from the pornographic industry described to Deník N that Legal Porno often uses girls that have no experience with shooting and do not know what their bodies can stand. “They get paid much more than at other productions. When you have a new girl or you have her exclusively, you earn more. Now, during the coronavirus pandemic, many new faces have appeared there,” said the source.

Legal Porno shoots not only in Krakovská Street in Prague, but also in other studios in the Czech Republic. Every day it launches around seven new videos. “There is not a month, or maybe a week, without a girl having a bad experience. Some agencies do not recommend Legal Porno and do not send girls there. After working for Legal Porno, the girls can’t work, can’t control their bowel movements and need to take a break from filming,” the source added.

The insider did not wish to disclose their name as the owners of Xvideos control a large part of the production in the Czech Republic. If the insider were blacklisted, it would ruin their business. However, Deník N knows their identity.

Public testimonies

Information about the practices at Legal Porno has appeared on social networks. Several famous people from the industry who have hundreds of thousands of followers have shared their bad experiences. For example, the actress using the stage name Veronica Avluv, who has 268 thousand followers, confided on Twitter in 2019 that she had been injured during a shooting.

“I’ve been nursing a serious prolapse injury from one shoot for Legal Porno. It was supposed to be one of 4. I’ve been dealing with blood and shit since the scene. Can’t believe they can sell my pain online but they can,” she wrote.

The porn actress Samantha Rone, who has 144 thousand followers, published her experience in 2016. “I wish I was mad about the money. I’m more mad that people can behave and treat other people like that,” the actress wrote.

Similar complaints can be found on the official forum of Legal Porno. “At the beginning, everything was O.K. The boys were kind and thoughtful. However, the more scenes I had shot, the more ruthless they became as people just want it rougher, rougher and rougher! In the end I bled so much I had to cancel shootings for other productions because I just could not shoot,” a porn actress wrote on the Legal Porno forum last year. Her account is official, it was authorised by the producers.

“In the morning before the last scene, I woke up in fear. I knew that it would be terrible and stupid and that it would be no good. It was just too much. But it was clear to me that no one cared,” she confided to anonymous fans of the Legal Porno production.

None of the girls informed the police about their experiences; at least none of them said so to Deník N. Most of the women said they doubted whether the police would do anything. It is therefore unclear whether the police has ever looked into the possible violence in front of cameras.

“The law prohibits us from providing information on specific persons and other entities,” Eva Kropáčová, spokesperson of the Prague Police, said.

The owners of Legal Porno at first refused to talk Deník N journalists and to answer any of their questions. Then one of the owners, Mr Pacaud, called a reporter. Mr Pacaud said he wanted to clear up certain things and promised to send a reply by email. Then came a reply from GTFLIX TV, but the authors of the reply forbade Deník N to publish the reply and accused its reporters of bias.

“The accusations are completely made up. For nearly nine years we have been victims of a massive disinformation campaign carried out by Pierre Woodman. It includes forging documents and paying models to make false accusations,” the owners of Legal Porno wrote in their reply. “Tomorrow we will consider filing an information with the Czech Police against you and your newspaper,” the company has threatened.

Ten girls speak on camera

The owners of Legal Porno did not mention the name of the world-famous producer Pierre Woodman by coincidence – they have had disputes for years. Woodman, who is active mainly in Hungary and the Czech Republic, has also pointed out to unfair practices of his competitors.

According to porn-industry insiders, Woodman does not have such a heated dispute with anyone other than the Pacaud siblings. Woodman, who was contacted by Deník N, handed over to the newspaper testimonies of ten actresses he says he has collected in recent years. All the women in the videos talk about their experiences with Legal Porno productions similarly as the actresses with whom Deník N spoke.

Deník N will not publish the videos, to protect the privacy of the women. However, the newspaper contacted some of them to verify whether their testimonies were manipulated. The women with whom the reporters spoke confirmed their original statements.

How did Woodman’s videos come about? The producer has said he shoots everything on camera, including interviews with job seekers. He does it to prevent any disputes or accusations. To Deník N he has provided the testimonies of ten girls who, when he asked them about their experiences in the industry, themselves started talking about Legal Porno.

One of the girls said that, in order to make the scenes, she drank a cocktail of painkillers. Another woman said that during the shooting she was bleeding from her anus but they did not stop the shooting anyway. They gave her a gel thanks to which she could continue and did not feel pain. She said she did not know at the time that it was a painkiller.

“They gave me anaesthetics, but it did not help at all. No one raised their voice at me, but when I was crying and said I couldn’t do it, someone came and gave me a shot of vodka to relax,” described one of the women.

According to lawyers contacted by Deník N, in this case – if it happened in this way – a thin line between shooting and rape may have been crossed.

“This creates a situation that cannot end otherwise than in a rape. During such shooting, the woman should not drink – it is clear how it will end. Rape consists also in someone misusing a woman’s helplessness, which can be caused also by drunkenness,” lawyer Tomáš Sokol assessed the situation.

Lawyer Lucie Hrdá sees it similarly. “In my opinion this is rape. When you misuse someone’s helplessness, you commit rape. In particular when you cause the helplessness, which is much more dangerous for the society,” Hrdá said. “Rape includes also expressing resistance during an act,” she added.

According to Sokol, local anaesthetics or alcohol may be used during pornographic shooting if the actress has consented to it and was in a state in which she was able to make such a decision. This means, for example, that she was not drunk.

One of the girls described how, during one of the practices, the actor used force to achieve what he wanted. When shooting anal sex, actresses have to prepare to avoid the intercourse being painful. “At times he held my ass and tried to force a [dildo] in it, so that it would be over fast. But I was already crying and said I did not want to do it, so I ended it,” described the witness.

Another woman alleged that people from Legal Porno forced the shooting of a scene. “They forced me to shoot double anal intercourse. I refused another scene,” said the woman. She said the producers tried to trick her by saying that they would only try a scene and would not film it. The scene was to include anal sex. “I said to them that even simple anal intercourse was painful for me. They told me it wouldn’t be on any video. So we tried it and I said it hurt terribly. I pushed them away and said it hurt. Then I watched previews on Legal Porno and the video was there,” the witness described her frustration.

Penalty for failing to complete a shoot

Other women on the videos say that people from Legal Porno pressured them to continue shooting. The producers allegedly threatened the actresses with penalties in the order of tens of thousand of Czech crowns. “I stopped working for them. A woman did not agree with the fact that I wanted to terminate the contract on the spot. The contract stipulated that when I stop [the shooting] early, I must pay a penalty of 70 thousand Czech crowns. Some girls before me left but did not have to pay anything,” a witness said.

The lawyer Sokol stresses that such practice would be unacceptable and the penalties would be unenforceable. “This is similar to someone agreeing in a contract to pour petrol over themselves and set themselves on fire, and paying a penalty if they did not do it. I believe that, in relation to pornography, such clause is null and void,” Sokol explains.

In some aspects, the situation at Legal Porno may be similar to the case of the porn production Czech Casting. In that case, the girls testified that the producers pressured them and threatened them with penalties if they failed to complete their work. The police then charged nine people with human trafficking, sexual coercion and rape. As in the case of Legal Porno, the girls said that before the shooting they did not know what awaited them.

War of two producers

It is important to bear in mind that Woodman is not unbiased in relation to the situation at Legal Porno. His legal dispute with the Pacauds has a personal dimension. Woodman claims that on the forum of Legal Porno they published pictures of his wife and of his daughter (that picture was allegedly taken when the daughter was a minor) and invited people to visit his daughter. Woodman says this is the reason why he has led a court dispute in France.

On the other hand, the Pacaud siblings, namely their company GTFLIX TV, say in their reply that Woodman has been carrying out a disinformation campaign against them and has been paying models to raise false accusations against them.

“Woodman must have taken an interest in your biased articles and we see that the way in which you are trying to obtain information may easily lead to false testimonies,” GTFLIX TV added.

However, not only Woodman is pointing his finger at Legal Porno. Also other people from the industry have described to Deník N that Legal Porno wants girls to engage in practices their bodies cannot cope with. In addition, the sources say, the actresses are often very young. According to sources who are familiar with the pornographic industry in the Czech Republic – we do not quote Woodman as an anonymous source in this article – there are cases when girls who have just turned 18 appear at a pornographic shooting where they are asked to be penetrated by several men and to engage in dangerous practices that may cause injuries.

“Sometimes they end up in hospital and often they are so traumatised that they quit the industry,” an insider told us under the promise of anonymity. A number of people from the pornographic industry have openly admitted that they are afraid to talk about the issues around Legal Porno. The reason is that the Pacauds control a large share of the pornographic market in the Czech Republic and in the world.

According to financial statements, the Pacauds’ revenues are in the hundreds of millions of Czech crowns. A proof of their wealth is a recent transaction in which they overpaid Pornhub and Larry Flynt, the owner of the Hustler brand, in an auction for the Penthouse magazine. The owners of Xvideos paid for it an equivalent of 250 million Czech crowns.

The most-visited pornographic website of Xvideos faces difficulties

The siblings Stephane Michael Pacaud and Malorie Deborah Pacaud own, through WGCZ, also the porn site Xvideos. According to the analytical website SimilarWeb,  Xvideos is the most-visited pornographic website in the world. Of all the websites, it is the seventh most visited. Legal Porno is not as big, but it ranks among 500 most-visited pornographic websites in the world with nearly 20 million visits, the largest number of them being from the United States.

The reporters of Deník N have described how the system of Xvideos enables to upload any content with just an anonymous email address. That is how, without any supervision, it is possible to upload there illegal pornography depicting victims of violence, revenge porn, or minors. To report an illegal video is actually more difficult than to upload it. The matter is now being investigated by the police and by the Visa and Mastercard card-payment companies.

The situation is analogical to that of the Pornhub website, to which financial-services companies blocked payments after the New York Times wrote a month ago that Pornhub contained child pornography or videos depicting rape.

Following the investigation by US journalists, Pornhub deleted millions of videos, which represents tens of percent of its content. Pornhub will also have to testify before a Canadian federal committee in Montreal.”


Een reactie plaatsen

Dennis Black Magic gets seven-year jail sentence for eight rapes

“Dennis Burkas (49), alias Dennis Black Magic, was convicted on Thursday of the rape of eight women.

The porn producer was given a prison sentence of seven years by the Tongeren criminal court and will be banned from his rights for a period of ten years.

According to the court, it is proven that Burkas pressured several women to have sex with him and distributed nude photos of several women. Burkas has also failed to learn lessons from his previous convictions, exhibits a far-reaching form of norm blurring and lacks respect for existing regulations. The possession of images of child sexual abuse was also proven, according to the court.

The judge ruled that Burkas (49) was indeed in a position of power vis-à-vis his victims, whom he put psychological pressure on, harassed and threatened. Burkas took nude photos and threatened to give them to their employer.

According to the court, he also saw the women as sexual objects of desire. When the verdict was pronounced, reference was made to a “total lack of awareness of norms” and a “cunning attitude”.

The file against Burkas was opened after model and OnlyFans star Nanoe Vaesen went to the police with a complaint against the man. He allegedly promised her to make a porn film in exchange for 20,000 euros. He would also put her in touch with other porn producers, but Vaesen had to prove herself sexually first. However, not much came of the promises made. Vaesen also told the police that there were other women who had been manipulated by Burkas in a similar way.

Burkas himself has always claimed that no false promises were ever made and that the women knew that it was agreed to have sex. The judge did not follow that reasoning, the porn producer was sentenced to seven years in prison and will be disbarred for a period of 10 years.

In addition, the man must also pay a fine of 500 euros, an amount that must be multiplied by a factor of eight, meaning he will ultimately have to pay 4,000 euros.

Burkas did not show up for the verdict, and his lawyer Mounir Souidi was also not present in court. He ordered the immediate arrest of Burkas.”


Een reactie plaatsen

How the French porn industry is trying to regain its virginity

[Article translated with DeepL from French source:]

“Since the “French Bukkake” scandal shattered the pornography industry, a number of X-rated film production studios and broadcasters have made ethical commitments. However, our survey in collaboration with Capital shows that they are far from being respected everywhere.

In the study of his home in the south of France, the tripods and projectors of John B. Root, director and actor of pornographic films for 30 years, are covered in dust. He stopped shooting two years ago, disgusted by the legal cases that have tainted his professional sector. “It’s not porn that’s gone ‘#MeToo’. It was the police who made porn ‘#MeToo'”, he stormed when he met Radio France’s investigative unit.

A fake procuress

At the end of 2020, several press articles announced the arrest and indictment of four men for rape, procuring and trafficking in human beings, including the actor and director of X-rated videos, Pascal Ollitrault, alias Pascal OP. At the time, he was quite well known in the industry. He gave interviews on Dorcel TV and in the specialist press. At the time, he was the head of “French bukkake”. For ten years, until its closure in 2020, this site offered, for a fee, to view and take part in bukkake scenes, where dozens of men ejaculated on a single woman. Some screenshots from its Twitter account show hooded men in an arc in a shed, waiting for a woman to shoot the scene.

By looking into this man, the investigators uncovered a scheme he used to recruit female participants. In 2016, I was contacted on social networks by a young woman called Axelle Vercoutre,” explains a complainant, Amélia* (first name changed), in an interview with France Culture. She explained that she was an escort and that it was fun to sleep with strangers”. This virtual friend promised her easy money and discretion if she took part in an escorting evening and then in intimate videos. In financial difficulties, Amelia gave in to the temptation.

But behind this pseudonym, Axelle Vercoutre, hides a man. A flatterer who passes on the women’s details to Pascal OP. Dozens of complainants told the same story to the investigators. The shootings that followed went badly. Several complainants said they had not been warned about certain sexual practices they were about to undergo. They sometimes objected. Nor did they know the number of partners. They were only paid in cash if they signed contracts in which they ceded their image rights in all media, even though Pascal OP had promised them discreet distribution abroad. The police initially turned a blind eye. “I was flabbergasted to see that some of these women had lodged rape complaints as early as 2015 and that they had been told it was a commercial dispute”, says journalist Robin d’Angelo, who wrote Judy, Lola, Sofia et moi (Goutte d’Or, 2018), a book about the filming, two years before the affair broke.

Around fifty complainants

The Gendarmerie’s Paris research unit will finally be re-examining these complaints and viewing hours of footage. Videos in which women cry, complain and ask for the sexual act to be stopped. In extracts from the court file, to which Radio France’s investigative unit was able to gain access, text message exchanges between Pascal OP and other defendants show that he was rushing to shoot the scenes before the women discovered his subterfuge over a more exposed broadcast than planned. “For the sexual acts, everything was explained beforehand. I admit that I didn’t say everything for the broadcast. But not for the filming,” he explained to the examining magistrate during one of his hearings.

In the end, 17 defendants – actors, directors and producers of X-rated videos – will be indicted. This April 2024, the courts will have to decide whether the case should be referred to an assize court for acts of torture and barbarism, or to the criminal court for rape, aggravated procuring, human trafficking, money laundering and concealed work. “It would have been interesting to hear from other players in this industry, including the broadcasters, to really understand how it works,” says Dylan Slama, lawyer for one of the defendants.

Broadcasters caught up in the scandal

The scandal will also have consequences for distributors of pornographic content. This is the case for Union, Jacquie et Michel and even Dorcel. Defendants such as Pascal OP, Mat Hadix, Oliver Sweet and Rick Angel worked with them and supplied them with hundreds of videos. “We’re applying precautionary measures,” explains Grégory Dorcel, CEO of the company of the same name. In other words, some videos have been withdrawn from the catalogues. “This is a risk for us because we are contractually committed to distributing these videos, even though no legal decision has been taken”, says Dorcel’s boss.

A risk, but also a precaution, because broadcasting videos of rape is punishable under the Criminal Code (article 227-24). And the company cannot confirm that it has never had any in its offering. We have only broadcast videos in which Pascal OP is an actor,” explains Grégory Dorcel. None where he is a producer. As far as we know, he has only been implicated in shootings where he was in charge of production.

However, Radio France’s investigative unit found that Pascal OP shared his shoots with another producer, Mat Hadix, to get the participants to shoot as many scenes as possible in as little time as possible. The two men swapped roles, one acting for the other and vice versa. The broadcasters claim not to have been aware of this practice. “After the cases came to light, we took the initiative of removing the videos of the incriminated producers,” the editor of the Union website, who asked to remain anonymous, wrote to us. “We could not condone this behaviour, even though we are not aware of any complaints concerning a video that we broadcast”.

New “good practice” charters

Today, these companies are asserting that they have put good practices in place. Dorcel now has a six-person viewing committee. It also entrusted an actress-director, Liza Del Sierra, with the task of drafting an ethical charter, which was published in April 2021 (PDF file), with the help of a sociologist and a lawyer. “It implies respect for consent at all levels”, explains Liza Del Sierra. In particular, the charter requires independent producers who supply videos to Dorcel to hire an intimacy coordinator on set to obtain the free and informed consent of participants. It also requires a minimum salary of 400 euros per scene and the sending of a work plan with details of the sexual practices accepted or not, at least 14 days before filming. “We have to tick boxes on forms to say what we don’t want to do”, explains one actress.

These forms are being extended every year to include new practices, such as strangulation and the recent use of nylon. “We didn’t pay enough attention to those who didn’t want to make pornography their profession. As a result, we now have 50 women in court”, storms Liza Del Sierra. We’ve given ourselves until 2025 to ensure that 100% of the studios we distribute respect an equivalent charter,” says Grégory Dorcel. At the moment we have 39%”.

But some industry insiders have serious reservations about the effectiveness of these charters, which are mainly promoted by women directors and actresses, despite the fact that it is still men who produce the most films. “They are ‘feminist washing’. We know that women are presented as the director of the film even though they have no interest in the script, the camera or the shooting”, explains a professional who confessed to us that he had credited his partner as the director of his own X-rated film a few years ago at the request of his distributor. “They wrote this to clear their name, but it’s a bit late,” adds director John B. Root.

A privacy coordinator who is both judge and jury

Our survey shows that these charters do have their limits. For example, we met several privacy coordinators who were double-hatted, as they were also actresses on the shoots. “There aren’t many well-trained coordinators”, explains director Anoushka, and “it’s up to the production to pay them”, she adds. It’s impossible to specifically hire someone at 500 euros a day when you only have a budget of 45,000 euros, like that allocated by Canal Plus to make its latest X-rated film. “At Dorcel, they have their intimacy coordinator for their own production. But when you audit yourself, that’s not ideal either,” she adds. She and other directors are calling for productions to set up an independent fund to hire trusted third parties on location.

Actress Carolina Cherry also found that these charters are poorly applied when she shot twice for Dorcel productions last year in Budapest, Hungary, including with a Hungarian intimacy coordinator. “With 24 hours to go, they changed my programme, adding an anal scene. I discovered that this additional scene was broadcast on a label I didn’t know”. She complained to the group’s director of content. “They paid me for the extra scene. But someone younger or less comfortable would have let it happen without saying anything”. Grégory Dorcel claims to have no knowledge of this dispute. However, his communications department later told us that “on certain shoots, the same scene is sometimes shot in two versions: one with a traditional cinema camera and the other with a subjective camera”. A method of working that was eventually abandoned.

Other broadcasters such as Union do not impose privacy coordinators on the producers whose content they buy. But: “We systematically ask them to provide us with a video before and after filming, in which the actors and actresses confirm that the scenes that have just been filmed were done with their consent”, the editor-in-chief of the Union site wrote to us. “Consent isn’t just before and after the scene. It’s being asked all the time”, says Paloma Garcia Martens, an intimacy coordinator in audiovisual fiction and traditional cinema. In her view, the purpose of these videos is above all to protect the production, not to obtain free and informed consent. On a shoot,” she explains, “an intimacy coordinator needs to be able to say no to the director, while at the same time proposing solutions so that he can still carry out the scene he wants.

Jacquie et Michel in turmoil

The Arès group, which owns the Jacquie et Michel brand, was the first to draw up a guide to good practice. Just after Pascal OP’s indictment, it published a deontological (PDF file) and ethical charter applicable to all employees and content creators for their various labels: JM, JM Elite, Hot Vidéo and Colmax. The charter is designed to enable French producers to assure the Arès group that they have taken all necessary measures to ensure the full consent and protection of all parties involved, particularly women, in the production of works for its platforms.

We interviewed several participants in Jacquie et Michel shoots. None of them had received this charter at the time. “I was shocked by the behaviour of Eddy, one of the actors I was with on a shoot in 2021. We were supposed to do a fake photo, and he sat me right on his genitals,” she says. Eddy Blackone is an actor under investigation who has been cited in numerous testimonies in the French Bukkake case. Several of the women mentioned that he attempted to rape them off-camera in the shower after the scenes. In an exchange of text messages, a director who was also prosecuted, MatHadix, talks about him with Pascal OP: “Eddy: he does that to all the girls in the shower,” the file states. With bullshit like that, we could end up with a complaint for rape”.

The actor was finally arrested in October 2021, after having filmed with several professional productions, including that of Nikita Belluci, an actress and director who is now a spokesperson for an industry that wants to be more ethical. I’d been denouncing the practices of Pascal OP and others for a long time,” she explains, “but for Eddy, I’ve never heard anything. Eddy still has his actor’s file on the Jacquie et Michel website, but no one wished to respond to our requests. As for the actor’s lawyer, he is reserving his answers for the courts and points out that his client is presumed innocent.

Contentious videos still online

Despite these findings, in April 2022, at a Senate hearing before the Women’s Rights Delegation, Vincent Gey, Director of Operations for the Arès Group (which owns Jacquie et Michel) defended the seriousness of its charter. “Unannounced checks are carried out on film shoots”, he explains. “If the slightest breach is detected, our collaboration will be terminated”, he explains. He admits, however, that only one person is assigned to these checks, despite the fact that his company broadcasts over a thousand scenes a year.

Two months later, his boss, Michel Piron, the founder of Jacquie et Michel, was indicted for complicity in rape and trafficking in human beings as part of an organised gang, casting huge doubt on his company’s alleged good practices. Some of its broadcasters are distancing themselves. Canal Plus is suspending the Jacquie et Michel TV channel from June 2022. Last February, Colmax TV was also suspended. However, Michel Piron’s son, Thibault Piron, and his content director Germain Chicot set up a new company called Aramis. Now, in Canal Plus’s VOD offerings, we have identified several films shot for the Arès group in 2021 and now credited with the name Aramis.

When asked about a possible resumption of commercial relations with the creators of Jacquie et Michel, the Canal Plus communications department replied: “To the best of our knowledge, no more Jacquie et Michel content is present on the services published by the Canal+ Group (on-air channels and VOD offer)”. Since we contacted them, we have noticed that the films we had found on Canal+’s VOD service are no longer available.

But it shows that it is difficult for broadcasters to guarantee that good practice is being followed in a vague sector where the protagonists also operate under pseudonyms. “Today, new entities have been created. We’ve taken videos from Jacquie et Michel, but we’ve just cut the scene at the moment of the signature line. When we say: ‘Thank you, who? Thank you Jacquie et Michel!” concludes an industry professional.”

[Article translated with DeepL from French source:]

Een reactie plaatsen