With films such as “Dark-Haired Sluts” and “Next Door Panties” on its movie menu, Marriott International is coming under heavy fire from family activists urging the hotel giant to banish such sexual fare from its bedrooms.
Focus on the Family met with hotel executives in Washington, D.C., yesterday and provided Marriott with a petition signed by 102,000 concerned citizens who want pornographic films purged from the list of movie offerings.
Daniel Weiss, media and sexuality analyst for the group, said Marriott has billed itself as a family-lodging establishment, and its decision to provide adult films to its customers is contrary to its reputation.
“In a sense, they’ve kind of put themselves out there,” he told WND. “We saw that offering pornographic content was incongruent with the image they were really going after.”
Weiss said hotels and motels have been major contributors to the proliferation of pornography in mainstream culture.
“We’ve heard from people who have developed addictions, businessmen, people who travel a lot, who found that away from their support structure and families they were very vulnerable to this type of material,” he said. “They indicated that hotel porn was very significant in their addiction.”
When WND asked Marriott Vice President of Communications Roger Conner why the hotel offers sex films in its rooms, he provided the following response:
“That’s one of those any-kind-of-‘why’ questions,” he said. “It’s very universal in nature. For 25 years or more, not just Marriott, but the whole industry has offered a wide range including adult movies.”
Asked if he believes customers would miss the pornographic films if they were not offered, Conner said, “It would be interesting to know. I don’t want this to sound flippant, but who knows?”
Marriott International reviews all of the in-room movies, including adult films, “annually and frequently,” Connor said. The company offers families an option to block pornographic movies by calling the front desk or using the remote control, but Focus on the Family and other concerned groups would like the hotel chain to consider a policy where the pornography would automatically be turned off unless a guest requests it.
“For some people, that may just be enough of a hindrance that they won’t access that material,” Weiss said. “They won’t get caught up in it if they have to come out of the anonymity of ordering it in their room and call somebody.”
Marriott executives said they will think about the suggestions and respond to concerns by July 1, though Conner acknowledged that not everyone left the meeting satisfied.
“We know it’s not a perfect world that we live in, unfortunately, so it’s not a perfect response for those that we met with yesterday,” he said. “There were some who said they wanted more of an immediate response or decision. But, based upon the complicated business model and contracts that are in place, we can’t simply walk away from it as we speak.”
Hotels do not lose a large percentage of revenue when they boycott adult content because they only take 10 to 15 percent of the profits from the sale of pornographic films, Weiss said. He has faith that Marriott International will live up to its reputation as a family friendly establishment and make its 3,000 hotels porn free.
“From our perspective, they’re really selling their soul for very little financial gain,” he said. “I think at this point we want to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they will do the right thing. We’re going to take a cautious wait-and-see approach.”