BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Porn producer defends TV 'asset'
A scene from Baise-Moi
France produces many films which are branded porn
A French pornography producer has defended porn as a "cultural asset" in an open letter protesting against a planned TV ban.

Right-wingers and family values campaigners want a law preventing pornographic films being shown on French television.

"Porn's subject matter is physical love, a theme that has produced countless masterpieces in painting, in sculpture and in literature," wrote John B Root, in an open letter printed in French daily Liberation and translated by the Guardian.


Porn is one of the fruits of the youth uprising of May 1968 and it is a precious cultural asset

John B Root
"If celluloid sex has never succeeded in hoisting itself to the rank of a cinematographic or televisual genre, it is because we have denied it the right to be economically viable.

"We would not be having this debate if porn was what it should be - joyous, well-made, aphrodisiac art."

Under his real name, Jean Guillore, Root writes novels for children and screenplays.

Family values campaigner and MP Christine Boutin is one of those calling for a ban on pornography on French television and plans to table a bill in autumn.

French terrestrial, satellite and cable channels screen hundreds of porn films every year.

Ban danger

Dominique Baudis, the head of the French broadcasting watchdog, has backed the calls in order to protect children, the Guardian reported.

Surveys in France have suggested many children have seen "hardcore" pornography, the newspaper reported.

But in the open letter, Mr Root said banning pornography from television would only make it more appealing to young people.

Scene from Romance
Art films have featured porn themes
"Adolescents will just get far more pleasure out of watching a forbidden videocassette.

"When I first saw a Scandinavian film in 1973, when X-rated films were still banned in France, the pleasure of the transgression multiplied the sexual pleasure by 10."

And he argued that the economic damage to pornography producers resulting from a ban would force them into more extreme film-making.

"In Germany, where porn is outlawed on television, the sex video output is by far the most voluminous and by far the lowest grade in Europe.

"Porn is one of the fruits of the youth uprising of May 1968, and it is a precious cultural asset."

See also:

03 Apr 02 | Entertainment
26 Feb 01 | Entertainment
17 Oct 00 | Entertainment
22 May 00 | UK
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes