Why HBO Is Getting Rid Of Its Adult Film Catalog

PHoto: Courtesy of HBO.
First, Game of Thrones gives us the world's least sexy sex scene, and now HBO is taking away the real sex stuff, too? Recent reports reveal that HBO is slowly phasing out its adult films. The Hollywood Reporter and the LA Times noted that HBOnow, the network's accompanying streaming site, had scrubbed certain adult properties from the site. Movies like Taxicab Confessions and Cathouse as well as the docuseries Real Sex are no longer on the site. Representation for HBO released a statement confirming that this was a purposeful move for the network. Citing a lack of demand — perhaps due to the internet — the network has decided to cut back on adult film.
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"Over the past several years HBO has been winding down its late-night adult fare," the statement reads. "While we’re greatly ramping up our other original program offerings, there hasn’t been a strong demand for this kind of adult programming, perhaps because it’s easily available elsewhere."
Representation added that this decision has been in place for over a year and is not related to the recent acquisition of HBO by AT&T. When AT&T acquired the network in May, there was speculation that the company would warp HBO's content, especially as AT&T's business strategy gets implemented across the company. HBO executive John Stankey reportedly told employees that they need to start measuring consumer activity in "hours per day" instead of "hours per month" — clearly, there's no intention to get viewers to stop watching movies. So, why take away all the sex stuff?
The Times speculates that this drop could be due to the departure of HBO executive Sheila Nevins, who will leave this year to, according to a New York Times profile, "pursue the rest of [her] life." Nevins was the head of HBO Documentary Films for 38 years. During those years, she oversaw the acquisition of shows like Real Sex, which focused on sex in the '90s.
The good news is, the American public is still vocariously consuming porn via sites like PornHub. Last year, PornHub enjoyed about 81 million visitors to the site per day, up from 64 million in 2016. Meanwhile, the genderfluid performer Jane Way just founded a studio entitled Porn's Not Dead.
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