‘Girls Gone Wild’ Producers Face Protest, Prayer

Rhett Pardon
MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Protesters prayed for the producers of “Girls Gone Wild” this week as they entered into the Goodfellas’ Café in this small Pennsylvania town.

The crew from Mantra Entertainment, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based company owned by mogul Joe Francis, traveled to Mount Carbon, Pa., as part of the “Girls Gone Wild” summer tour, looking for women to expose themselves for videos.

On Wednesday, protesters marched from St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church to Goodfellas, a nightclub. Apparently, they wanted to send the producers a message.

\"I pray for everyone here, especially those people over there, that they may see evil in their ways and be converted to God\'s love and mercy,\" a protester told WNEP-TV.

But while many were ready to party at Goodfellas, the protesters prayed, led by local priest Father Edward Connolly.

Goodfellas owner Michael Glauda said he tried to keep the protesters and the partiers separate, and he reminded many that there is no nudity inside the club.

Glauda directed those who wanted to take their tops off to go outside to the \"Girls Gone Wild\" tour bus.

The bus travels Friday night to the Avalon nightclub in New York City and will travel to the Avalon in Boston on Saturday.

Last week, Mantra said that it would be selling a “Guys Gone Wild” series.

Its first episode goes on sale Tuesday on DVD and VHS for $19.99. It will be initially marketed on TV and over the Internet at GuysGoneWild.com, followed by a retail-store campaign.

The company’s “Girls Gone Wild” video series has released 83 different titles and sold 4.5 million videos and DVDs in 2002.

In April, Mantra signed a deal with Titan Bar Concepts to launch Girls Gone Wild Cantina and Dance Club in Las Vegas, New York, New Orleans and Miami.

Titan is injecting $30 million into the new Hooters-like restaurants scheduled to open in either late summer or early fall that will feature dance routines by waitresses and bartenders, as well as big screens for watching sports.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company, which had a reported $100 million in revenues last year, also made a deal with MGM to purchase the rights to use the “Girls Gone Wild” videos as the theme of either a teen comedy or a reality movie, and Jive Records is planning to release a compilation CD of dance music under the “Girls Gone Wild” brand.

Mantra also is entering the fashion apparel business, with a full line to be sold in “cool, hip, young” stores like Urban Outfitters.