Variety: Porn Downturn May Portend Economic Downturn

Variety: Porn Downturn May Portend Economic Downturn
Tod Hunter
LOS ANGELES — Variety Editor-In-Chief Peter Bart suggested that the recent slump in the adult industry may be the harbinger of serious economic times in a column posted on the Variety website Friday.

Bart, who was a producer at Paramount Pictures and executive at Lorimar and MGM/UA before moving to Variety, is also a longtime observer of the adult industry.

In the column, Bart pointed out that adult has long been thought of as recession-proof, so the recent troubles in the adult industry "may indicate a true plunge in consumer confidence." He cites the dropoff in DVD sales and points out that the federal prosecution of the movie "Deep Throat" preceded an economic recession.

The column also quoted Wicked Pictures Executive Vice President Joy King, who said that the smallest dropoff in adult sales and rentals is in "couples friendly" material.

In contrast, the column concluded with a reflection on the success of mainstream writer/director Judd Apatow, whose raunchy comedies are pushing the envelope of acceptable mainstream entertainment, noting that until recently showing a penis brought an automatic NC-17 rating.

"In 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' the latest release from the Apatow comedic assembly line, there are not only abundant dick jokes but also abundant dicks." Bart said. "At a time when 'gonzo' is fading, 'limp' is in. What does that say about the mood of the country?"

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