German TV Clones British 'Porn Panic' Reality Show 'Mums Make Porn'

German TV Clones British 'Porn Panic' Reality Show 'Mums Make Porn'

UNTERFÖHRING, Germany — The first episode of a new German version of the mainstream franchise “Mums Make Porn” —  a reality show where women who are not part of the adult industry, and are mothers, are coached into making a porn scene that they would approve of — aired last night.

The show’s U.K. version first aired in March 2019, prompting ludicrous porn-panic coverage from both the local exploitative tabloids and the staunchly anti-porn liberal publication The Guardian, as XBIZ reported at the time.

The German version, "Mütter machen Porno,” follows the exact same format as the U.K. version from which it is derived. The producers recruit a group of “concerned” cis women defined solely as “mums,” talk to them about their perception of porn — which inevitably reflects the various porn-panic campaigns and stereotypes in the mainstream press — and then introduced them to European “ethical porn” proponent Erika Lust. Lust then helps the “mums” create a porn scene that “is not as bad as the porn accessible to teens.”

To provide sensational thrills for a judgmental audience, the show encourages a stigmatizing differentiation between "mums" and "pornographers," erasing the substantial number of sex workers in the adult industry who are also parents.

Scandal-Baiting and Tabloid Shaming

The German edition of the show is produced by a Bavarian reality-TV production company called Redseven Entertainment, which is responsible for “Germany’s Next Top Model” and the local version of “The Biggest Loser.”

The format was originally developed in the U.K. by Firecracker Films, a reality-TV giant based in London and Glasgow. Firecracker is responsible for a massive slate of often scandal-baiting, tabloid-shaming-ready mainstream reality shows like “Britain’s Loudest Snorers,” “The Town the Gypsies Took Over,” ”Cyclists: Scourges of the Streets,” “My Extreme Drugs Diary” and “Mini Disco Divas.”

Firecracker's motto is “At the cutting edge of modern factual television, we tell compelling human stories more incredible than fiction.”

Firecracker’s elevator-pitch for “Mums Make Porn” was “Five mothers have cast, written, produced and directed an adult film they'd be happy to show their children to create a healthy perception of sex and relationships.”

Back when the British show aired, Britain's sensationalist press had a field day riling up their readers while teasing the show's premiere. "As part of their research, the participants watched adult films based on violence, female submission and rape," wrote the Daily Mail. "Sarah Louise, a mother-of-six who works as a beautician in Bolton, was so disturbed by what she watched that she vomited."

The format relies on embracing as a factual baseline the usual mainstream line about “porn for women,” as if all women who watch porn — even non-queer, middle-class cis women like the "pornomums" — like the same things, which always involve cishet couples, stories, tender caresses and expensive lighting rigs and camera filters.

The German War on Porn

"Mütter machen Porno,” was commissioned by SAT.1 as a two-part “documentary,” and aired yesterday. The German “Mums Do Porn” reality show comes at a time when reports from Germany indicate a concerted effort by moralists like right-wing politician Tobias Schmid, head of the State Media Authority (LMA) North Rhine-Westphalia, to demand that “web locks” be placed on access to, specifically, Pornhub.

Schmid leads an agency that is part of the federal state government of North Rhine-Westphalia and is of equal rank with the ministries or a superior state authority.

Clamoring for censorship of the adult platform, Schmid decried, "We check every trailer on television, but confront children online with unfiltered sexual practices." Schmid was particularly bothered by “gang-bang” content and how it was "normalized" on Pornhub’s portal among other sexual practices.

“If children get the impression that gang-bang is a normal sexual practice in which the woman is used and humiliated, it is certainly an extreme problem,” Schmid said.

“The suspicion is obvious that value boundaries are shifting,” Schmid added.

Redseven’s press material for the German “Mums Make Porn” invites viewers to follow “five women on their journey through the world of pornography.”

“The docu-series follows the mothers as they develop a storyline, cast and produce their own pornographic film,” the pitch continues. “They must ask themselves the challenging question of what exactly ‘normal’ sex is — and what it is not. On their journey to produce a ‘realistic’ porn film, with a ‘normal’ cast, the mothers travel to Barcelona to meet the award-winning, feminist porn pioneer Erika Lust, to clarify a few things, and provide some inspiration.”

Following the second episode, to be aired next Wednesday evening, SAT.1 “will show selected scenes from ‘Vanilla X – The Film,’ the film produced by the five mothers.”

The German press, like its British counterparts, is already stoking up moral panic with headliners like “Mütter machen Porno: Mütter produzieren Sex-Film für ihre Kinder” — “Mothers produce sex film for their kids.”

Main Image: The promo image of "concerned mums" is part of the press material sent out by the "Mütter machen Porno" producers

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