Press Release: CATW Protests HBO's Reality Show Cathouse, Set In A Brothel

CATW April 21, 2008 United States

"HBO is creating a culture of acceptance of sexual exploitation, and it needs to take responsibility for that."

Contact: NORMA RAMOS, Esq.,Co-Executive Director, CATW (212) 643-9895

On April 24, 2008, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), will hold a picket line protest from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm in front of the corporate offices of HBO, located at 1100 6th Avenue at 42nd Street in New York City, protesting its reality series Cathouse set in a brothel. HBO for some time now has been normalizing the demand for prostitution, which fuels sex trafficking. Its most recent example, Cathouse, distorts the reality of the sex industry by transforming pimps into businessmen, and by presenting the buying and selling of women as harmless and normal,? says Norma Ramos, Co-Executive Director of CATW.

CATW?s campaign will address HBO's effort to erase the harm of prostitution. 80% of all human trafficking victims are women and girls, 70% of which end up in prostitution. "HBO cynically labels Cathouse as a documentary when in fact it packages prostitution as entertainment. HBO has a social responsibility to tell the truth about prostitution and sex trafficking, not profit from and promote the world's oldest oppression," says Founding Board Member, Dorchen Leidholdt. "HBO is creating a culture of acceptance of sexual exploitation, and it needs to take responsibility for that," says Norma Ramos. CATW calls upon HBO to fund social services for trafficking victims and produce a credible documentary that exposes the true nature and human cost of commercial sexual exploitation.

Author Victor Malarek and NYC Council Member John C. Liu will be joining CATW and making statements. Victor Malarek is the author of The Natasha's and the upcoming book, The Johns. Co-sponsors of the protest will be ECPAT-USA, Prostitution Research and Education (PRE), Equality Now and NOW NYC. Joining the protest will be two HBO blow-up doll pimps dressed in their Cathouse gear. A press conference will be held at the protest.