WASHINGTON — You might be shocked at some of the famous names accused of committing or at least tolerating sexual exploitation in America. Twelve are named by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) in what it calls the Dirty Dozen List.
NCOSE announced the list at a Washington, DC news conference.
“This is the seventh year where we’ve named 12 large entities who are really responsible, we would argue, for the mainstreaming and normalizing of sexual exploitation in our culture,” NCOSE Executive Director Dawn Hawkins told CBN News.
Fly the Not-so-Friendly Skies?
Among them are big names like Amazon, Google, Twitter and United Airlines.
Concerning United Airlines, Hawkins said, “We hear repeatedly from individuals who fly on airplanes and even from flight attendants that they’ve been victims of sexual assault and harassment during flight. And it is our belief that United is doing the least in training their flight attendants about how to deal with this.”
“They’re also allowing their customers to watch pornography during flight, and that’s also repeatedly created a sexually hostile environment for passengers and flight attendants alike,” Hawkins went on to say.
She then made this accusation: “Men who are going on there watching pornography are committing sex acts right during flight and flight attendants feel like they can’t even do anything about it.”
CBN News reached out to United Airlines, and spokesman Charles Hobart quoted to us United’s CEO Oscar Munoz, who earlier told United employees: “…sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, intimidation or predation have absolutely no place anywhere in our society – including, and especially, in our industry and on our aircraft.”
And United’s Hobart added, “We’ve strengthened our training for flight attendants to recognize, address and respond to instances of sexual harassment on board our aircraft and will continue to adapt and enhance this training moving forward.”
A Whole State Makes the List
The Dirty Dozen List includes well-known media players, like HBO, Netflix, Roku, Steam and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
And this year, even the state of Nevada was named because of its legalized prostitution.
“This past year, there was a ballot initiative in Nevada trying to do away with legalized prostitution,” Hawkins recalled. “And in doing that, they found that 30 percent of the women in the brothels – the legal brothels – were perhaps victims of sex trafficking.”
She continued, “In places where legalized prostitution is happening, sex trafficking increases. The violence endured by women in prostitution increases.”
“Frankly, the law is a teacher,” Hawkins said. “And the law is saying it’s okay to use and abuse people in this way.”
'I Was Assaulted’
The other businesses on this year’s Dirty Dozen List are EBESCO Information Services, which provides online resources to libraries, public and private schools, and Massage Envy, the country’s biggest massage chain.
“I was assaulted,” Ratna (last name withheld) told CBN News, describing the trauma she suffered from an alleged sexual assault in 2016 by a massage therapist at a Massage Envy facility in Piscataway Township, New Jersey.
“And it just blew up in my face like an atomic bomb,” she stated, adding, “I was dazed. I was confused. I cried a lot.”
Ratna suggested the company did the least possible to answer for the assault.
She shared, “All their recourse was, ’Okay, you can have a free membership.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, seriously? That’s not what I’m looking for!’”
NCOSE’s Hawkins added, “There are almost 400 reported cases of assault at the hands of Massage Envy’s therapists. A number of victims have reported their assaults to managers and Massage Envy corporate, and nothing has been done. And these therapists have gone on to assault others.”
When asked to respond to this story, a Massage Envy press officer first replied the company can’t comment on specific pending litigation.
But that press officer added, “Massage Envy is committed to promoting a safe environment for members, guests and service providers at each of our 1,200 franchise locations nationwide. We urge anyone that experiences anything other than a safe, quality massage to report it immediately to the franchise location so that it can be investigated."
The press officer also stated, “We support the decision of any victim to report misconduct and it is the policy of Massage Envy to require its franchises to supply any guest who claims to be a victim of sexual misconduct with the contact information of local law enforcement and the state board.”
How to Make a Change
The Dirty Dozen List isn’t just about naming and shaming, but also changing those who are on the List. People can have a part in that by signing on to Dirtydozenlist.com.
Hawkins said, “Part of the project allows individuals to go and contact the CEOs and directors of these major entities. They can go to our website and send an email directly to the CEO.”
She insisted those who do can definitely make an impact.
“A number of years ago, we got almost all hotel chains to stop selling pornography,” Hawkins shared. “And one of the exciting reasons was because the CEO of Hilton Hotels was saying, ‘I’m getting a thousand emails a week from your allies and supporters.’”
'If We Can Change Google…’
NCOSE told him the emails would stop if Hilton changed, and the chain did.
Hawkins also mentioned, “Google got rid of pornographic apps in Google Play and they got rid of their policy that allowed advertisements that were sexually explicit. And I just want to tell everybody, if we can change Google, we can change all of these companies and targets.”