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McDonald's urged to warn employees about porn website exploiting their financial struggles

McDonald's
The logo of McDonald's is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S. |

The National Center for Sexual Exploitation is urging McDonald’s to warn its employees about how a pornography website is trying to recruit them as they suffer lower wages during the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

NCOSE President Patrick Trueman sent a letter to the fast-food corporation’s CEO, Chris Kempczinski, to voice concern that “McDonald’s employees are being targeted for sexual exploitation during COVID-19.”

Trueman called on Kempczinski to ensure that company-wide messages are sent out to educate employees “about the harms that getting involved [in pornography] would entail, including (but not limited to) sexual harassment.”

“Unfortunately, we recently discovered that pornography websites are targeting workers who are financially affected during the coronavirus,” the letter explains. “In light of legal actions McDonald’s employees have recently taken towards corporate regarding sexual harassment, it is even more important and timely for you to respond to this targeting of your employees.”  

NCOSE warned of reports of a big advertising push by IsMyGirl.com, a website that bills itself as offering users “exclusive content from your favorite models.” 

The advertising push included a press release sent to over 500,000 McDonald’s workers. 

The press release stated that the new push is “an effort to help McDonald’s employees, and to make sure they can continue to provide for themselves and their families.”

“We want to help provide them with a legitimate option,” the press release said, according to Vice. “IsMyGirl has offered all McDonalds workers an exclusive offer to earn 90 percent of their proceeds (after credit card processing).”

NCOSE argues that the type of employment that IsMyGirl is offering is “not a legitimate option” for anyone.

“It is vital to recognize that pornography itself is a form of sexual exploitation, where ‘performers’ endure physical and mental trauma due to sexual harassment, grooming, abuse and more,” Trueman wrote in his letter. 

Trueman cited a 2011 study published by the monthly peer-reviewed journal Psychiatric Services that concluded that “female adult film performers have significantly worse mental health and higher rates of depression than other California women of similar ages.” The study was led by Vice-Chair of Research at the New York University Department of Emergency Medicine Dr. Corita Grudzen. 

The NCOSE CEO also cited a 2009 study, led by Grudzen, that was published by the Journal of Urban Health that found pornography performers experience physical trauma on the film set and often leave the industry with financial insecurity and mental health problems. 

“Performers engaged in risky health behaviors that included high-risk sexual acts that are unprotected, substance abuse, and body enhancement,” the study’s abstract reads. “Women were more likely than men to be exposed to health risks. Adult film performers, especially women, are exposed to health risks that accumulate over time and that are not limited to sexually transmitted diseases.”

Trueman stressed, “We are particularly concerned for your employees living in households where domestic abuse and manipulation may lead to pressurized environments forcing them to partake in this industry to gain promised financial stability. It is vital to recognize that it is impossible for the pornography industry to judge from the content of a video or image whether force, fraud, psychological coercion, social manipulation, etc where used to instigate it. 

“This is especially true considering many sex traffickers and abusers will groom victims to claim that they are operating of their own free will. The pornography industry currently has no real metric to measure consent in any porn on its site, aside from complaints from victims of non-consensually shared porn.”

Trueman concluded that it is Kempczinski’s social responsibility to make his employees aware of this attempt to exploit them. Doing so would “advance” McDonald’s reputation. 

“We call on your company to live up to your corporate ethical commitment to ensure the health and safety of your people, and provide a workplace free of harassment and its effects,” Trueman wrote.

The Christian Post reached out to McDonald's for comment on NCOSE's letter. A response is pending. 

Earlier this month, two McDonald’s workers on behalf of 5,000 women from over 100 corporate-run McDonald’s restaurants filed a $500 million sexual harassment lawsuit in which they accused the corporation of fostering "systemic sexual harassment” by ignoring illegal harassment. 

The company responded by saying in a statement to media that it has always been “committed to ensuring that our employees are able to work in an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.”

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