Adult Industry Can Survive Without Government Help | Chroniclers
In 1969, while the commission was studying it, a group of adult film producers, distributors and operators founded the Adult Film Association of America, becoming what one of its founders insolently described as a sort of “Nudie NATO”. Concerned about continued harassment by law enforcement, including vices raids and arrests of theater owners, one of the group’s first actions was to hire three senior First Amendment lawyers who have put in place a legal kit for members.
In 1970, the commission released its findings, which immediately sparked an uproar.
The majority report found no evidence to suggest pornography was harmful and called for the immediate repeal of all laws prohibiting adults from accessing sexual material. Dissenters in the report described it as a “Magna Carta for the pornographer,” and the Senate voted overwhelmingly to reject it. Vice President Spiro Agnew, speaking on behalf of the administration, assured Americans that as long as Richard Nixon is president, “Main Street will not turn into Smut Alley”.
The report sparked outrage as it faced decades of opinion on the dangers of pornography, fueled by pro-censorship groups who viewed such content as undermining family and nation stability.
Despite the efforts of these groups, the 1972 release of “Deep Throat” moved hardcore pornography from the cultural fringes to the mainstream. The film became a famous cause and helped usher in the era of “chic porn”. Yet despite it becoming one of the highest grossing films of all time, the backlash continued to occur – in part because more and more Americans were exposed to pornography, more people were inspired to join the fight against it.