Jonathon Van Maren

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Hollywood actor opens up about porn industry: These are ‘most sad people in the world’

Jon Hamm described his brief time in the porn world as 'soul-crushingly depressing.'
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Jon Hamm
Jonathon Van Maren By Jonathon Van Maren

December 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In its heyday, Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion was the place to be if you were in show business, with the biggest stars of TV and the Silver Screen showing up to be wooed by the hand-picked harem of the Sultan of Sleaze. 

The porn industry and Hollywood worked hand-in-glove, and many of the stars took full advantage of the favors Hefner was willing to provide them in exchange for the prestige of their presence. One former porn actress told me that many of the unattached movie stars had a “porn girlfriend” from the industry — and that this remains an open secret in certain circles.

But a handful of actors and actresses have spoken out recently on the dangers of porn addiction. Terry Crews has said that he got addicted at age 12, and that his marriage was deeply affected by his porn use. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has noted that porn is destructive to healthy relationships. Russell Brand has talked about how he quit porn, Josh Radnor has condemned it, and Rashida Jones co-produced an entire documentary, Hot Girls Wanted, on how the industry preys on young girls. As the evidence that pornography is poison continues to mount, even some celebrities are noting the dangers that accompany it. Even actor Jon Hamm recently opened up once again on his experience working in the porn industry.

Failing as an actor and desperate for a pay cheque, Hamm worked briefly as a set dresser for Cinemax’s soft-core porn movies back in the 1990s, and even then, before the porn industry began to focus on sexual violence as staple rather than as an oddity, the actor says in his time there was “soul-crushingly depressing.” Despite the fact that the corner of the industry he worked in contained no hardcore elements, the porn performers he saw seemed to be desperately sad, trudging miserably through the experience.

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“It was so sad: the actors were dead but they were trying their best,” Hamm told Elle magazine in August 2009. His other comments have also highlighted how depressing it all was: In one interview, he called working in porn “bleak,” an industry of unhappy people. Ironically, he even told Playboy that the work was “horribly depressing.” One wonders if Hamm knows just how depressing the headquarters of the Playboy Empire really were, once you peeled back the mask. Nothing is what it seems in porn, but everyone does what they’re told until the cameraman yells “cut.”

It is somehow nauseating to consider what those who saw the porn industry firsthand say about the creation of the porn flicks that millions watch, especially when you consider that porn has become our culture’s primary and most beloved form of entertainment. A huge percentage of the population watch products produced at the expense of the miserable people who act out sexual scenes for the enjoyment of the masses, and there is something profoundly sad about people arousing themselves to the sight of women and girls in pain and misery.

Hamm’s job didn’t involve hardcore porn or the other perversities so popular today, but even on these sets then the industry was “depressing.” When an interviewer recently asked him about his previous work as a “set dresser” on a softcore porn set, he shook his head emphatically and said, “You’re looking at the most sad people in the world that are doing this.” 

Think about that for a moment: Digital pornography has become an almost ubiquitous plague, infecting nearly every smartphone. People brag about their porn, sitcoms joke about porn, and porn is celebrated as a symbol of liberation and freedom. And yet, a prominent liberal actor who saw how porn is made for himself despised it because he could not escape the realization that it is “the most sad people in the world that are doing this.”

Our society feeds its lusts with the tears and misery of sad people acting out sexual charades that break them and poison us. What a sad, sickening reflection on our entire culture.

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Jonathon Van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.