Porn chiefs make US bail-out plea

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The Independent US

Porn barons in the US have called for a multi-billion dollar bail-out of the adult entertainment industry to help it through the "hard times" ahead.

Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild chief executive Joe Francis issued a joint plea for Congress to pump 5 billion US dollars (£3.3 billion) into the sector.

They claim that the economic downturn is hitting the porn business and that federal assistance is needed to boost the nation's sex drive. The pair add that they deserve the same treatment offered to banks and the automobile industry.

In a statement released yesterday, Mr Francis said the cash injection was needed "just to see us through hard times".

He added: "Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation's most important businesses. We feel we deserve the same consideration. In difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment for relief. More and more the kind of entertainment they turn to is adult entertainment."

But according to Mr Flynt, economic woes have led to a flagging national sex drive.

The porn baron-turned-campaigner said: "People are too depressed to be sexually active. This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex."

He added: "With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind.

"It is time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly."

Anti-porn campaigners said today that they were not treating the request seriously.

Michael DePrimo, spokesman for the American Family Association, said: "Obviously they are being facetious. It is very much tongue-in-cheek - Larry Flynt has a sense of humour.

"But the fact that he is mocking Congress is not unreasonable."

In a separate move, Mr Flynt is attempting to sue two of his nephews he accused of selling "inferior products" under the Hustler name.

The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that lawsuits had been filed on Monday in a bid by Mr Flynt to protect his family name in the industry.

Jimmy Flynt II and Dustin Flynt worked for the company firm for a decade before being fired last year.

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