Hotels, Airlines and Tech Companies Must Stop Harboring Sex Traffickers

Hollywood in 1990 gave us Pretty Woman, the Cinderella story of Vivian Ward, a beautiful young prostitute played by Julia Roberts who agrees to spend a week with a wealthy businessman at a Beverly Hills hotel for $3,000. Vivian, a high-school dropout, has no pimp, no drug habit, and no signs of physical or sexual abuse from being an L.A. streetwalker. The two fall in love, and at the end of the film she is rescued from “the life” by her tycoon in shining armor.This film is, of course, a Hollywood fantasy, and in no way attempts to address the daily horrors of sex trafficking in our country. But there is a scene that reveals the longstanding complicity of the hospitality industry in the trafficking of sex. Early in the film, the hotel manager takes Vivian aside and says he is “willing to overlook” the trafficking of sex for “special guests” of the hotel, as long as she dresses “more appropriately.”  Continue reading...

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