The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 32.0°F | A Few Clouds

LSC Pornography Committee Considers Showing Erotic Films

By Frank Dabek
staff reporter

The Lecture Series Committee is currently considering restoring its former tradition of showing erotic and pornographic films.

This move comes after the expiration last year of a voluntary ban that LSC had accepted on the showing of erotic and pornographic films several years ago. To evaluate the possibility of starting to show such films again, the LSC Pornography Committee was reformed.

The current Porncom is "researching films, preferably of an artistic nature," to be shown at LSC events, said Chairman-elect of LSC Christopher C. Marchant '98.

Pornographic films have been extremely popular events in the past, with up to 2,000 people in attendance, Marchant said. However, such crowds were also not unusual for non-erotic films during that time, he said.

LSC has shown "very art-ish slightly racy films" that have all "done very well," said Joseph T. Foley '98, publicity director for LSC.

This term has not been as profitable as past terms for LSC. The "video market has hit us pretty hard," Foley said. "Pornography might do well."

LSC might show a movie or two of an explicit nature next semester, Foley said. The films will be screened first by Porncom, which will then direct a few to the LSC Executive Committee, which will make the final decision on whether to show the films.

"We don't know if [pornography] is something the MIT community would be interested in," Marchant said.

"MIT's demographics have changed," he said. "If we'd be displeasing a large portion of the MIT community, that's something we'd like to stay away from."

Marchant did not expect any opposition from the administration but said that LSC would have to take responsibility for any problems caused by the showing of such films.

As long as the film is legal in Massachusetts and the proper precautions are taken to ensure that viewers of the film are of age, there should be no legal problems, Foley said.

Erotic films have history with LSC

The history of pornographic films at LSC goes back some 20 years when a film of a pornographic nature was shown each Registration Day, Marchant said.

In 1983, LSC decided not to show Deep Throat - a sexually explicit film that might have been considered illegal under Massachusetts law - on Registration Day after students submitted a petition and several women's groups threatened to protest. This event and the showing of other sexually explicit material led to an MIT policy in 1985 that restricted such films from being shown on Registration Day and required a committee to screen such films prior to their screening.

LSC later agreed to accept a temporary, voluntary ban on the showing of such films. That ban expired approximately one year ago.