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Pop Culture and Sex Trafficking


RealMenLogoHere’s the story. Snoop Dogg/Lion participated in sex trafficking (“pimping” glamorizes and sterilizes the nature of what he did–it’s sex trafficking).

The path toward redemption, if he’s interested, would be to donate to and become involved in genuine global anti-trafficking efforts.

But Snoop doesn’t get it. He says athletes “bought pussy” from him. That dehumanizing language speaks for itself. He also says:

“I could fire a b*tch, f*ck a b*tch, get a new ho: It was my program. City to city, titty to titty, hotel room to hotel room, athlete to athlete, entertainer to entertainer.”

This is not about people’s autonomy to engage in sex for money–the pimp distorts whatever autonomy is possible in that interaction. And his insistence that he “let the ladies keep all the money” is facile and self-serving.

Interestingly and prophetically, Snoop has participated in the “Player’s Ball” in the past, and this analysis explains how that event, and pop culture in general, props up human trafficking culturally.

These musicians can’t pretend that the “pimping” their lyrics glorify is not the same heinous federal crime that affects millions of underage children globally. Don “Magic” Juan is the poster child for pimp culture. He ran one of the most successful prostitution rings, if not the most successful. As part of his annual birthday celebration, he holds The Player’s Ball, which is an award ceremony for pimps around the country. The ball is held in Chicago, but has been held in smaller cities around the country such as Atlanta. Some of the awards administered that evening are, “No. 1 International Pimp of the Year” and “No. 1 Super Player.” The criteria for winning these titles are directly correlated to the annual income earned from pimping for that year. Many famous artists have attended and even received awards at The Player’s Ball, including Snoop Dogg and P. Diddy. This event is also endorsed by radio stations, corporate sponsors and local mayors.

Now we know that at least one celebrity’s participation is more than merely symbolic. The question is not only what he will do about it now, but what the public will demand of him–or whether we will demand anything at all.

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