I wanted to update you on our efforts with Verizon since you signed the petition, because we are hopeful for change! Below is a message from Lisa, our Director of Education and Outreach, who just got back from meeting with Verizon’s CEO and Chairman:
When I began working for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation last July, I never dreamed that one day I’d be sitting face-to-face with the CEO and Chairman of Verizon talking with him about the harms of pornography. But that is exactly what happened last week!
Now some backstory: as many of you know, Verizon has been on NCOSE’s annual Dirty Dozen List for the past three consecutive years due to its steadfast refusal to stop selling pornography via its Fios television network. While the company no longer offers explicitly child-themed films, on a daily basis it still serves up a nauseating menu of pornography that features themes of incest, racism, sexism, exploitation, and abuse. This is intolerable!
So, NCOSE adopted a new strategy. We bought Verizon stock so that we would be eligible to attend the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting on May 5th and so we could raise our concerns there. Thus, this country-girl from Kentucky, found herself sitting in a room with non-other than the CEO and Chairman of Verizon, Lowell McAdams, as well as Verizon board member and former CEO of Darden Restaurants, Clarence Otis, and Verizon’s Chief Counsel, Craig Silliman! Is that incredible or what?
I won’t get into all the nitty-gritty of what we discussed, but I will note that this was NCOSE’s first opportunity to directly raise our concerns with the individuals at Verizon in the best position to make change happen. What happens after this remains to be seen, but we know for certain that now Verizon knows there is a movement of people across this country who will no longer tolerate their sickening distribution of, and profiting from, sexploitation.
Our movement’s time has come. We wait expectantly to see if Verizon will choose to take progressive action, and join us on the right side of history. In the meanwhile, if you’ve not done so already, please join us in sending a message to Verizon that sexploitation is not an acceptable business model for any company by signing our petition to Verizon.
We are on the verge of some incredible victories, but we need your help to get there! Please consider donating to ensure we are able to continue changing corporate policies, and culture.