The "Girls Gone Wild" creator's comeuppance, Take 2

Broadsheet responds to criticism about an earlier post about video king Joe Francis.

By Sarah Karnasiewicz

Published December 22, 2005 10:02PM (EST)

Earlier today, I posted a Broadsheet item poking fun at Joe Francis, the creator of the infamous video series "Girls Gone Wild," and the California criminal case in which he is currently embroiled.

The gist of my thinking was that it was deeply ironic that a man who made his fortune peddling tit shots of drunken college girls (who in some cases, it should be noted, have claimed his footage was used without their consent) was then attacked by an acquaintance (to quote from Francis' testimony), forced to make a humiliating video while half-naked, and then extorted into paying hundreds of thousands of dollars lest the film be released. Francis made money from making compromising videos ... and then his attacker attempted to do the same.

But, from the reactions I've received from readers today and in rereading my own earlier post, I see now that my intentions were not well translated into type. Sometimes sarcasm just doesn't work. In absolutely no way did I wish to condone assault, extortion or sexual abuse. I was not -- despite what some readers may have been led to believe -- honestly equating Francis' softcore videos with the blackmail film his attacker created at gunpoint. What I did hope to do was turn a wry eye on a sordid -- and sad -- media event.

My apologies.

Sarah Karnasiewicz

Sarah Karnasiewicz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Until recently, she was senior editor at Saveur magazine; prior to that she was deputy Life editor at Salon. She has contributed to the New York Times, the New York Observer and Rolling Stone, among other publications. For more of her work, visit and Signs and Wonders.

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