An episode of Friends, titled “the One With the Free Porn”, opens with Joey flicking through the channels on his TV to discover that somehow he is able to access a pay porn channel. Knowing neither her nor flatmate Chandler have subscribed to a porn channel, the boys decide they will leave it running, figuring that if they turn it off they might lose it.
As the episode proceeds we see the Friends cast watching porn on Joey and Chandler’s TV and reacting in a variety of ways. The episode ends with Joey and Chandler realising just how twisted their thinking has become under the influence of pornography.
“I was just at the bank” says Chandler, “and there was this really hot teller, and she didn’t ask me to go do it with her in the vault.”
“Same kind of thing happened to me!” replies Joey. “Woman pizza delivery guy comes over, gives me the pizza, takes the money, and leaves!”
“What, no, ‘Nice apartment, I bet the bedrooms are huge?'” asks Chandler
“Noo! Nothing!” replies Joey.
The boys realise just how disturbed this conversation is and conclude “Y’know what, we have to turn off the porn.”
Friends may be a sitcom, but in it’s own light-hearted way this episode speaks the truth. Pornography invites us to view other people as sex objects simply waiting to fulfil our every erotic desire, and so leads us into a process of dehumanising them.