5 Recommendations for Life: Freedom of Expression Edition!

By Karley Sciortino /

A couple weeks ago, I took over Purple magazine’s PURPLE TV, with a week of videos on censorship and freedom of expression, curated by me. In case you missed it, I’ve condensed it to my 5 favorite highlights, now watchable below, including an extract of an early Russ Meyer skin flick that helped change the censorship laws in Hollywood, to the activism of early Playboy, to John Waters just being his progressive self… and more!

Censorship has been a hot topic in the media recently—the continuing battle against government censorship of the internet, and the recent UK porn ban are two topics currently under heavy discussion. Sure, we’ve come a quite a way since the time of book burnings, and whitewashing pieces of history from children’s textbooks. We congratulate ourselves for our freedom to speak. And yet on a daily basis we are consuming and sharing information through the heavily patrolled, omnipresent censor-world of social media. Below, I’ve selected five videos that look back at censorship throughout the decades, and the pioneers who helped fight for out freedom of expression. Watch and learn!

1) John Waters on Free Speech and Censorship

This is a speech given by JOHN WATERS—the iconic filmmaker, and one of my heroes—about free speech and censorship. As always, Waters is insightful and so funny, discussing everything from porn, to rap lyrics, to RICHARD PRINCE.

2) Immoral Tales (extract)

WALERIAN BOROWCZYK‘s Immoral Tales (1974) is a series of four erotic short films, strung together into a feature, that tell somewhat bizarre tales of incest, lust, jealousy, masturbation, loss of virginity and bloodlust. Borowczyk made the film as a reaction to censorship laws becoming more lax. This is one of those four shorts, that involves an art-orgy, of sorts. lol.

3) Huge Hefner Interview – Playboy, Activist and Rebel

Today, a lot of people think of HUGH HEFNER as a creepy old man in silk pajamas. What we forget is that Hefner was a major social pioneer of 20th century, as well as a campaigner for freedom of censorship, human rights and abortion rights. This 5 minute news interview is a brief history of the social sexual and values of early Playboy, and even shows Hefner’s romantic side.

4) The Immoral Mr. Teas, by Russ Meyer (Extract) 

Directed by the king of sexploitation films, RUSS MEYER, The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959) is about a man who sells dentistry appliances, who sees hot naked women wherever he goes—though only in his imagination. It was the first American movie to show female nudity outside the context of naturalism (i.e. a nudist colony), and is considered to be the first commercially viable American “skin flick.” Its success helped pave the way for more lax censorship rules in Hollywood, which at that point were still enforcing the production code (a code enforced in Hollywood that was intended to uphold “moral standards,” but was essentially just used to censor filmmakers). This film played a big part in liberating Hollywood, and the emergence of more risqué adult cinema from then on.

5) Interview with Margaret Sanger, Pioneer of the Birth Control Movement

MARGARET SANGER was the lead crusader of the birth control movement in America, and is literally the baddest bitch who ever lives. She devoted her life to this fight, and went to jail 8 different times for her efforts. She opened the first control clinic in the United States in 1916 (for which she was quickly jailed), but the organizations she eventually established evolved into Planned Parenthood. Throughout her life, she continually fought censorship in the name of social freedom. This is a 25 minute interview with her from 1957.

My PURPLE TV Takeover: Censorship and Freedom of Expression

By Karley Sciortino /

I’m taking over Purple magazine’s PURPLE TV this week, with 7 days of videos on censorship and freedom of expression, curated by me! HERE you can see all my chosen vids all week long, from an extract of an early Russ Meyer skin flick that helped change the censorship laws in Hollywood, to the activism of early Playboy, to John Waters just being his progressive self! And more!  Continue reading “My PURPLE TV Takeover: Censorship and Freedom of Expression”

CONVERSION: A New Short Film for Purple Mag

Coco Young and I made a new short film, yay! “Conversion” is a contemporary (aka hipster) take on the ancient Greek tragedy “The Bacchae,” by Euripides. In this interpretation, Dionysus, the god of wine, art and divine ecstasy, is a downtown fashion photographer with a gluten allergy, who, along with his model Maenads, lures the rational and civilized King Pentheus into his hotel party of debauchery. Watch it now on the Purple website

Directed by Coco Young and Karley Sciortino; Cinematography by Sonia Ostrovsky; Edited by Jeremy Cohan and Coco Young; Starring Joseph Geagan as Dionysus, Andy Darling as Kind Pentheus; and Charlotte Carey, Danielle Knudson, Flaviana Matata Roosmarjin, Karley Sciortono, and Coco Young as the Maenads; and Caleb Addison, Millie Brown, Tea Hacic, and Jonathan Smalls as the Tinder Guests

Initiation – a new short film for Purple TV

Initiation is a new short film for Purple TV. I directed it with my friend, the artist Coco Young. It stars Carly Mark, Alexandra Marzella, Sara Grace Powell, Coco and me, and was edited by Lessa Millet. Initiation explores the rituals of American Ivy League secret societies, and was filmed at an Ivy League school. You can watch it HERE.

I haven’t made a video for Purple in a while. If you’re in the mood for a #throwback, the most recent was a blow-job instruction video that I made with Sandy Kim last May.

Pussy Power

Me, naked with a gun obvs

My friend, the fabulous Petra Collins, directed this new video for Purple TV. I’m in it. You can watch it below <3 We filmed it partly in Toronto, where Petra is from, and partly in an amazingly beautiful town called Tobermory, which is about four hours drive from Toronto, in Ontario, Canada. We stayed in Tobermory for three days, in a lovely cottage that belongs to Petra’s boyfriend, Avery. It’s way out in the middle of nowhere, and there was no running water (aka you have to wash your vagina in a literal lake and go to the bathroom into a hole, like Amish people) which was an interesting experience, especially considering we were six incompetent, easily grossed-out girls. Also, there was no cell phone service or wifi, which was so traumatizing that I literally can’t even remember what it was like, because my brain blacked the experience out in order to protect itself.

Below the video are some behind-the-scenes stills from the shoot, taken by Petra!

Pussy Power:  shot and directed by Petra Collins; music by Prince Innocence; edited by Lauren Dillard; written by Petra and me; clothing provided by American Apparel


A lot of cool kidz in downtown NYC are making internet art these days. Internet art is very #relevant. Think 90s, think warehouse raves, think platforms, think neon dolphins, think ying-yangs, think marble cell phone covers, think My So Called Life, think sea punk, think dip-dye, think gifs, think crop tops, think reversible jackets, think mp3s, think transsexual rappers, think inverted crosses, think hashtags, think those creepy contacts that have a smiley face in them, etc. THIS IS WHAT’S INSPIRING THE KIDS THESE DAYS.

I wanted to be a member of the cool kids club so I decided to make some of my own sexual/self-obsessed/relevant internet artwork. I made these with LESSA MILLET. If you can’t tell these are gifs of segments of the Valentine’s video Lessa directed, which I posted lasted week. You should Tumble these because they are very Tumblr friendly. I put them on My Tumblr already, so feel free to re-blog that shit yo #InternetForever.