Pornhub's top two executives RESIGN after company was accused of hosting videos showing nonconsensual and underage sex for years

  • Chief Executive Officer Feras Antoon and Chief Operating Officer David Tassillo resigned from MindGeek, the company best known for operating Pornhub
  • It comes after The New Yorker released a scathing report about the company 
  • The report revealed that Pornhub has hosted sexually explicit nonconsensual videos, including ones involving minors, for years 
  • Antoon and Tassillo will remain shareholders in the company 

Two top Pornhub executives have resigned after the adult website company was accused of hosting sexually explicit nonconsensual videos, including ones involving minors, for years.

Pornhub-owner MindGeek said on Tuesday Chief Executive Officer Feras Antoon and Chief Operating Officer David Tassillo have resigned after more than a decade running the adult website company.

'Antoon and Tassillo leave MindGeek's day-to-day operations after more than a decade in leadership positions with the company,' the company said in a statement. 'MindGeek's executive leadership team will run day-to-day operations on an interim basis, with a search underway for replacements.'

News of the executives' exit comes after The New Yorker released a scathing report about the company, claiming that its system failed to address videos depicting underage and non-consenting individuals, including on its Pornhub, Brazzers, RedTube and YouPorn sites. 

Former MindGeek CEO Feras Antoon
Former MindGeek COO David Tassillo

Chief Executive Officer Feras Antoon (left) and Chief Operating Officer David Tassillo (right) resigned from MindGeek, the company best known for operating Pornhub

It comes after The New Yorker released a scathing report that Pornhub has hosted sexually explicit nonconsensual videos, including ones involving minors, for years

It comes after The New Yorker released a scathing report that Pornhub has hosted sexually explicit nonconsensual videos, including ones involving minors, for years

WHO ARE PORNHUB'S FORMER TOP TWO?  

Syrian-Canadian Feras Antoon, 46, co-founded Brazzers in 2005, with its quick popularity allowing the company to expand and establish YouPorn the following year. 

Antoon sold his businesses to German porn mogul Fabian Thylmann, founder of Manwin, in 2010 as the European businessman sought to buy up several porn websites around the world.

But after he was charged with tax evasion in 2012, Thymann sold Manwin to Fatoon and David Tassillo for a reported $77 million, which later became MindGeek with Fatoon serving as CEO and Tassillo as COO.

Antooon, of Montreal, is married with two children, with his brother, Mark, serving as a vice-president at MindGeek. 

In 2020, Antoon had purchased a $16 million mega-mansion on Montreal's 'Mafia Row,' which was burned to rubble last year in a suspected arson attack. 

He had put the mansion up for sale just weeks before the fire. 

Less is known about his partner, Tassillo, who last made news in 2021 when he was named in the Pandora Papers controversy. 

Tassillo was listed on two companies registered in Delaware, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands, The Toronto Star reported.

The so-called Panama Papers revealed Tassillo was the sole owner of Appscrutiny LLC and Appiation Management LLC, which were both registered in Delaware.

He also registered Singleron Ltd. in Anguilla, and Teckkix in the British Virgin Islands in 2017. 

He reportedly used nominee shareholders and directors to create the companies, which allowed him to hide his identity. 

Tassillo lives a lavish life in Montreal, Quebec. He lives in this house on a quiet cul-de-sac in Laval, just north of Montreal. The home backs onto the Prairies River. 

Both Fatoon and Tassillo have denied claims that their company allows explicit videos of minors and unconsenting individuals to stay up on their sites. 

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A spokesperson for MindGeek said the executives' stepping down was planned since early 2022, adding that both Antoon and Tassillo will remain shareholders of the company.

Fatoon, 46, a Syrian immigrant to Canada, co-founded Brazzers in 2005 before teaming up with Tassilo to purchase Pornhub-owner Manwin in 2012 from German businessman Fabian Thylmann. 

The company was renamed MindGeek in 2013, with Antoon serving as CEO and Tassillo as COO as the duo controlled some of the most popular porn sites in the world. 

Antooon, of Montreal, is married with two children, with his brother, Mark, serving as a vice-president at MindGeek. 

Tassillo lives a lavish life in Montreal, Quebec. He lives in this house on a quiet cul-de-sac in Laval, just north of Montreal. The home backs onto the Prairies River. 

In a statement, MindGeek slammed the New Yorker story, which chronicled the plight of a 15-year-old British girl struggling to have explicit videos of her removed from the company's websites that were uploaded without her consent. 

'The New Yorker had the opportunity to seriously evaluate what works in fighting illegal material on the internet by looking at the facts, comparing the policies of platforms, and studying the results,' MindGeek's statement said. 

'Instead, they chose to ignore the fact that MindGeek has more comprehensive and effective policies than any other major platform on the internet, and decided to peddle the same gross mischaracterizations that anti-porn extremists have spewed for decades.'

Alana Evans, president of the Adult Performance Artists Guild, a union for adult pornagraphers, said that while the resignations appeared out of the blue, she doubted it would have much effect on the company. 

'MindGeek is corporate porn,' she told the Washington Post. 'Other owners and CEOs are far more involved in porn and the product.'

Pornhub has been criticized in the past for hosting such videos despite having a policy that is meant to protect against this. 

Luxembourg-based MindGeek, which also owns adult film production companies, has been embroiled in controversy in recent years.

A 2021 lawsuit alleged MindGeek violated federal sex trafficking and child pornography laws by allowing, and profiting from, its users posting pornographic videos featuring people under the age of 18.

Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc in 2020 had suspended processing payments on Pornhub after a New York Times report found unlawful content on its website. 

Antoon and his wife Nicole Manos own several properties in Quebec. She's pictured with their two children in 2017

Antoon and his wife Nicole Manos own several properties in Quebec. She's pictured with their two children in 2017 

Antoon's dream $16million Montreal manor (pictured before the blaze), which backed onto 'Mafia Row', was reduced to ashes in April last year after a suspected arson attack

Antoon's dream $16million Montreal manor (pictured before the blaze), which backed onto 'Mafia Row', was reduced to ashes in April last year after a suspected arson attack

Tassillo lives with his family in this opulent house in Laval, just north of Montreal, Quebec

Tassillo lives with his family in this opulent house in Laval, just north of Montreal, Quebec

Nicholas Kristof, opinion columnist at The New York Times, wrote Friday that Pornhub carries rape scenes, revenge pornography and other examples of explicit video taken without consent of the participants.

'[The] site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags,' Kristof wrote.

Pornhub responded in a statement that it is 'irresponsible and flagrantly untrue' to suggest that it allows images of the sexual abuse of children on its site.

Pornhub added that it employs moderators to screen every upload and that it removes illegal material.

The online payment service PayPal also stopped processing payments to Pornhub in 2019. 

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Two top Pornhub execs resign amid scrutiny of alleged nonconsensual sexually explicit videos

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