This week Marc Greenberg, founder of MRG Entertainment, filed suit against JPMorgan Chase in Los Angeles Superior Court. He alleges the bank violated fair lending laws by choosing not to underwrite a loan for what it characterized as “moral reasons.”
MRG produces pornographic videos such as 2012's Birthday Sex and Carnal Candidate Political Kink.
After many delays in processing his loan, Greenberg claims he spoke with a JP Morgan vice president, who told him his loan was being turned down for moral reasons, “because of JPMorgan's disapproval of plaintiff's former source of income and occupation as an owner of a television production company that produced television programs that dealt with the subject of human sexuality.”
Greenberg is not the only person in the legal but controversial field of adult entertainment who has reported problems in dealing with banks. Adult actress Chanel Preston, who has been working in pornographic films since 2010, says she was denied a bank loan and bank account because of her profession.
She says she was asked by a loan officer, “are you affiliated with the adult entertainment industry?” When she replied in the affirmative, she says she was told “We will not give you a loan.” Also, a bank account she opened was shut down a few days later due to what she was told were “compliance issues.”
One porn industry veteran who did not wish to be identified told NBC News, “The people within my bank have urged me to downplay the nature of my business because corporate frowns on it.”
Banks attitudes toward adult entertainment would be particularly important in Southern California; Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley produces nearly 90% of all legally distributed pornographic films made in the United States.