This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, June 25, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, the king of porn. If you think it’s Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt or Bob Guccione, you might want to think again. His name is actually Steve Hirsch, and his company is Vivid Entertainment, and his dream of turning what was once a dirty, underground business into a mainstream, multibillion-dollar industry is now a full-fledged reality. Whether you like what he does or not, no one can argue with his business savvy or success.
Mr. Hirsch joins us now from Los Angeles along with one of Vivid’s most successful film stars, Sunrise Adams.
Steve and Sunrise, welcome to both of you. Thanks for coming.
STEVE HIRSCH, VIVID ENTERTAINMENT CO-FOUNDER: Thank you.
SUNRISE ADAMS, VIVID ENTERTAINMENT STAR: Thank you for having us.
CAVUTO: It is interesting here. This business has just grown and grown. And, Steve, even in a soft economy, is that all the more the reason why, or what?
HIRSCH: Well, we’re in a very competitive industry, and there are many, many companies that we compete with, and it’s important for us to stay ahead of the game, to focus on future technology, to continue to exploit and expand our brand, and, if we’re able to do that, I think we can stay one step ahead.
CAVUTO: You know, Sunrise, this week, the Supreme Court said there would be no pornography access at libraries (search). Does that hurt you and your business? What do you think?
ADAMS: I don’t think it really hurts me not having porn access at libraries. I mean you can access it anywhere. I mean that’s not really a personal thing on me.
CAVUTO: Now one personal thing on you is that you became a big star because the guy next to you made a longer-term commitment to you than is traditionally the case with porn stars, and you became the big star in your own right. I’m just wondering whether the business is changing so that stars like you are around longer? Are you?
ADAMS: We definitely are. I mean, the opportunity that was given to me was amazing, and Vivid obviously has some big hopes for me. And so, yes, the things that we’re doing now is more mainstream. It’s reaching out there to more people. It’s putting our products out there and our faces out there that the everyday, normal person probably wouldn’t see.
So being more mainstream, you know, modeling Pony clothes, being in "Grind," the skateboarding movie, and stuff like that, more mainstream stuff is definitely making our life span in the adult industry longer.
CAVUTO: All right. Now the life span in the past -- and, Steve, maybe you can help me with this -- is most of the stars have been around for a few months if they’re lucky, a year, and they’re considered, you know, long-term superpowers.
Now the stars today -- there was health issues that were a big factor some years back, I mean how safe were they from getting sexually transmitted diseases. How is that today versus when you started out?
HIRSCH: Well, we were the first company to institute a mandatory condom policy. So all our movies do have safe sex, so that’s not really an issue for us. Some of the girls are around for a longer periods of times than others. It depends on the girl, if she has what it takes, if she becomes popular.
And what it’s interesting is that now we have so much more feedback from things like the Internet. For example, we can go to vivid.com and we could see how popular a girl is, how many people are accessing her movies, her stills, and..
CAVUTO: Where do you get most of your audience from, Steve? I mean the people who are watching Sunrise -- are they doing it on traditional, you know, video either at home or in their hotel rooms? I would imagine the Internet possibilities -- well, there’s been broadband, all this -- is still fairly limited. Is it, or what?
HIRSCH: Well, the Internet is growing, and vivid.com has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years with...
CAVUTO: Well, are you going to go public?
HIRSCH: Well, that’s something that we’ve looked at, and I don’t think that now is this time to do it. But one thing we are going to do is maximize the value of our business. I think that’s what any good business person does, and it’s something that we may look at in the future.
CAVUTO: Sunrise, you’re the niece of a ‘90s porn star, Sunset Thomas. If you had kids down the road, would you be willing and open to them doing what you do?
ADAMS: I’m really glad you actually asked me this question. A lot of girls really don’t know how to handle this, but I think I do. The day that I decide that I am old enough and in a situation in my life where I’m comfortable to have children and my children do get old enough to understand what I do, I will be open with them.
There’s no reason for me to hide things. I’m not ashamed of myself or what I’ve done. So why hide it? I would...
CAVUTO: Would you be willing then, Sunrise, for that girl -- let’s say it’s a daughter -- or a son -- to go into your industry, to do what you do?
ADAMS: Why not? I’m not ashamed of what I do. The things I do is very clean. It’s very safe. The company I’m with is the highest company. If they decide that they want to do that in their life or as a career, I will do everything I can to help them and to teach them and to not let them fall into the bad parts of the adult industry.
CAVUTO: Steve, I think you have a 2-year-old, right?
HIRSCH: Yes. Yes, that’s correct.
CAVUTO: Would you tell, as your 2-year-old gets older, what you do? Would you let your 2-year-old go into this business?
HIRSCH: Well, I will be open and honest with my daughter at all times, and what’s important is for me to be a good parent and to teach her the difference between right and wrong, and if I’m able to do that, then I’ve done a good job. At that point, I’ll support anything that she chooses to do.
CAVUTO: Do you think that just like when you were growing up and your dad kind of went into this business that she’s going to be alienated from kids at school?
HIRSCH: Absolutely not. Times have changed. It’s not like it used to be. We are inundated with sexual imagery everywhere we go. People aren’t afraid of sex. People aren’t afraid to talk about sex. So I don’t think that would be the case.
CAVUTO: Sunrise, you know, you’re a beautiful woman right now, and the harsh reality in this business is, as soon as you’re not beautiful, as soon as you gain a little weight or you show a wrinkle or two, you’re toast, you’re finished. Do you worry about that?
ADAMS: Why should I worry about it? I always want to do this. This is a pastime for me. I’m also getting my business management degree. I’m purchasing multiple real estates. This is just something for me to do and enjoy and to grow with. When my time is over, it’s over. I’ve got many more things ahead of me that I will be able to do.
CAVUTO: All right. Sunrise Adams, thanks you very much.
Steve Hirsch, thank you.
ADAMS: Thank you.
HIRSCH: Thanks very much for having us.
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