Pornhub CEO’s Home Torched By Arsonists

Investigators are looking at arson after the Pornhub CEO's mansion burned down.

By Faith McKay | Published

This article is more than 2 years old


On Sunday night in Montreal, police were called to a mansion when two trespassers were spotted on the $19.8 million dollar property. The police arrived shortly after, but by then, the eight-bedroom and eleven-bathroom property of Pornhub executive, Feras Antoon, was on fire. It took 80 firefighters until 2:30 am to put the fire out. Neighbors had to be evacuated, but no one was hurt. When the police officers arrived, they were able to see that the fire began inside the home. The arson squad in Montreal is currently in charge of the investigation.

The first question many may have is why someone might have committed arson. At this point, it’s too early to give reasons. Feras Antoon, the homeowner, has said that he won’t say more to the media out of respect for the criminal investigation. Unfortunately, with all of the violent threats against the CEO, this is likely a threat he has already attempted to protect himself against.

Earlier this month, Motherboard wrote an article looking into anti-porn extremists, the ties between them and white supremacist groups, and the dangers to people who work at Pornhub. Specifically, their title said that the crusade against the company was going to get someone killed. Their investigation adds a lot to consider when looking at this new case of arson. Motherboard uncovered a number of calls for violence against the Pornhub executives.

pornhub logo

While anti-trafficking sounds like a cause most people should be able to get behind, many groups head into extreme agendas. For example, there is a far-right social media website called Gab. On that site, there are many calls to murder Pornhub executives. These posts are accompanied by pictures, descriptions of violence, and cries to do all of this for the sake of women, children, and bizarrely, protecting “the white race”. These extreme social media posts put as much emphasis on bigotry as they do on anti-trafficking pursuits.

The arson happened in an upscale neighborhood at a mansion Antoon had up for sale. It was also under construction, which may have made breaking in easier than normal.

Feras Antoon is the owner of the mansion and one of the four owners of MindGeek. This is the company that owns Pornhub, as well as a long list of other sex industry websites. They focus on distribution sites, like Pornhub and RedTube, as well as adult film production companies. MindGeek is no stranger to litigation. At the time of the arson at Antoon’s mansion, MindGeek is facing Canada’s parliament’s ethics committee. While MindGeek has offices around the world, they’re mostly based in Canada, and the government has come under scrutiny for not stopping them. MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith has been asking Antoon about their content policies on sites like Pornhub.

mindgeek executive arson

Specifically, the MP asked about changes on MindGeek’s sites that would stop abuse like what happened in GirlsDoPorn, a website specifically known for coercing women into non-consensual pornography. The company was sued by 40 sex-trafficking victims. Pornhub itself has been accused of being a place used for teen sex trafficking.

In recent months, Pornhub has made policy changes. After The New York Times ran an article about child abuse victims on Pornhub, Mastercard and Visa ceased doing business with the company. The site then made it possible for only registered users to upload content to their website. While that policy change is a start, parliament, advocates, and extremist groups are all looking at the company and asking for further policy changes to protect victims.

Unfortunately, it seems like the arson investigation committee in Montreal is going to have a lot of work ahead of them with so many people online claiming to want to do violence against the executives. It’s fortunate that no one was hurt in the fire.