Louis Theroux: Dark States – Trafficking Sex

In the second of his compelling yet grim series, Theroux focuses on Houston, the number one hub for human trafficking in North America.

We see Louis travelling around the city, investigating the women that work in the illegal sex industry and their pimps, whilst presenting a fantastic insight into the complex yet dynamic relationship between prostitute and pimp. Louis’ delicate yet thorough attitude towards interviewing enables him to persuade the 3 working women the show focused on to speak out against their pimps. If you thought the first episode ‘Heroin Town’ was sad, check this one out; it’s shocking to see just how exploited these women are as they are beaten and controlled by their pimps.

On social media, it is clear to see that many agreed with this sentiment, claiming it made for an “uncomfortable watch”. Louis’ blunt and relentless interview technique does not go unnoticed, when he interviews an unrepentant pimp imprisoned for trafficking a 15-year old. As an audience, we are gripped as ever, receiving the most in-depth insight imaginable into the grim world of illegal sex trafficking. One twitter user exclaimed that “…these are the kind of issues that @realDonaldTrump should be dealing with”, and perhaps they are right. It could also be argued that the legalisation of sex work could help to provide a safer environment for these women to work in, and strike back at the pimps that are taking advantage of these vulnerable women in order to turn a profit.

Louis’ talent of uncovering victims as he draws out of them even the most sensitive and personal information, all whilst maintaining their humanity, is exactly why we love him!


Jennifer Spence

Image: BBC