With, let's say, 140% of the vote reporting, we are deeply ashamed to announce that Girls Gone Wild impresario Joe Francis is Gawker's Douche of the Decade.
Joe Francis got his start selling Faces of Death-style cheapo death-and-violence videos on late-night TV. After he found that licensing Mardi Gras footage proved even more popular, and perhaps easier to self-produce, he set about creating an empire of intoxicated ambiguously consensual exploitation. Via Vanessa Grigoriadis' 2002 profile, witness the mind of Francis at work:
"More than anything else, Girls Gone Wild started off as a product of my sexual fantasy." Meaning? "Girls look really good from age eighteen to twenty-five," he says. "It's just a fact that that's the best time for girls. Afterward, things start to happen — bad things."
Francis wondered how he could market such a concept. On a plane one day, he took out a legal pad and wrote down titles: "College Women." "Girls Gone Crazy." Then he wrote, "College Girls Gone Wild," thought about it for a minute and put a big X through the word college.
And he quickly became a terribly rich and successful douche—which may have given him a leg up on the douches in the poll who are kings of the world only in their own shriveled minds and blackened hearts.
But this coked-out amoral direct-marketer (and an alleged rapist!) is basically a zillionaire, various tax liens against him notwithstanding.
Kidnapping and non-penetrative dildo-menacing were not enough to stop the man who declared that he'd been "anally raped over and over by the media" shortly after literally assaulting a female reporter assigned to profile him. He palled around with our more tragic and douchey celebs.
We had a shot at putting him in jail for good, but the hundreds of hours of underaged porn from his homes and plane was seized without proper search warrants.
Problems—both legal and civil—actually piled up for Francis as the decade went on, but the fact remains that he continues to be rich, famous, douchey, and ever more loathsome by the hour.
Joe Francis! You have made the world a worse place! You have assaulted and raped! You have degraded thousands! You are a terrible human being! You are Gawker's Douche of the Decade!
Beautiful certificate of achievement (fit for framing! ... Joe, send us your mailing address) by Steve Dressler