“Misogyny isn’t the currency,” asserted Simon, “It’s what the show is about. That’s what the product was and we don’t sell beer or a Lincoln Continental (nowadays) without sexual imagery.”
The Deuce, which was also co-created by George Pelecanos, follows Vincent and Frankie Martino (twin brothers played by Deuce EP James Franco). Vincent, based on an actual guy, ran a bar on the edge of Times Square, which was the crossroads for all types in the Big Apple: Trans, prostitutes, and cops. Maggie Gyllenhaal, also a producer on the show, plays Eileen “Candy” Merrell, a call girl who segues into porn as performer then a director. Deuce follows how pornography went from a paper bag under-the-counter- business to being a legal multi-million dollar business.
“Everyone realized (at the time) that the money about to be made was going to be real. So what happened to those people who were the pioneers?,” said Simon to the TCA press corps today, “I was much less interested in whether porn was good or bad, just like on The Wire I wasn’t concerned whether drugs were bad or good.”
In total, Simon explained that the m.o. with Deuce is to connect how the 1971 porn industry has impacted our current notions of market capitalism and society; who were the victims and the survivors of this bedlam.
“I was interested in how a product becomes a product and an industry becomes an industry, and how labor is treated” said Simon.
The Deuce premieres on Sept. 10 on HBO.