In the movie "The Truman Show", the show takes place in the fictional town of Seahaven. However this town is actually located in California. One would assume that the governing laws of California would also govern Seahaven, even if indirectly.

The current laws of California regard prostitution as a crime. If this is the case, wouldn't the actress Hannah Gill who is playing Meryl Burbank (Truman's wife) be guilty of prostitution as she is being paid to have sex with Truman as his "wife"? One might argue that she is legally married to Truman but I do not believe this to be the case since 1) He does not even know where he "really" lives and 2) he does he even know her "real" name. One may also argue that she is just having consensual sex but according to the film every time she sleeps with Truman she gets an extra $10,000. That clearly indicates she is getting paid to sleep with Truman. On the same token couldn't Christof (or the corporation) be charged as her pimp?

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    you don't have to be legally married to have sex with someone. If anything, she's a porn star, not a prostitute.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 15:13
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    I agree, it would be more related to pornography than prostitution. Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 15:21
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is specifically asking about the application of laws to a movie character. This is probably better suited to a site for law specialists rather than film specialists.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 15:33
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    I do not understand why Catija is voting to close my question because it has nothing to do with consulting law specialists. I'm just asking a fun question looking for an answer that would seem to fit. I did not even consider "she could be more like a porn star then a prostitute" and am only looking for a reasonable explanation in a fictional universe. Thanks.
    – Mykewlname
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 20:55
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    Your question literally says "under the laws of California". We are not lawyers. We do not know what those laws are or whether there is any cause for a suit.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 23:01

2 Answers 2


I don't think so, since pornography is legal. The way I understand it, prostitution is illegal in California but paying people to have sex on camera is perfectly legal.

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    This answer doesn't make any sense, because they didn't in fact have sex on camera. This is made clear in the movie. When Meryl invites Truman to bed, there's a cut to a security guard viewer: "You never see anything..."
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 5:53

The way that would have worked, if at all, and leaving aside Truman not knowing about the show, was as Actors and contracts. Let's say an actor decides to do a film. Contract states that actor must indulge in sexual scenes for the show, and if they do, they get an incentive/bonus for their 'performance'. This is legal, since it's still acting, consensual, and not prostitution since this is a pre-planned activity as part of a film (as opposed to two people indulging in sex with money involved).

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