We Interviewed Spring Break Historian Joe Francis, Creator of Girls Gone Wild
Joe Francis is the 39-year-old guy responsible for those Girls Gone Wild videos, which means he basically invented modern-day spring break. If you’ve ever had a good time in a sunny locale between the months of March and June, chances are Joe was directly responsible for it. I called him to get the inside scoop on girls showing their boobs on the beach, what it’s like to hang with A.C. Slater, and all the objects he’s witnessed being slid into ladies’ vaginal cavities. But most importantly I wanted to thank him, which I forgot to do because I was so excited, so I’ll do it now: Thank you, Joe Francis, for touching so many bright young minds and making the world a better place.
VICE: You went on your first spring break while you were in college, right?
Joe Francis: Yeah, and it was quite an experience.
Where did you go?
Mexico. I saw a lot of things that I’ve incorporated into the Girls Gone Wild brand in the last 16 years. Spring break is an excuse for people to lower their inhibitions. It provides a great reason to do lots of things that you really want to do but wouldn’t ordinarily. It provides people a justification, specifically women, to go back home and be like, “Eh, it was spring break.” It’s like a way to wash everything away, from a moral standpoint.
Do some of the women you film for Girls Gone Wild later regret it?
You know, not as many as you would think. It’s really counterintuitive. It’s like, if you do something, it’s your choice. If you’re doing Girls Gone Wild, you know what you’re getting into. We have a remorse policy, and we’ve always had that.
What’s a remorse policy?
It gives the girl who’s been filmed the opportunity to call any time after or before it’s released, even if she’s signed a release, and be taken out of the video.
Oh, that’s good.
Yeah! There’s a 1-800 number on the website. It’s a very easy thing to do, and out of the hundred-plus thousand girls who have been shot, very few have used it.
Can you narrow that down to a percentage?
Way under 1 percent have ever requested to be removed.
Will you be celebrating spring break this year?
I will be attending. This year will be my 21st spring break.
Are you going to be having some kind of anniversary party?
Actually, I’m going with my friend Lance Bass. We’re going to Mexico.