Do you have a problem with guys who say that on their hookup profiles? I do, particularly when the men try to throw in “I’m not racist, but…” Sorry, but by definition, declaring an exclusion to one race over another is racism.
It’s been nearly two years since Hugh Hunter refused his GayVN Awards nomination and criticised the ceremony – and industry as a whole – for racism.
Hunter made headlines in industry news when he rejected the GayVNs, citing their inclusion of a category called ‘Best Ethnic Scene:’
“Why were these scenes not just included in the best scene category? Why would a gay porn company choose to separate minority groups into their own race at an event that is supposed to celebrate the gay industry in its entirety? Why would this category be created in 2017 when the political climate is so thick with racial divide in this country?”
The GayVNs were quick to remove the category, but in an interview with Vice shortly after the debacle, Hunter pointed out organizers’ lack of explanation for creating the category in the first place.
That was 2017. Has there been progress? It’s difficult to quantify with a ratio or a number. Add to that, your intrepid reporter here is white, so I can’t emphatically say whether or not there is improvement. I can only provide a fundamental view of what I see on my laptop screen.
It’s easy to find examples that would say progress is slow coming. Falcon Studios’ Room 106 has a cast of 10 men, of whom two are people of color. Here’s Falcon’s preview page for the five-scene flick:
The POCs, Liam Cyber and Pheonix Fellington, are both only in the final scene. And judging from the trailer edit, most of the time is spent with black-on-black action, though to be fair there is a portion with Devin Franco in the middle.
The cover is also problematic. Devin bottoms in this scene but the cover makes it seem that not only is he the top, but Liam and Pheonix are on their knees, suggesting submission.
A quick glance of the “Most Recent” models page at the Falcon website shows 80 guys. 9 of those are POCs… but between the homepage and the landing page for the DVD catalog, I only counted 3 black cocks, and the cover of Room 106 has two of them.
This is a business where looks mean a lot, and in the context of racial disparity in gay porn, that doesn’t look good, and Falcon has in past been accused of a distinct lack of diversity. I don’t mean to only call out Falcon – many of the mainstream gay porn studios have the same issues.
The Daily Dot article linked to above also lists body type among Falcon’s “diversity problems.” Body type is a fetish – muscle men have long been a genre in gay porn – so are twinks, and my body of expertise (pun), bears. So Falcon is well within its rights to restrict casting to fit, muscular jock types.
Does that mean, then, that skin color is also an acceptable “body type” to fetishize? Most of the studios do it – we here at Treasure Island have Bruthaload and Latin Loads as examples – and I think the answer is, sure-why not? Fetishes equate to adoration of the type, and if you’re worshipping a black or Latino or Asian dick, you’re paying the highest compliment to the man attached to it.
But fetishism is not the same thing as representation and inclusion. You have to go a step beyond just casting people of color and allow them to interact with your white models. If you’re making black/Latino-only videos and still the bulk of your catalog is white-only, there’s been no progress. And again, I have to advocate the TIM team for incorporating men of all skin types in many of their recent titles.
We’re all equal when it comes to the desire to fuck – and we still have a way to go before racism, real or perceived, is a non-issue in the industry.