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Gay porn awards face accusations of racism for their ‘Best Ethnic Scene’ category

Katharine Swindells November 29, 2017

@theHughHunter on Twitter

The GayVN Awards have been forced to make changes to their categories, after being accused of racism.

The awards, which celebrate gay adult entertainment, have been brought back by AVN after seven years.

They have faced backlash for creating a category called “Best Ethnic Scene.”

“The gay porn industry has always been a place of veiled racism and bigotry,” gay porn star Hugh Hunter said on Twitter.

“It now appears as if the GayVN Awards have chosen to make this racism and bigotry more blatant in their return to the awards arena.

Hunter pointed out that none of the black, Asian or Latino actors nominated in the category had been nominated for best actor or best supporting actor.

“Why? Why were these scenes not just included in the best scene category?” he said.

“Why would this category be created in 2017 when the political climate is so thick with racial divide in this country?”

He also questioned their use of the dated word “ethnic” to describe the actors.

@theHughHunter on Twitter

He declined his nominations, and called on performers, producers and fans of the gay porn industry to take a stand against the awards, and against racism in the industry.

“We are members of the LGBTQ family. Let’s force this industry, one built by and dependent on the passions and fantasies of the LGBTQ community, to be all inclusive and shed racism and bigoted bias.”

Other stars followed his lead, saying they will also decline their award and protest the category.

AVN posted a statement on their website today, saying they have decide to remove the category, putting its nominations in “Best Duo Scene” category.

“The team at AVN offers a heartfelt, unequivocal apology to anyone who felt that the category of Best Ethnic Scene was an attempt to slight performers of color,” it said.

“It truly pains us to have offended any member of our community.”

They said they included the category initially because they wanted to recognise smaller and more niche porn companies, rather than just the mainstream.

They said “Best Ethnic Group,” was similar to categories such as “Best Fetish Scene” and “Best Bear Scene,” in that they often cater to a specific consumer group.

“These producers cater to their own group of consumers and are a key component of the gay adult industry, and we hoped to ensure they were well represented in the 2018 nominations,” they said.

“The addition of this category was never intended to restrict performers of any non-European ethnic background from competing fully in ANY other category, whether in the judged categories or the Fan Award categories.”

@SeanZevran on Twitter

Sean Zevran, another adult film star, weighed in on the debate, saying that although he believed GayVN had good intentions, the impact could be detrimental.

“It’s incredibly challenging for actors of color to be recognized for our work in the industry, and a lot of it goes underrepresented or unrecognized when it comes to the awards,” he said in a video on Instagram.

“The counterargument to that, is that it casts ethnic minorities as the ‘other’, that there’s something to be distinguished between our work and mainstream,” he said.

More: adult entertainment, gay porn, hugh hunter, porn, racism

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