Gay porn is so white. This is nothing new. We can easily point blame at many of the porn studios for their lack of willingness to hire people of color.
But the media can also be a part of the problem, by failing to represent or highlight people of color already performing within the industry. Award shows are the perfect example of this, whether we’re talking about the Acadamy Awards or porn awards.
The GayVN Awards are one of the most widely-known award ceremonies in the adult film industry, being a subset of the AVN Awards. After a six-year hiatus, the GayVN Awards announced a comeback for the 2017 season. This past week, they released all of the nominees for this year and to frank, they were incredibly white.
Porn performer and GayVN Awards nominee Hugh Hunter was one of the first people to comment on the issue with these nominations. Hunter called out the inclusion of a ‘Best Ethnic Scene’ category for further marginalizing minority groups.
Hunter notes that none of the black, Asian and Hispanic performers grouped together in this category received a nomination for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor.
He also responded to his three nominations, stating, “I am respectfully declining my nominations in all categories.”
The @gayvn awards announce nominations including a BEST ETHNIC SCENE category for black, Latin, and Asian models. Meanwhile none are nominated as best actor or supporting actor.
My response, “…I am respectfully declining my nominations in all categories…”
Full letter here. pic.twitter.com/CQPxZFRuZ6
— Hugh Hunter (@theHughHunter) November 25, 2017
Hunter’s argument is a completely valid one. There’s literally nothing different about a scene with two white dudes fucking and a scene with two people of color fucking, besides the color of their skin. What possible argument could be made that would warrant the need to separate these performers into a new category?
Imagine if Moonlight didn’t win Best Picture at the Academy Awards because it was categorized as Best Ethnic Film instead.
The category of Best Ethnic Scene is also problematic as it further reinforces the fetishization of races. By creating this category in the likeness of other scene-specific categories like Best Bear Scene, Best Twink Scene, and Best Fetish Scene, race becomes the fixation of the award, not the performance.
Here’s the full list of nominees for Best Actor at the GayVN Awards:
David Benjamin, Silverlake, TitanMen/Pulse
Matthew Bosch, Cauke for Free, TitanMen/Pulse
James Castle, Barebackula, Lucas Entertainment
Brent Corrigan, Ultra Fan, NakedSword/Falcon
Trenton Ducati, Secrets & Lies, NakedSword/Rock Candy
Quentin Gainz, Straight Chexxx, Next Door/Pulse
Tayte Hansen, Fuck Him Up, Men.com/Pulse
Dustin Holloway, Route 69, Falcon Studios
Colby Keller, The Stillest Hour, CockyBoys
Markie More, Straight Chexxx, Next Door/Pulse
Adam Ramzi, It’s Coming, Raging Stallion/Falcon
Ryan Rose, Scared Stiff, NakedSword/Falcon
Adam Russo, The Stepfather 3, Icon Male/Mile High Media
Will Wikle, The Stillest Hour, CockyBoys
Brandon Wilde, His Sister’s Lover 2, Icon Male/Mile High Media