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lexington steele racism porn

Although the pornography industry reportedly generated a staggering $10 billion per year at one point, the blue movie biz may be plagued by the age-old looming specter of racism. Based on the accounts of a popular White starlet, the industry’s leaders are older White men who feel that actresses lessen their value when working with Black male actors.

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Aurora Snow, a 12-year veteran, wrote an op-ed last month for “The Daily Beast” explaining the machinations of racism in the business. In the piece, Snow recounts a time where an agent warned her from working with African-American men onscreen.

An excerpt from Snow’s op-ed

When I first got into the adult-film business about 12 years ago, one of the most confusing things my agent asked was whether I “did interracial.” I was completely baffled. So the old man clarified: “Do you do black guys?” I was shocked at what seemed a racist question. As I sat on his dusty couch in a small, smoke-filled office, it suddenly felt like I was in another era: the black-and-white one.

“The Root” hopped in on the debate by bringing into the conversation African-American male performer Lexington Steele, a former stockbroker and one of the most popular adult entertainers ever. His take on the industry’s supposed racist practices supports what Snow wrote, adding that it doesn’t begin with the actresses themselves.

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Lexington Steele told “The Root”:

It’s definitely something that exists, and I think it’s something that’s built within the fabric of the industry, because if you look at the individuals that are in positions of authority over some of the white females, the ones governing them are the ones implementing this practice of no interracial. It’s their managers, boyfriend or husband or family members.

It’s just an element of American culture that still exists, and that is the feeling that a white female will be deflowered or soiled, if you will, by doing a scene with a black male. But that does speak to the continued existence of bigotry and racism, and I don’t think porno is unaffected by certain elements of American culture. And quite honestly, adult media is the only major business that allows for the practice of exclusion based upon race.

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Steele’s insider observation is of particular interest, considering he exists in a rarefied position as a Black man who is the owner of an adult film company and director. Coupled with the fact he is the only person to win Adult Video News’ (AVN) coveted “Performer Of The Year” award three times, Steele’s take comes with measurable weight.

Snow mentions in her piece that a lot of White actresses may be put off by the size of male performers’ members stating, in her words, that some of the men are “intimidating” in that regard. Both Steele and Snow seem to agree that racism is perpetuated in the business by those who hold on to the archaic notion that the “big Black Mandingo” is corrupting the innocent White princess with his sexuality. The dangerous point is that the industry’s moral compass is already skewed, according to most critics.

Does racism add to that questionable balance of said morality or does it sully an industry still trying to define its place in the mainstream conversation?

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