Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Feds indict biggest porn name yet -- John Stagliano

I've blogged previously about the Department of Justice's crusade to expand the definition of obscenity and lock up producers of adult pornography. This campaign has been roundly criticized, e.g.:
"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."
Yet, it has never really gotten much media attention. Maybe now that will change. The Feds started out by going after fringe producers who made extreme and disturbing films and were in some cases (e.g., the always-creepy Max Hardcore) accused of sexual assault against performers. Now, they're going after some big fish.

Today, DOJ scored an indictment against John Stagliano and his Evil Angel Productions. Evil Angel is one of the biggest names in the industry, and Stagliano is one of its most well-known and lauded directors. Among other accomplishments, Stagliano helped launch queer feminist writer Tristan Taormino as an adult film director, and his Fashionistas films spawned a big-budget Las Vegas stage show.

Stagliano says his films are not obscene, and he is bound to line up the finest legal talent on his side. If Evil Angel is smart, they'll also launch a public-relations offensive to paint the DOJ's porn prosecutions as an attack on Americans' private choices, a waste of government resources, and a distraction from fighting real crime and terrorism. Given the very high stakes involved,

As an aside: I haven't seen the specific films that are the subject of the indictment, but it appears from the titles that their themes involve female ejaculation, milk enemas, and BDSM. I would expect the government to focus on these themes to establish that they are obscene. Female ejaculation has previously been a focus of censorship in the UK, where the government took view that female ejaculation did not, in fact exist(!), and therefore pornographers were depicting urination. One wonders if we're in for similar excitement on this side of the pond.

2 comments:

√Člise Hendrick said...

Am I the only one it strikes as mildly ironic that Alberto "Genital Electrodes" Gonzales is attacking "obscenity"?

Computadores said...
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