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These Porn Companies Are Disposing of James Deen Like a Used Condom

After performers Stoya, Tori Lux, and Ashley Fires accused fellow porn star James Deen of sexual assault, multiple companies in the porn industry are throwing their support behind the female porn stars and publicly promising to stop working with Deen.

by Mitchell Sunderland
Dec 1 2015, 8:00pm

Image via Getty/Ethan Miller

The porn industry has disposed of James Deen like a used condom. Within 72 hours of performers Stoya, Tori Lux, and Ashley Fires accusing Deen of sexual assault, sex toy retailer Doc Johnson has stopped manufacturing their James Deen porn line, and multiple production companies—including Evil Angel, Doc Johnson, and Wood Rockett—have publicly promised to stop working with Deen.

"We are taking the allegations against James Deen very seriously," said Chad Braverman, Doc Johnson COO and Creative Director. "And in light of the recent accusations we have decided to no longer proceed with the products that we make on his behalf."

"Porn companies are outraged," says porn star Tasha Reign.

Porn companies have broken ties with Deen way faster than Hollywood reacted to rape accusations against comedian Bill Cosby. Mainstream publications, including People, covered the allegations against Cosby as early as 2006. However, the accusations only gained real media traction last year, after the comedian Hannibal Buress called Bill Cosby a "rapist" at a stand-up performance in Philadelphia. Websites began discussing Buress's comment on October 17, 2014, but Comcast's NBCUniversal waited until November 19, 2014—over a month later—to cancel Cosby's new sitcom.

Read More: Female Porn Stars Stand in Solidarity Against James Deen

"In Hollywood there are people who probably do way worse things, but people still work with them," Reign says. "I can't work with someone when there's a chance that they've committed rape."

Reign has previously performed in videos with Deen. The male porn star's work often included violent sex scenes, but porn companies understand that there's a vast difference between rape and performative rough sex. Explaining Evil Angel's decision to cancel sales of future Deen scenes, Evil Angel president and founder John Stagliano said in a statement, "While our company presents what is consensual and exploratory about aggressive and rough sex, these accusations are of a nature so contrary to our company values that we feel it necessary to suspend the sales until more information is available." In the last few days, porn stars, publicists, and directors have agreed with Evil Angel and other companies' decision.

"The missing link here is consent. I think any sexual act is just fine, as long as it's a choice that's made between two consenting adults," says porn star Alix Lynx, who has previously performed with Deen. "When there is not consent from all involved parties, it's serious. The health and safety of others is not something to be taken lightly, ever."

Our industry as a whole cares a lot about a woman's choice and consent.

To keep women safe, porn industry members will discuss other stars with each other. The porn industry is relatively small, and most actors, directors, and publicists know each other on a first-name basis. "The porn industry, while a billion dollar business, is very small and tight-knit," says veteran porn publicist Mike Kulich. "Everyone knows everyone, and the allegations against Deen are shocking."

Of course, porn companies also have business incentives to ditch Deen. Women make up a large number of Deen's once devoted audience, and many girls have cited Deen's seemingly warm nature and "boy next door" charm as a turn-on. The rape allegations have shattered Deen's image, which would result in public backlash for any companies continuing to work with him. "In the days of social media the Internet is the judge, jury, and executioner," Kulich explains. "In a business that is based on consent, there is no room for anyone that doesn't respect the boundaries of others. Even though he hasn't been found guilty, keeping women comfortable on set is most important."

Severing relationships with Deen is necessary, but it's still painful. Along with being a business, several porn veterans described the industry as a "family." Lynx says, "In this family, there is zero tolerance for endangering others." But all divorces suck. "I'm really saddened by the stories," Reign says. "I've never seen any behavior that correlates with any of the allegations, but I'm a feminist and I believe in sex worker rights. If a woman says she's been assaulted, that's something that is a serious admission." Reign had planned to perform in a showcase video with Deen later this week, but yesterday she refused to work on another set with Deen.

"I think everyone in our industry is very excited about sex worker rights and consent," Reign says. "Our industry as a whole cares a lot about a woman's choice and consent. All my friends that are coworkers are very much that their belief is something that liberates them and is their church. If something like this comes out, our community is very quick to blacklist people and not work with certain kinds of people."