Our friend, award-winning adult film director Greg Lansky, was profiled in Rolling Stone last week — rose-colored Aviators and all. Naturally, Greg’s haters, green with jealousy as they are, came out in force with their tweezers and handkerchiefs.
“The gold, the lifestyle, the nice car, the Versace, all that shit, the nice watch, it’s kind of like, that’s how you hook people,” Lansky said of his affectations and technique. “From there it’s like, by the way, look at those great photos and look at those great videos and look at those great artists that I work with.”
The artists are porn stars, of course, but Lansky sees their roles as more than that. His Vixen Angel photo shoots, which he’s compiled into a glossy coffee table book in his office and hopes to someday mount in an art gallery, have reimagined porn stars as action heroes, movie stars and athletes, complete with sports cars, helicopters and guns. The shoots aren’t cheap, with some costing more than $30,000, Lansky says. He admits they rarely correspond to membership sales of Vixen or his other sites, Blacked – billed as “the highest quality interracial library” – and Tushy, whose tagline is “the art of anal sex.” For $29.95 a month, members get unlimited access to that brand’s online library of porn videos, many of them highly stylized with a limited color palette, natural lighting and high-contrast sets. To Lansky, the Vixen Angel shoots are an investment in a more long-term goal that’s harder to define: Changing the culture’s perception of porn.
“Who the hell is going to have me hang out of a helicopter for porn’s sake?” says [Tori] Black, who did just that, while wearing shiny black Louboutins, during her Vixen Angel photo shoot in January. “It’s very stylized, which is important because of our perception in the world. We’re really making a push to elevate porn stars.”
Writer Jennifer Swann seconded two of the dominant themes of MikeSouth.com — namely, that adult performers take flak from “conservatives and liberals alike: Republican lawmakers in some states have declared porn a public health risk, while left-leaning celebrities like Judd Apatow and Chelsea Handler have caught flak for inadvertently demonizing porn stars in anti-Trump tweets about the Daniels scandal.”
“We’ve been the scapegoat and the target for every single agenda from the left and the right for the past I don’t know how many years,” says Lansky. “We’re like the witches of the world, and I think people are sick of it.”
Hate on Lansky all you want (he certainly doesn’t give a flip), but here is a man who has found his niche and built a successful brand in a difficult market while being socially and culturally conscious.
Having worked in the adult industry for more than a decade, Lansky’s hate mail is about as constant as his Instagram likes. In fact, he’s even taken steps to play up his polarizing image as the stereotypical porn producer, over-the-top Versace shirts and all. It’s a strategy he’s employed ever since winning his first AVN Award for Director of the Year in 2016.
When he discovered his acceptance speech had been cut out of the telecast, he came back the next year with a glitzier suit and bigger sunglasses. This time, his speech made the cut. “You want me to play the shiny adult producer role? I can play that. It’s fine. First of all, I love Versace shirts, and I shamelessly love them,” says Lansky. “People didn’t fucking notice me before. Now they do.”
Read Rolling Stone‘s feature on Greg Lansky here.