The latest edition of “Race Play Goes Wrong” features, shall we say, ‘surprising’ allegations by African American talent Moe the Monster Johnson, as reported in the pages of today’s New York Daily News.
I’ll say two things about Johnson’s case: First, no one, male or female, black, white, red, yellow or green, should be forced to do anything they do not consent to. But the “facts” as alleged in his complaint are problematic, while Moe’s argument, like the term “hate speech” itself, is deeply flawed; essentially the term can be used to refer to any speech that the person using the term hates.
In this case, Moe admits his political agenda: “I want that word and those types of stigmas to be eliminated from the adult industry,” he said.
Second, this is the kind of lawsuit someone brings on their way down, and out of an industry, not on their way up. Moe has had some striking Twitter meltdowns in the recent past, and his on-set performance problems are well documented. This lawsuit appears to be the culmination of whatever his issues may be.
The lede from the Daily News today screams: “A black porn star from the Bronx says he was duped into performing in a hardcore-racist adult film that depicts his white co-star calling him the N-word without his consent.”
Maurice McKnight, who goes by the stage name Moe the Monster, claims in a new lawsuit the hate speech was spewed during a shocking [!] shoot in Tarzana, Calif., last July.
Moe says the video’s director, Billy Watson tried on two separate occasions during the July 12, 2017 shoot for CuckoldSessions.com to get his approval for use of the dialogue, and that he turned Watson down both times.
He claims the director first approached him before filming of the race play scene began and said the female lead, 2018 AVN Hall of Famer Ryan Conner, had agreed to use the ugly slur on camera. The scene also featured and veteran male performer Nat Turnher.
Moe now says he “made it very clear that he would not allow this racial slur to be used,” according to the 9-page complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
He claims that Watson approached him a second time during a filming break to again press for permission.
“For a second time, McKnight informed [Watson] that he did not consent to the use of the racial slur,” the lawsuit states.
Despite McKnight’s explicit refusal to give the green light, [Conner] addressed him with the racist slur twice during the film’s so-called “money shot,” according to the complaint.
Specifically, just before Johnson ejaculated, Conner said, “Give me that [N-word] load. Oh yeah, give me all that [N-word] cum,” the complaint states.
Johnson told the Daily News it felt like an ambush.
“I just felt violated and betrayed,” the 36-year-old Bronx resident said Wednesday night.
“I’ve shot over 50 scenes for this company. For a long time, I was one of their top guys. And I’m always publicly talking about racism. For them to even ask me was an insult, then to do it against my will, it hurts. It feels like it was a set-up,” he said.
Moe tweeted about the shoot just after it took place. He seemed pleased with the “awesome day” on set:
Also notice, Moe’s civil complaint gets the shoot date wrong. Hmmm…
Could it be that Moe shot for DogFart again in July after being emotionally distressed, ambushed, insulted and betrayed in June? Hmmm…
The complaint states, “McKnight alleges on information and belief that [Watson] conspired with DFI to dupe McKnight into performing sex acts with [Conner], knowing that [Conner] planned to use the racist slur during the final scene. [Watson] and DFI defrauded McKnight for the purpose of creating and selling racist content to its racist customers.”
Is Moe’s lawyer claiming that enjoying race play means, per se, that one is racist? It’s a scenario; one can enjoy a portrayal of a power dynamic with or without subscribing to the specifics of its underlying theme. I own a copy of Pasolini’s vulgar “Salo: 120 Days of Sodom”. I appreciate the quality of the filmmaking, but that doesn’t make me one of the fascist sadists portrayed in the picture. Pasolini, who intended to make a point about fascism, was a gay communist; appreciating his cinematic skill doesn’t make me gay or a communist either.
Furthermore, it’s a bit of a leap to say that a portrayal of racism equals racism. We can call this the “Mississippi Burning” rule.
Also, Moe’s attorney is using the wrong verb, above. Ryan Conner didn’t “plan” to use the N-word; she was directed and paid to do so as a performer. It’s another important distinction being swept under the rug.
“[Watson] and DFI defrauded McKnight for the purpose of creating and selling racist content to its racist customers,” the lawsuit states.
McKnight is now suing for fraud, negligence and failure to prevent racial harassment.
He says [Watson] and the production company’s owner . . . initially promised to “edit out” the racial slurs but never did. The defendants published and began selling the film in December, according to the court filing.
. . .
McKnight is seeking damages for lost wages, emotional distress and embarrassment. He says the defendants knowingly created a “work environment” that was “hostile and racially abusive.”
“The use of the N-word in the workplace is extraordinarily harmful to African American workers. It’s a violent, abusive word that embodies the pure evil of racism. It has no place in our society,” McKnight’s lawyer Dan Gilleon told The News. “Moe is going high by filing a lawsuit instead of acting in kind to this egregious act of racism.”
Ummm, no. This isn’t the casual use of a racial epithet “in the workplace”, despite what Johnson’s idiot attorney says. Play acting, in this case race play, is not for everyone. But it is and MUST BE acceptable for consenting adults to agree to speak any dialogue as long as the parties consent. Here, race play was the job.
In the Leigh Raven case, African American performer Rico Strong who had been hired to utter derogatory statements about whites, defended himself by citing the example of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Django Unchained. Should viewers of Quentin Tarantino’s film truly believe that Mr. DiCaprio is actually a sadistic racist because portrayed one convincingly?
Moreover, can we honestly say that banning the N-word — censoring speech — would make the world better when it would forbid us portraying, for instance, the evils of racism?
Moe the Monster, you may recall, got into a bizarre war of words with Adult DVD Talk reviewer ‘Astro Knight’ last fall after the latter made what Moe considered a disparaging remark about his pop shot in a review of ‘Interracial Nation’.
That exchange was just one of many bizarre Twitter ramblings from Johnson.
Thursday, Moe toldAVN he left for a three-month trip to Europe the same week of the scene in question.
“It didn’t really hit me as much until I was on the plane. I felt they really violated me. Even when I was in Europe it had me feeling a certain way. There are similarities in this type of behavior even off camera that people think is acceptable when it’s not.”
Similarities? And to what “type of behavior” exactly? Once again: porn is not real life. Fiction is not real life. Acting is not real life. No one walked up to Moe the Monster and called him an N-word in real life, it was within the context of a scene, a performance. I look forward to hearing the other side of this story.