Will AVN’s Elimination of ‘Ethnic’ Categories Hurt Performers of Color?

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear,

simple, and wrong.

~ H.L. Mencken

From AVN’s homepage today: AVN goes full-woke in the wake of an embarrassing George Floyd post.

How will this move affect producers and performers?

Will AVN's Elimination of 'Ethnic' Categories Hurt Performers of Color? Will AVN's Elimination of 'Ethnic' Categories Hurt Performers of Color? Will AVN's Elimination of 'Ethnic' Categories Hurt Performers of Color?

Regardless of one’s personal feelings about the (extremely popular) interracial/IR niche in porn, a strong argument can be made that the elimination of all “ethnic” categories will ultimately harm non-white performers.

Compare, if you will, the follower counts and PornHub rankings of the biggest stars in adult.

Will performers of color (who, with a few notable exceptions, are generally less popular than their white counterparts) be able to compete head-to-head with Riley Reid or Lana Rhoades or Angela White at awards time?

AVN never segregated its sex scene or performer categories in the first place. This move simply removes other awards categories, for ethnic niche productions. 

Fewer awards categories means fewer opportunities to win; it’s as simple as that.


Are the top black male performers outraged and appalled by IR brands such as Blacked?

Ask Prince Yahshua, a multi-award winning performer and director (and none of them in any of AVN’s “ethnic” categories). . .

Did Prince not get a vote on this?

And, is this not an erasure of ethnic identity? Are black or brown porn stars not black or brown porn stars anymore? Are they now forbidden to be black or brown, but merely another adult performer?

Some may choose to see racial categories as systemic oppression, but ALL categories, at their heart, represent a way to sort data. If a customer is browsing a popular porn site, sorting by category makes it easy for them find a redhead, or a teen, or a black performer, or a MILF, or a trans performer.

When a new performer of color enters the industry, and his or her first scenes are released, how are customers supposed to find them absent categorization? By scanning through hundreds of new releases in hopes of spotting what they are looking for? Performers of color are a minority in adult, and the removal of categories will unquestionably lead to them getting lost in the shuffle.

But this is the road Mr. Rios is leading us down.

How will standards that intentionally avoid the mention of race affect the news coverage, or other conversation about, mixed-race relationships? Do racial, and related cultural, identities no longer matter? Are we no longer permitted to mention and discuss race, even in a factual way? Are we just tearing pages out of the dictionary now? Holy 1984, Batman!

Also, how does this edict not represent a shaming or stigmatizing of individuals’ private fantasies? From now on, if people want to see race play will they be shamed as a bad person and an enemy of justice and social progress? Plenty of ethnic minorities enjoy (and create) “interracial” content; are they bad people now, too? Who is the arbiter of individuals’ sexual tastes and kinks?

Who the hell made Tony Rios pope?

This is the problem with such “simple solutions” to complex issues.

Tony Rios

I also ask, how far is Tony Rios willing to push this? Will he next have AVN abandon the line between straight/gay/bi/trans porn in order to fight stigma?

Moreover, can these changes effectively be made by decree?



As for what impact this move by Mr. Rios will have — there’s an old saying: shit rolls downhill.

The most affected, and hardest hit by the anti-ethnic dictate, will be the smaller producers (both black and white) . . . and the performers of color they usually employ. This means fewer jobs for racial minority performers, and less promotion for minority-run companies at a time when the industry is already reeling from the months-long coronavirus pandemic shutdown.

Mr. Rios may call AVN the “voice of the industry” but, in reality, there are two bosses in adult business, and two only:

Visa and Mastercard.

And despite his blithe dismissal of “the market,” if Mr. Rios thinks otherwise he is kidding himself.


UPDATE: From histrionic trans performer and propagandist River Enza (see coverage here) — right on schedule. . .

575450cookie-checkWill AVN’s Elimination of ‘Ethnic’ Categories Hurt Performers of Color?

Will AVN’s Elimination of ‘Ethnic’ Categories Hurt Performers of Color?

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23 Responses

  1. I don’t see Blacked or Blacks On Blonds going out of business any time soon.

  2. This was a stupid overreaction that in the end will only hurt those they are trying to help. They fucked up, got called out, and overreached trying to compensate for their original fuck up. If they want a lesson in how to handle a fuck up they should check out Inked Angels letter. That was a well written we fucked up we are sorry letter.

  3. I understand that the AVN magazine and website are property of Tony Rios and he will do as he may. However, I agree with Jingleheimer and XXXReporter that it is unnecessary and probably to minorities disadvantage to eliminate IR, “ethnic” and other minority categories from their journalistic properties. I expect that Tony will have to back down from this when he loses precious subscribers and advertisers from it (I have heard that he has lost many subscribers and some advertisers anyway). I don’t know how you would even report effectively without the use of “ethnic” terms. I did not see the article in question so I cannot comment on it. Having been an editor myself (although not in the adult industry) I would never have taken the move that Tony did yesterday. Lastly, how do you run an adult industry awards show without the terms “IR”, “Asian” and the like? I don’t think that would work at all.

    BTW, we miss you, Jingleheimer. Please submit another article very soon.

  4. Its is absolutely absurd to think that the elimination of ETHNIC and INTERRACIAL distinctions of categories will have any effect upon whether or not people of color are recognized at AVN. especially since there are no different RACES of people its was always an insult to performers of color to be categorized specifically into those categories and NOT considered for categories across the board. This article is yet another example of how non people of color are out of touch with reality
    By the way The Urban X Awards set the Standard for the elimination of categorizations by ethnicity and dropped IR designations long long ago.

  5. First of all, the Urban X awards are a farce. Look at who’s been inducted into its hall of fame, for instance.

    And of course there’s no ethnic category at an ethnic-themed awards show. Duh.

    Second, AVN never segregated its sex scene or performer categories in the first place. Performers of color have ALWAYS been considered in all “categories across the board.”

    Please tell us how fewer awards categories means greater opportunities for minority performers to win.

  6. xxxReporter your post illustrates your ignorance dumbass Its not an ETHNIC AWARDS SHOW
    why you don’t you post an intelligent response and not just a post to illustrate you severe lack of knowledge.. It demonstrates how out of touch people are in the business. You had a perfect opportunity to add to the thread but you chose to be a troll. Having myself been in the business over 20 years and participating in the majority of the major awards shows as well as a receiving my share of them

    YOU tell me how it hinders performers by eliminated categories that SEGEREGATE

    Are you a person of color? if not you have no clue what the experience is so STFU and learn.
    I will not argue with you over dumb shit. Do not make unfounded claims about URBAN X AWARDS

  7. Wait a minute … I don’t like to get into other people’s posts because we kind of have a rule that says we can’t however I can’t stop myself. I want to quote from a press release from your people Alexander DeVoe — “The Adult community came to celebrate the achievements of ethnic performers, agents, directors, producers and companies,” so now you are saying it’s not an ethnic award show? But you know for years you said that it was, and include that exact wording in related press releases.

  8. Wait, here is a quote from your previous website (from archive.org) – The Urban X Awards was created to honor all producers, directors, talent, agencies and companies who have worked hard throughout the year to produce the best ethnic adult content for you to enjoy.

    So again, you say that your award show is an ethnic award show in press releases dating back years and on your own website. Why are you now calling the guy who pointed that out a liar? I’m confused.

  9. kelli
    What part of Its not an Ethic Awards Show do you not understand?

    As the EP of the show

    That is what I stated , correct so
    To tell me what the show IS and what it is defined AS when I communicated what it is
    Means you are misinformed

    So there is no confusion THE URBAN X AWARDS IS NOT AN ETHNIC AWARDS SHOW it is an ALL INCLUSIVE SHOW which is the only show it its kind in the Adult Entertainment Biz

    As a matter of fact other long established shows have adapted some of our formats
    in an attempt to

  10. Kelli
    appear more PROGRESSIVE. I don’t need an AH HA post from you from an old press release. I have been in adult for over 20 years and have worked tirelessly to create and environment where all people can feel like the are capable of participating in and
    Be celebrated for their achievements.
    I have participated in many discussions with AVN
    With its previous owners and editors I am a person who is involved in the politics of adult

    So i hope this response clears up any confusion you may have.

    And by the way “ETHNIC” does not mean “BLACK”

    In its original form Urban X Awards was never a BLACK AWARDS SHOW

    it was created to honor and celebrate those individuals who had historically been repeatedly overlooked at AVN and other shows


  11. I find it amusing that you come here and start flinging insults, while repeating your lies and distortions.

    My post makes it clear that AVN has removed ETHNIC categories. My post discussed how it will harm PERFORMERS OF COLOR.

    I NEVER SAID your fake UrbanX awards was a black awards show. Here’s what I wrote:

    “And of course there’s no ethnic category at an ethnic-themed awards show. Duh.”

    You’re the dumbass, DeVoe. Go fuck yourself.

    Kelli, you are 100% correct on this.

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