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james deen just won some porn oscars, despite rape allegations

We've got a long way to go in standing by survivors.

by i-D Staff
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25 January 2016, 5:15am

James Deen, via Wikimedia Commons

Consider the AVNs and the XBiz awards the Oscars and Golden Globes of the porn world, respectively. For years, James Deen was their golden boy. He collected awards by the handful, but that was before a slew of sexual assault accounts began pouring in late last year. The first woman to share her experience, as you likely already know, was Deen's former partner Stoya. "James Deen held me down and fucked me while I said no, stop, used my safeword. I just can't nod and smile when people bring him up anymore." she tweeted on November 29th. 

After that, nine more women came forward, including fellow porn performers Tori Lux and Joanna Angel. Lily LaBeau and Bonnie Rotten gave Buzzfeed accounts of Deen's deliberate attempts to humiliate them on-set. The hashtag #istandwithstoya took off, and for weeks, the web had a very real dialog about sexual assault in the sex industry.

It seemed as if the world was, by and large, on Stoya's side. Deen had effectively been excommunicated from the porn community, and he was staying quiet on social media. That was until December when he Tweeted "back to porn porn and more porn!!!!!!!!!!!" It turned out there were people in the industry who were more than happy to continue working with an alleged rapist.

That fact was more than apparent during both the AVNs and the XBiz Awards, each of which took place in Las Vegas recently. James received a number of nominations at both ceremonies, despite the lingering testimony against him. 

The XBiz awards have, in the past, had a particularly soft spot for James: he'd won male performer of the year for three years running. Though he was nominated for the same prize this year (among others) he won nothing. But that's probably little consolation to Stoya, who had agreed to host the awards last year, before this debacle. Remarkably, Stoya fulfilled the duty with Deen in the audience. Days before, she tweeted "I wish I could get out of hosting XBiz."

At the AVNs--which Stoya did not attend--James received 33 nominations, and actually won two of them. What this says about the AVNs and the industry at large is up to you, but it's a clear step backwards from the swift action the industry took against Deen originally. Deen continues to deny all claims.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons