Former porn star Race Cooper reports on structural racism in the gay porn world – and explains why he hates terms like “BBC” and is fed up with black men being reduced to one body part instead of being perceived as people with personality and soul.

The assassination of African-American George Floyd by white police officers and the ongoing protests cast a bright light on systemic racism in our society and led to an unprecedented hunt for racist structures in every area of our lives. The gay dating app Grindr also finally eliminated the ethnic filter that had long been criticized as racist (we reported). Fortunately, the porn industry does not seem to have been spared the social upheaval either.

Less money, less praise, less recognition

 

Race Cooper began his porn career in 2009 as a casting director for porn giant Raging Stallion, later he was also in front of the camera. Before that he had already worked for years for the film and television industry. Structures that were considered racist on television – in the porn world they were commonplace, says Cooper.

The ex-porn star denounces racism as a daily constant in the business – both his work ethic and his intelligence were constantly questioned. In addition, the actors were asked to write down racial categories with whom they would not like to work on the shoot. And: the characters of black men in porn were often stereotypical “thug” roles, which Cooper branded as offensive and racist prejudices.

In addition, a major accusation of the former porn actor: The salary differences. He always earned less than the white actors. The African-American tells that even a white man who had never shot a porn scene before got 200 dollars more than the more experienced Cooper from the very beginning. The message behind this is clear to Cooper: “Black people are worth less”.

He also said he received much less praise, recognition and confirmation than his colleagues. Today, Cooper believes: He was just the “quota black” who should certify the studio’s diversity. When the studio finally merged with Falcon Studios, only one employee was fired: Cooper, the only black employee.

The racism behind “Big Black Cocks”…

But Race Cooper not only holds a mirror up to the production company, but also to all porn fans. He speaks of a fetishisation of blacks in the gay porn industry – this is a long-lasting and very humiliating problem. What does this mean exactly? The ex-actor explains the subtle difference to other fetishes:

“Fetishes like fisting or the use of a sex swing have nothing to do with race or color. Anyone can participate in it. But if your fetish is some kind of interchangeable ‘black guy’, you take out the human component and just treat them as objects because of their skin colour”.

If you make an ethnicity or a human being a fetish object based on a trait, the human becomes just that: an object. You dehumanize that person into a thing, Cooper says. And black men in the porn industry would often be reduced to nothing more than a certain body part anyway. Hand on heart: Who was aware of how discriminatory the term “Big Black Cocks” actually is?

“A person with a soul is reduced to a black dildo like the one you buy and own – and you hide it under your bed until you are horny and lonely”.

Cooper clarifies: “This leaves blacks with the impression that they only have value in the sexual satisfaction they can offer white people.

Falcon CEO promises progress

Race Cooper wishes for the future that gay porn studios break off relationships with “racist” stars. Many studios have not done this despite great promises of diversity in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. The studios should also clearly admit that white men – sometimes even heterosexuals – are preferred to gay blacks. Diversity casting directors could help here and actively tackle the problem and subsequently end it.

“However, as a gay community that really wants to be anti-racist and support all our brothers, sisters and cousins, we need to clean up. While Black Lives Matter focuses on police brutality, it is also necessary to address how we see and treat others sexually and how we deal with them”.

Tim Valentini, the new CEO of Cooper’s former studio, made it clear in a statement to the queer news portal Pink News that he is grateful for Cooper’s honesty. But all this had happened before he joined Falcon/Naked Sword – there had never been any questions about the models’ racial preferences under him and they had long since taken steps to make the model pool more diverse.

Valentini admits, however, that both Falcon and the entire industry still have a long way to go. His studio wants to be part of the effort to end racism in gay porn. He promises:

“While we cannot change the past, we acknowledge it and work for a better future. My team and I are here and listening, and we pledge to take action and continue to work towards equality in our industry and in the world”.

 

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credits

  • Cooper (1): Instagram

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