The ‘Oscars for porn’ quietly cancels its first consent panel


The Adult Video News Awards, widely considered the “Oscars of the adult entertainment industry,” announced late last year that it would be hosting its first-ever panel on consent at the popular expo that leads up to the main event in Las Vegas every year. The panel’s participants would include Stoya, the adult film actress and ex-girlfriend of James Deen who accused the actor of rape in November.

Here’s how the panel was billed on AVN’s website:

Consent Degrees: Yes, No and Everything in Between

Adult performers of all gender orientations operate in a world where they must create the illusion of ecstasy even though sometimes they may not always be having a good time. We’ll bring together a group of experts and industry veterans to discuss how the adult community can work to make sure performers—particularly young newcomers—are comfortable about speaking up if they’re not really down with what’s happening on and off set.

Fusion flew out to Vegas specifically to cover the panel, but when we arrived at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo on Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s ceremony, a spokesperson told us that the event had been cancelled—despite the fact that AVN’s official website still lists the panel as part of its lineup. No explanation was given.

Consent workshop

The consent panel was still being promoted on AVN's website as of Thursday afternoon.

The event could have been a potential watershed moment for the industry, still reeling from accusations that Deen, one of its most popular actors, sexually assaulted Stoya and eight other women. Some of these allegations are purported to have taken place on set, raising the question: What is the role of consent in the adult film world?

Many within the industry (and outside of it) would have welcomed the opportunity to publicly discuss this question, but it seems that discussion will have to wait.

According to a tweet from Stoya’s account last week, she will not be attending the AVN Awards at all this year.

The awards are being co-hosted by adult film actress Joanna Angel, who is also an ex-girlfriend of Deen and spoke out publicly in support of Stoya last year.

Meanwhile, there has been speculation about whether Deen himself will attend at the AVNs, given the industry backlash, although he denies the allegations against him. The actor is nominated for awards including Male Performer of the Year, Best Actor, and Best Director.

Whether or not he will attend, Deen’s Twitter and Instagram accounts suggest that he is indeed in Vegas.

Vegas day 6…. I'm dead, @matt2tee is killin it

A photo posted by James Deen (@therealjamesdeen) on

We will continue to update this story.