Articles - January 2009:
Chi Chi's Take
Dec 29, 2008 | By: Gio
Chi Chi LaRue
Channel 1 Releasing

What does diversity in porn mean to you? Diversity is kind of a self-explanatory term.  But, in porn, it means to use more ethnic guys and to not just pigeonhole yourself into one type of model.  I believe that being diverse in my productions has been my strong attribute to this business.  The companies that I own show a lot of diversity, because we use Black guys, Asian guys, Latin guys, bears, twinks, jocks and muscle guys.  So, our diversity is across the board, and when you mix it up a little… it makes it a lot more exciting.

Some would say that gay porn websites are embracing diversity more than the major studios.  What are your thoughts on this matter? What I find at Live and Raw is that there are a lot of guys that will come and do a live show because it is a onetime thing and is not being released on DVD.  So, we tend to get a lot more diversity on Live and Raw because of the fact that they will not be seen on a DVD.  I do not know if that’s the reason for more diversity or not.  However, when I look at all the various websites out there I do not necessarily see a lot of diversity.  What I see are straight, white, jock and muscular guys on most of these websites and not much diversity.  But, if diversity is coming to these websites, I think it is great because I strongly believe in it.

Do you feel that the industry leaders influence the stereotypes put forth in many ethnically diverse films being produced? Yeah, I do.  I just finished my film “Black Balled 6”.  After I finish and release a film like that, I am inundated with model applications from black guys because they see that we produced a film like that and they want to be part of it.  I think it is great when that happens.  I wish we could get more Asian guys to apply, but it is very hard to find Asian guys who want to do porn for some reason.  Brandon Lee (page 16) is probably the biggest Asian porn star that has ever been and he broke the Asian stereotypes all around. He has a big dick and is also a top.  You usually do not see that with Asian guys.  But, Brandon Lee did lose his butt cherry to Shane Rollins in “Wicked”.  I get emails all the time from people asking to see more black, Asian and Latin guys, and I always respond with  “do you know any? Send them my way and I may use them”. With a movie like “Black Balled 6”… sure that series is a proven seller, but I really do not focus too much on just making a Black Film, Asian Film or Latin Film – I put guys in my movies.  Just because there is a black guy in one of my movies, it is not an interracial movie to me.  I just find it strange that the term interracial is used to describe every movie that has people of different races in it.

Speaking of Black Balled 6; what is it about a black gangbang film that makes it such a big seller for you? It is all the quivering white bottoms out there that want to be manhandled by some big delicious black guys!  When I was young, and I mean this in a non-racist way, I used to love and get titillated and excited over movies like “Drum”.  It was so incredibly sexy and hot watching that film, and it helped fuel my passion for all types of men.  

Being in the industry for the past 21 years, what changes have you seen with regard to studios embracing more diversity within their productions? Well there is definitely more diversity today than when I started.  But, I still think there could be a lot more diversity out there.  Back when I got in the business, it was the Matt Sterling and William Higgins days and you just did not see much use of men of color and certainly never saw Asian men and even the use of Latin men was minimal back then.  The use of Latin men has certainly been the most visible change since then, but we can certainly up the ante in the other areas though.  That is why it is really great to see companies like Pit Bull and performers like Tiger Tyson rise up and become successful.

There are companies producing porn that feature men of color in the “Thug” role.  Do you think that is perpetuating stereotypes? Not really because there are people out there that want to see that type of porn. There are all different types of models that have different personalities.  For example; Eddie Diaz and Diesel Washington have very distinct and different mannerisms and they approach their characters differently.  I like it all to be honest, and there is nothing wrong in my book when it comes to how a model wants to act.  If they want to be thuggish and have tattoos and act all gangster on film, I find it very hot.

Who are some of your favorite men of color that you have worked with in your 21 years in the industry? Of course Eddie Diaz is great. Matthew Rush has probably had the most success as a cross over model.  Aaron Ridge (page 16) is fabulous and has been doing movies for me for a while, and he is just a great performer.  You know what is strange though?  In this day and age, you still have to ask a model if he is willing to work with someone who is Black, Asian or Latino.  It is odd because you never ask anyone if they have a problem working with a white guy.  I do not think you should even have to ask that question and when I am casting a movie, I really do not look at the models race.  Rather, I look at their faces, bodies, noses, facial hair, the way they look in a tank-top or their shaved head and how they will fit into the film.

Have you ever been surprised by a model refusing to do a scene with someone because of their race? It has happened a lot to be honest.  I am not going to give names, but recently I had a model that worked for me doing a scene with someone of a different race and later on I found out that he was traumatized by the experience.  He apparently really did not want to do a scene with the other model, but he never spoke up about it. I had no idea that he had a problem.  Of course, I would never put a model in a situation that he was not comfortable with.  It is the same as if someone did a water sports scene and then later on he was freaked out about it.  If a model is not comfortable doing something or someone on camera, I will not make them do it.

What advice would you give to men of color wanting to break into the adult industry? I would say the same thing to them that I say to everyone.  Make sure you want to do it, and think about it in the long term.  Do not rely on it as your main source of income because it will not be.  Especially in these times: Companies are closing and/or downsizing and not making as many DVD’s as they used to.  The industry is getting smaller and much more selective these days.  For a while, there was a time when everyone could get a job in this business. But, the industry is becoming pickier, and there are not as many roles as there used to be.

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