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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Feminist Constance Penley: Witness for the defense of the "Woody Allen of Porn"

The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, wrote, in a dissenting opinion in the Roth case regarding pornography/censorship:
"I would place the responsibility and the right to weed worthless and offensive communications from the public airways where it belongs and where, until today, it resided: in a public free to choose those communications worthy of its attention from a marketplace unsullied by the censor's hand."
From ReasonTV:

Constance Penley is a professor of Film and Media Studies at University of California at Santa Barbara and co-director of the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television, and New Media. Penley specializes in film history and theory, feminist theory, and cultural studies. She is especially well-known on campus for her controversial classes on pornography, where she analyzes the ways in which blue movies play with moral and social taboos.

Penley was slated to be an expert witness in the obscenity trial of pornographer John Stagliano, who faces up to 32 years in jail and $7 million in fines for distributing three adult movies. The judge in Stagliano's case disallowed Penley ..from testifying for the defense.

Reason.tv's Hawk Jensen sat down with Penley to discuss the history of pornography, obscenity laws, and the case against John Stagliano, whom Penley has called "the Woody Allen of porn."

More from reason.com on this case here

UPDATE: All charges were dismissed against John "Buttman" Stagliano for lack of evidence


Harry Abrams said...

OK, so what exactly has he been charged with? Links to his charge sheet?
The video above seems to indicate that he's been charged for helping produce "disgusting" and kinky videos. But I didn't see any kind of reference to snuff films or violent films or sex involving or depicting children or combining horrendous humiliation and dehumanization with sex, which to me are the usual red lines to cross.

Maybe he's being charged for political reasons?

Where are all the free speech activists now?

Harry Abrams said...

OK found something: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202463445383&Porn_Producer_Fighting_Rare_Obscenity_Case

Looks like the US gov't is after him for
movies "... having "numerous scenes of urination, use of enemas and violent bondage. In a number of scenes, participants ingested urine and excretion from the enemas..."

I don't know what to suggest here. I'm not about to go looking for stuff like that to look at, and it seems to be a notch more intense than the usual offerings on redtube or youporn, but even if it's over the line a bit..if between consenting adults he shouldn't be facing anything like life in prison. That doesn't make sense.