Boyce Watkins’ awful choice of words and Montana Fishburne in her own


I usually find Boyce Watkins’ commentary at Black Voices, helpful and informative. While I don’t always agree with him, his recent piece on Montana Fishburne has crossed the line.

I’ve often wondered what I would do had my daughter called me up to tell me that she’s chosen to take the Montana Fishburne route to fame and fortune. Well, after I finished choking her, I would then help her to realize that the porn industry is a very dirty game, filled with malicious and deceptive people.

While  his latter point about the possible pitfalls of the porn industry is understandable, condoning violence against women–even in a hypothetical situation against your own daughter–is totally wrong. It’s also interesting that while Watkins exposes Brian Pumper for allegedly selling and distributing a video without Montana’s consent, he directs no animus towards Pumper. He also doesn’t call out Laurence Fishburne for, say, dropping the ball as an acting mentor to his own daughter. The only hint of aggression shows up against the woman in this, and that just screams shady.

Unfortunately, Watkins is just one of many who have passed  judgment  about Montana Fishburne. And last week, she came out with her own response. I encourage all who have been following Montana’s story to check out her letter over at Vibe’s website .

I was the one who reached out to Vivid. Brian Pumper had nothing to do with getting me started. I did my first video with him, but that’s it. I chose Vivid because they are the best in the business and I wanted to go to the top seller. And they have released other movies with celebrity girls like Kendra, Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian. So, I wanted to go somewhere I knew I would be safe. People have it wrong. Doing porn is not about me becoming famous…it’s about becoming successful. Porn just happens to be the industry I was most interested in, so for critics to say I’m going about it the wrong way they are missing the point. I am making a buzz in the porn industry and in the mainstream, too. It’s leading me to more opportunities, so people can’t say that I’m not going to get anywhere.

You can come from a privileged family and still love sex. People who are privileged still watch porn; people who are privileged still have fantasies. We don’t all live by the standards of other people.

Her letter goes on to mention various things about the role of race, class and gender in sexuality, some of which I virulently disagree with. But one thing that she asserts in no uncertain terms is that doing pornography was her choice. And, yes, sexual consent is fraught with many considerations, namely the overall unequal status of women worldwide. That withstanding, if reproductive justice means that a woman should be able to decide the circumstances under which she will carry a pregnancy to term, she should also be able to decide the circumstances under which she will have sex. Montana Fishburne has made her choice.

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