PASADENA, Calif.—In a report published on the Pasadena Star News website, it seems that Pasadena City College (PCC) administrators are so worried—actually "terrified," according to PCC Prof. Hugo Schwyzer—about what award-winning adult/mainstream crossover star (and PCC alumnus) James Deen might say to Schwyzer's class, that they've barred anyone but Schwyzer's students from hearing the actor speak.
Schwyzer told Star News reporter Lauren Gold that he got a call from a PCC bigwig at 9 p.m. Monday, apparently in response to a Star News story earlier that day about Deen's speaking engagement—hardly a secret, since Deen sent a press release about it to all of the major adult publications, and likely a lot of mainstream ones as well—before Schwyzer's class titled "Navigating Pornography"—a subject Deen clearly knows more about than most.
Indeed; the topic of Deen's talk, according to Schwyzer, will be his career, and that Deen is interested in "having a dialogue about the present and the future of the porn business."
But while the press release noted that Deen's talk would take place on Wednesday in the Creveling Lounge of the Campus Center building, Schwyzer said the college's attorney forced him to relocate the talk to his own classroom, and to bar anyone but his own students from attending. The reason? "Public safety concerns" over the "hundreds of protesters ready to march" outside the event.
Undoubtedly, the Los Angeles area has its share of anti-porn nuts—AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Michael Weinstein and Pink Cross Foundation's Shelley Lubben come immediately to mind—but in their wildest dreams, they couldn't get more than 10 or 20 picketers to protest Deen's appearance, and while the pro-censorship Parents Television Council is local, it's unlikely they'd take any interest in this event. So the question remains how PCC's attorney got the idea that the college would have to ward off "hundreds of protesters"?
Publicist Adella Curry told AVN's Steve Javors that reporters who had previously been approved to attend the event will still be allowed to do so, but considering Deen's sky-high profile in both the adult industry and Hollywood, it's likely that many more students would like to attend the talk than are part of Schwyzer's class—and they'll still be barred, absent a change in administration policy.
Gold reports that neither PCC President Mark Rocha nor Board of Trustees President John Martin were willing to comment on the debacle for the record, though Martin said that the college would be issuing an official statement later today.
We can't help but wonder, though, whether the "hundreds of protesters" the college's attorney is worried about might not just wind up being PCC students who think the administration's attempted censorship sucks.
Check back with AVN.com later for further developments on this important story.
UPDATE: Jessica Drake tweets that she'll be Prof. Schwyzer's next guest speaker. Wonder how dangerous the administration will think she is?
FURTHER UPDATE: Sure enough, as predicted, not one single protester showed up to picket James Deen's lecture!