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James Deen 'porn lecture' gets snow job in Pasadena

Actor James Deen arrives at the GQ Men of the Year Party at Chateau Marmont on November 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Actor James Deen arrives at the GQ Men of the Year Party at Chateau Marmont on November 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Pasadena City College officials were not excited by a porn lecture on campus this Wednesday led by James Deen, a former PCC student and popular adult film star.

Deen (the nice, Jewish, boy-next-door of porn) was invited to speak by  Hugo Schwyzer , a humanities professor who teaches a course called "Navigating Pornography" — a class that, interestingly, the administration claims in a press release doesn't exist .

"PCC does not have any course titled 'Navigating Pornography,'" according to Dr. Robert Bell, Assistant superintendent of Academic and Student Affairs.

Schwyzer says school officials ordered him on Tuesday to close off the session to the public, and to move the presentation from the large Campus Center to a small classroom.

The attempt to limit attention drew attention, and Deen — described in a 2011 GOOD profile as "an average 25-year-old guy from Pasadena...5'8" and 150 pounds...wavy brown hair, bright blue eyes...penis is 9 inches long" — appeared to be mystified but pleased by the commotion.

Professor Schwyzer wrote on  his website  that despite receiving no direct threats of protest and few critical calls, he was told to restrict lecture attendance to just students in his class, or face a possible mob of protestors.

Gail Cooper, the college’s legal adviser, told me that she had received word that there might be up to “100 protestors ready to march” on the event, and that the college had decided they lacked the resources to prevent disruption.

The AP reported that Schwyzer did not secure proper permits for the event, according to a school official. Schwyzer says he did, and posted via Flickr a photo of what he claims is the appropriate permit.

As has been common practice over my 20 years at Pasadena City College, professors often invite the public-at-large to attend guest lectures by prominent public figures...I pulled a valid activity permit with the Associated Students (the exact same permit I acquired for speakers like [Irv]Rubin and [Sheila James] Kuehl, etc), the college legal counsel and vice-president for academic affairs overrode that authorization.

The professor takes issue with the school's version of the story as told by a choicely-worded press release issued late Tuesday. PCC Instructor Agrees To Cancel Public Event And Move Guest Speaker To The Classroom, is not accurate, Schwyzer emphasizes on his blog.

I want to make clear that there were no negotiations; I was simply told that the public event was off. This was a decision unilaterally imposed rather than negotiated. I respect that the college gets to make decisions based on student and public safety, but I contest the implication that James Deen’s appearance posed a potential threat...

Deen, who Schwyzer says is "widely recognized as one of the college’s most famous alumni," was not the first adult film actor to speak on campus. About the nature of the PCC lecture, Deen told LAist:

Every time I’ve done anything like this it all equates to the same thing - it’s feminism and porn, which is really sexual equality and human sexuality beyond the basic mechanics of sex...This [talk] is mainly about pornography and how can it be used to either hurt or help.

The L.A. Times reports that the performer — who recently stuck a toe into mainstream cinema with a co-starring role aside Lindsay Lohan in the upcoming Bret Easton Ellis-penned picture,"The Canyons" — felt somewhat "persecuted" and singled out" by the school.

He told the Pasadena Sun, "No one is being forced to be there...This is an opportunity for people who want to ask questions and talk openly about sexuality.”

SO, HOW DID THE LECTURE GO? 

According to Deen's Twitter account, all they did was talk.

(Wink)

 

 
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