James Deen Addresses the Havoc Wreaked by his Pasadena City College Appearance
Last week, porn star James Deen headed over to his alma mater, Pasadena City College, to be a guest lecturer in a class called "Navigating Pornography." Before his appearance, we talked to Deen about the need to educate students about healthy sexuality and provide a forum for them to ask questions and share ideas.
But once word got out that he'd be showing up at the university, the public began to get its panties in a wad, and the class -- which had originally been open to one and to all -- was closed to the public. Deen hit Twitter to alert his followers of the havoc he was inadvertently wreaking:
Well, now the class is over, and no one died, and indeed, it appears as though no minds were permanently ruined by the adult film actor showing up. (Besides, youth is resilient.) Anyway, Deen talked to us following the class about what went down before, during and after his talk with students, and whether he'd do it again.
LAist: They wound up closing your class to the public -- how do you feel about that?
James Deen: I was a little taken back and confused. I heard rumors it was due to improper permits, but I also heard it was from the threats of "hundreds of protesters." The protester reason makes little sense to me as college is about the free expression of ideas. Everyone should have the right to their own opinion and be able to safely express it. Freedom of speech is amazing and protecting our rights to this First Amendment is very important to me. However, it isn't about protecting your rights to say and express yourself how you want, it is about protecting the rights of the person who is saying or expressing the most offensive thing to you. Everyone should be able to have their opinions respected whether you agree with them or not.
What topics did you discuss?
We discussed human sexuality. This spanned over many different questions and specifics, but all in all, we spoke for a hour regarding advancement to our human sexuality.
How did the students react to you being there?
Everyone I met seemed very nice and excited. I felt very welcomed.
What was the most surprising question or comment that you got?
I was not really surprised by any. People consistently are interested in the same few things. When they try to shock for the sake of shock value is when I get bored.
What do you think about the fact that your presence caused such an uproar on campus and in the media?
I am pretty impressed and flattered that I can still cause such an uproar in Pasadena.
Would you do it again?
I would absolutely love to come do it again at PCC or any school as long as every participant wanted to be there and listen to the subject matter. I would never want to forcefully subject anyone to listen or view anything they did not have the desire to be a part of.