HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Evil Angel/Evil Empire founder John Stagliano, who is currently facing a federal obscenity prosecution for sending two DVDs over state lines and airing a movie trailer on the company's website, took a humorous approach to his keynote address Saturday during Internext Summer 2008.
"When I was sitting in a courtroom in Washington, D.C., and they were reading off the charges and said ‘U.S. vs. John Stagliano,' I thought, ‘Wow, that sounds good! Hey ma, I made it!'"
Stagliano took the time during his speech to touch on the five topics he said his attorneys don't want him to talk about in public:
"They're all perverts in Washington, D.C., anyway," he said of the first of the five topics. "Who are they to say I'm offending community standards when they have none to begin with?"
He talked of politicians being outed for sexual misconduct in several instances - from having affairs with employees to attempting to solicit sex in men's bathrooms - and that he found it hypocritical that these were the people leading the charge against pornographers.
Others statements his lawyers advised him against making, he said, were "Max Hardcore is the greatest performance artist ever," "The asshole is the center of the universe," "We come from another planet and we want to capture and rape your women" and "My company really is the Evil Empire on a mission from Satan."
But there were some serious tones to the address as well, especially when he discussed the slippery slope of federal obscenity prosecutions. While the prosecutions currently tend to center on more extreme content, such as in the case of Hardcore, they will continue to the point where mainstream pornographic producers could be the next target, Stagliano warned.
"There's always the potential for any jury to be disgusted by what you produce and convict based on their gut, that disgust," he said.
It was that gut reaction, he said, that he believes led jurors to convict Max Hardcore on federal obscenity charges, though he noted that Hardcore's content is more extreme than his. He said despite the defense proving that the distribution company for Hardcore mailed the movies without his knowledge and against his wishes, the jury members chose to convict on the content. He said he doubts his case will have the same outcome, however, since his content is more "middle of the road than Max's."
In his own case, Stagliano said, he believes he is being punished for the sin of "wanting to get off better and harder than ever before, and producing the content to make that happen." Known for the Buttman series of movies and the Fashionistas show in Las Vegas, as well as the movies of the same title, Stagliano is expected to appear in court again for his federal obscenity case on Nov. 25.