LOS ANGELES—Naturally, until it appears on HuffPo, it didn't happen, but it takes special hubris to come off like an authority on something when in fact you are hopelessly late to the party. Case in point, today's article, There Are Other Porn Stars On College Campuses, You Just Don't Know About Them, which presumes to inform the world that, no, Duke porn star Belle Knox is not the only performer seeking a college education, with the added implied insult to HuffPo readers that they did not already know that!
But porn stars have been going to college for a very long time, something AVN has been writing about probably for as long as the company has been in existence. We have certainly mentioned the fact that one of HuffPo's "secretly" educated porn stars, Tasha Reign, who, along with performer and cosmetology student Spencer Scott, was interviewed for the piece, currently attends UCLA. This brief mention in February, for instance, refers to her as "one of UCLA’s most high-profile students."
Tasha's "secret," by the way, was also "revealed" by the LA Weekly in 2012, in a piece subtly titled, "Porn Star Tasha Reign's Secret Life as a UCLA Student." So much for Angelinos not knowing about her secret!
And as famous as the mainstream media wants to make Belle Knox, we here would never list her fame as a college-attending porn star anywhere near that of Joanna Angel, whose personal story of founding BurningAngel.com in her Rutgers University dorm room about 12 years ago has been told many times on avn.com and was also the subject of a BusinessInsider.com profile last year.
And then there is Lorelei Lee, a driven individual by anyone's standards, who finally earned her masters in fine art from NYU last year while continuing to perform in porn and finding the time to co-author the IFC Films release, About Cherry. As impressive as the very young Belle Knox may be, she is merely walking in Lee's estimable footsteps!
We would also be remiss in not mentioning one of the industry's most respected actor/director/producers, Lexington Steele, who, as his Wikipedia page notes, "graduated from Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences with a double degree in History and African-American studies in 1993."
And is it even necessary to mention porn's 30-years-and-still-fucking-after-all-these-years legend, Nina Hartley, who earned her nursing degree before many AVN readers were even born, much less old enough to know what sex was. Hell, Hartley was probably getting her degree around the same time Arianna Huffington was marrying Republican Congressman Michael Huffington, who disclosed that he was bisexual after their divorce in 1997.
Not to be snarky or anything, but the point is that the mainstream media does a disservice to the history of adult entertainment when it applies its all-too-common myopia to porn, and as a result continues to perpetuate stereotypes about the industry and the people in it for their own self-aggrandizement. HuffPo is a relative newcomer, of course, and as such it can pretend to be unaware of some things because it wasn't around to experience them. The only problem is that assuming, through ignorance, that something never happened doesn't mean it did not happen, and that goes for the many adult performers down through the years—too many to mention here!—who led complicated lives that often included the pursuit of higher education.
Isn't that right, Dr. Axel Braun?