Adult film performer Race Cooper, known for his work with Raging Stallion Studios, has voiced his experience of racism in the industry. In a new interview with PinkNews, the performer alleges the studio paid him less for being black.
Cooper began his career with Raging Stallion in 2010, and claims that the studio only offered him a contract to “appear less racist.”
“In 2010 I became the only full-time black person who worked as an employee,” he says, “and was the only Black exclusive contract on their roster. There was systemic racism at the company. The question of, ‘Is there anyone that you wouldn’t like to work with?’ was asked of all models and tracked with the encouragement from producers and directors to be ‘honest’ and ‘specific’.”
Cooper alleges that the studio allowed models to filter out potential co-stars by race, something that would be called out as racism within any other industry.
He also claims he made less than his counterparts of other races. “Even fetish scenes that I did, which paid slightly more per shoot, still paid less than any white exclusive,” he says. “I was made to feel like I was not worthy of praise, validation, and definitely less valuable than all of the white actors.”
Cooper eventually lost his job with Raging Stallion when the studio merged with Falcon Studios. At the time, he was the only African-American employee with Raging Stallion, and the only employee laid off.
For Cooper, these incidents sent a profound message: that black men are fetishized within the industry, and worth less than their counterparts of other races. “When you fetishize a person, you are dehumanizing that person into a thing,” he says. “Fetishes like fist play or sling play have nothing to do with race or skin color. Anyone can participate. But when your fetish is any interchangeable ‘Black guy’, you are taking the human component out of it, and just treating them as objects based on their skin color.”
“Fetishisation diminishes the person of colour, uses them for only personal sexual gratification, and discards them when done,” he continues. “That impact stays with Black people who feel their worth is only in the sexual gratification they can provide to white people.”
Ultimately, Cooper pleads for the LGBTQ community to stand up to racism in all areas of life–including the bedroom.
“As a gay community that wants to truly be anti-racist, and support all of our brothers, sisters and cousins, we have to clean house. While Black Lives Matter focuses on police brutality, how we view and treat others sexually and engage with them, must also be addressed. It’s not enough to only care about Black people in public, but still reduce them to objects we hide under our bed at home. We can’t claim empathy when Black people are killed in the streets, considering we currently treat them differently in the sheets.”
“Racism takes many forms, and our thoughts on racism and sex need to change.”