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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tre-X vs. Dominic Ford

This past Sunday, I got an email from Dominic Ford in one of my other email accounts that I used when I once signed up to be a member of DominicFord.com. In the email, I was offered 2 free weeks if I chose to return at the end of filling out a survey.

I quit DominicFord.com because it was just like all the others, being void of diversity, and sticking to the "light-complexioned only" color scheme makes him come off as just as racist as all the others. I stated this in an email before this survey, and repeated that fact in the survey. After completing the survey, a somewhat heated email exchange ensued. I left in all the misspellings, to show the authenticity of these emails, and to also show that as I stated in a previous post that may make my mistakes but my meaning is never lost.

After completing the survey, I was greeted with this from Dominic Ford:
Hey there -

Thanks for taking the time to answer our survey. I would hardly call our site "racist," and I think that is a vicious name to call someone. We are releasing a video next week with a REALLY hot black guy who we hope becomes a regular on our site. I am constantly looking for hot black guys. I've asked a few of my ex-boyfriends (who are black) if they would do it, but they won't. Alas. If I were content with the "thug" look, then it would be easy. But we have an upscale brand, and our guys (whatever their race is) need to have an upscale look. We turn away tons of guys (white, black and all other races) based on that, not on the color of their skin. Our site features tons of latin men as well, not just white guys.

All my best,
Dominic

My reply filling in all the points he conveniently tried twisting:
If you are going to respond to the truth I speak, do not insult my intelligence.

A "racist" is not a vicious thing to call someone when the truth is in the pudding. If you don't want to be call "racist" then stop putting out a product that displays otherwise. I'm sure they have been a good number of Black men void of the "thug" look that have approached you. I am also sure that there have been a good number viod of the "thug" look are not light-complexioned as the Black guys you have used thus far. Where are you medium to dark complexions?

I hear a dead silence.

And I didn't say you only feature White guys. I said you only feature light-complexioned men. Do I need to inform you that some Latinos fall into that category? But some Latinos are not so light, so where are they?

Again, a dead silence.

You can do what you want, it's your website. You asked why I quit it, and you got your answer from me. Don't waste your time (and more importantly, mine) writing emails with incessant whining because you can't handle being called on what your site says about you. Is being a racist is not your truth, then seek out guys that who are gorgeous, yet overlooked because of the racism that has infested this industry. Your site has some sparks, but for the most part, it helps keep that racism alive.

I stand by what I said the 1st time, and I am done with this matter.

Good luck making a better you


Dominic replies trying to twist my words around to dodge my point:
I just find it funny that a black guy only counts as a black guy if he is dark enough in YOUR eyes. The fellow we are releasing next week is more darkskinned that the ones we've had previously - but it's not something I even think about. If I find a guy hot I put them on the site. I've personally dated several jamaicans and other islanders who are JET black, so trust me when I say I love darkskinned guys!

But if you don't think someone is black "enough" because their skin isn't black enough for YOU, then I think it's you who have the issues. I LOVE dark-skinned guys, and have no problem having them on our site. We aren't Sean Cody, for christsake. A black guy on his site is a miracle.

I appreciate you taking the time to respond, I really do. But I think saying someone is racist for not featuring guys that YOU consider black is a little silly. Just my opinion. As I said, we are releasing a darker skinned guy next week, and hopefully more to follow.

With respect,
Dominic


My reply, and the last word between us, as it usually is when locking horns with an Aries:
Black guys DO NOT have to be dark-complexioned to be considered Black by me. PLEASE do not misunderstand that. My problem with many sites and video companies is that they make it seem like sex is hot and beauful when it's "light-complexion only", and that includes White and light-skinned Black guys. I'm looking for a site and/or comnpany that will display 2 light complexions, AS WELL AS make a light and dark-complexion combo to not be a big deal, but also feature a dark-on-dark complexion or medium-on-dark scene - ALL THIS ON THE SAME SITE OR VIDEO. It's the seperatism based on race that is my frustration.

If you are featuring a dark-skinned model, GREAT. My concern is that you seem to be building the rmomentum for your site, by using the same skin color scheme that everyone else is using. Now while you are using a dark-skinned model, it owuld be great to see him play not only with your light-skinned models, but find him some medium to dark to play with as well.


After this, no response was heard from Dominic Ford. Why? Because he, like all the others can't justify his actions. And he's probably going to do just like all the others with that dark-skinned model, and put him with his light-complexioned models ONLY - so don't hold your breath to see some dark/dark or dark/medium, because you'll be dead and blue before you know it. UNLESS this make him get his shit together and practice what he preaches in his emails.

By his defensiveness, you might as well say the old adage, "the lady doth protest too much". If only Dominic Ford was a lady, at least there would be some sign that he knows what it means to be human. Because with Gay Pride upon us, we should be having pride in the rainbow of colors of all gays. We should not be taking pride in a certain colors' existence for personal reasons, but discard of them when it comes to business. If Dominic Ford has been with "JET black men" like he said, yet take this long to put one in fornt of the camera, then that is exactly what he is doing, hence why I say he is less of a human. And he has the nerve to be appearing at NY Pridefest. Based on what you see here, and how many times I called him on his bullshit, does he know what Pride truly means? I think not.

Now how many racist pricks are dumb enough to buy what Dominic Ford had to say? Think before you speak, and check comments to past posts on the issue of racism before you say anything to me, so I don't have to further expose the ugliness of your soul that the racism is rotting.

13 comments:

  1. From his responses, and looking at the models DominicFord.com have on offer, it looks like they're not deliberately excluding anyone from the site. More diversity would be nice. I think calling the site racist might be a little over the top.

    That said, you were right to query the site's recruitment policy, and withdraw your subscription in protest.

    I wonder if there's any truth in the statement that quality, non-thug type black models are harder to come by...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can you from my experience, Garcon, in the short time I had my website - MenOfColor.tv - I had absolutely NO problem finding dark-complected men who weren't "thugs." These were beautiful, sexy and sexual men who gladly posed for my site. And this is coming from San Diego which - while improving - has about as much diversity and integration of the races as the U.S. Military before Truman.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Garçon,

    I don't believe calling the site racist is over the top at all. If it was, I wouldn't have done it in the first place.

    I don't believe Dominic Ford is a racist like he says in his personal life, BUT in his business life however, I believe he very much is, which is the point I was making in the close of that post.

    This is the quote from the 1st email when I address the lack of diversity before:

    "...One of our goals is to be more diverse than other site like sean cody. We have guys of various Ethinicity (black, hispanic, etc.), and ranges of types (from twinks to muscle men). Sites like there's only have one type of guy. But I definitely hear you, and we are trying to be more diverse..."

    If diversity is really his goal, then when he started his site, he shouldn't have been a bitch about being diverse, he should have been a man about it.

    Sticking to the "light-complexioned only" formula to gain acceptance makes you no better than Sean Cody or Corbin Fisher with their recent practices of tokenism.

    And he can claim as he did in one email that he wasn't thinking about color, but if he was striving to be diverse, then color is on his mind. And he chose to go with THE COLOR HE BELIEVES SELLS, that color being those of light-complexions.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, Tre --

    I was going to send you a private email, but I just saw that you have turned our exchange into fodder for your blog. That's cool. I figured it would be easier just to reply here so you didn't have to copy and paste :)

    I didn't reply yesterday because we were busy decorating the window of THE BLUE STORE in Chelsea with our new DVD and posters. Check it out! After that I had two shoots, and then had to prep for todays' launch of Drake Jaden's 3D Cumshot scene. So, sorry if our correspondences took a backseat to my other commitments. Don't read into my lack of immediate response to you as "not being able to justify my actions." That's just silly. I'm not in grade school. And this is an issue I care deeply about.

    In your last email, you mentioned we should have black-on-black scenes, not just white-on-black scenes. I totally agree. That's why we have both latino-on-latino and white-on-latino scenes. We just haven't found enough black guys we think are hot and fit our brand to do that yet -- nor have we found black guys who want to work with other black guys (more on that in a moment).

    To the guy who asked in the comments if finding the "non-thug" look in Manhattan is really more difficult, the answer is a resounding YES. I know all the studios here have the same problem and have talked about it. Come on over and look through our inbox and you will see what I mean. It's really a shame.

    Tre, I know you once applied to be on our site as a model and we didn't hire you. I don't know if that is what this is about or not. I hope not, as that would be venting a very personal grievance in a very public and ugly way.

    As I said, we continue to hire hot men of all ethnicities. I don't look at "light skinned" or "dark skinned." Again, if you think our models were too light-skinned for your taste, then so be it.

    … continued

    ReplyDelete
  5. (part 2)...

    The guy we are releasing next week has much darker skin, but you won't like the scene because he is paired with a white guy, as have the last two scenes featuring black guys. Why? Because I'm racist? No, because I ask them the types of guys THEY want to do a scene with, and then pair them with someone they are attracted to. It's not my fault, nor is it my issue, that I haven't had a black guy who WANTED to do a scene with another black guy. I'll add that to the list of things I need to do to avoid your negligent slander.

    Also, (and here's a can of worms you) a lot of black models DON'T WANT to be pigeonholed into what they consider to be degrading scenes they find on thug sites, and they avoid black-on-black scenes. (And PS, do you yell at them for never featuring white guys? Probably not.)

    Whether you think we should be there or not, we WILL be exhibiting at PrideFest this Sunday. I invite you with all sincerity to come and meet me. I'd love to talk about this in person. Anyone else who wants to talk about it, come on down. I think our booth is on 13th and Gansevoort. The model we are releasing next week (the dark-skinned black one!) might be helping us out in out booth, and I am sure he'd love to talk about this too.

    As I mentioned in my private letters to you (which are now public), I have been in several serious relationships with black men, most of them weren't African AMERICANS, but men born oversees who moved here. I have also dated lighter-skinned black men. While you want to imagine that my business life and personal life are two separate things, and "darker" men can be in my personal life but not on my site, I just find that laughable. Like in my personal life, I don't discriminate lighter or darker skin on my site. I just use models I think are hot -- and if the black guys on the site happen to be too light-skinned for you, then so be it. You don't have to sleep with them.

    Thanks again for responding to our member survey. I think that we are one of the few sites around that actually cares what our members think. We routinely ask new members, and cancelled members what they like about our site and what they didn't like. We are about to celebrate our 1-year anniversary. In addition to being the only company to shoot in High Definition 3D, I think we are one of the few companies intent on running a site our users will love.

    I do hope you'll stop by our booth on Sunday so we can chat face-to-face. I realize that you are in the business of getting your name out there and creating controversy to drum up some kind of attention for yourself. That's what blogs are for I suppose (I have a twitter account so I understand). That's fine, and I've always been a supporter and fan of yours - and I will continue to be. But creating publicity for yourself shouldn't be at the expense of companies that are doing their best keep their customers happy. You've made tons of truly unfair accusations, and I hope one day (perhaps when my company is older and we have more content) you will realize you have been unfair and hurtful.

    All my best,
    Dominic

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's naive and unfair to expect every site to offer every color of the ethnicity rainbow in equal quantities. It's especially unfair because there's nothing racist about the black sites that only offer black guys, the white sites that only offer white guys, or the asian sites that only offer asian guys. The reality is that people have all sorts of preferences and there's nothing wrong or racist about preferring guys of a certain race. That's human nature.

    I LOVE black guys, I LOVE white guys, I like hispanic guys, but I've never been attracted to Asian guys. Does that make me racist against Asians? No! I love Asian people, but for whatever reason I've never been physically attracted to Asian men. Am I proud to be in a gay culture that includes Asian men? Yes! If I made a porn site would I put a bunch of Asians on there? No!

    Calling any site that doesn't use a myriad of guys of differing ethnicities in equal ratios racist is completely out of hand. By those standards virtually EVERY gay and straight porn site is racist.

    It's also a very uncalled for assumption on your part that Dominic Ford picks his models because he thinks they are the "color that sells." I have a feeling Dominic Ford is savvy enough to know that there's a HUGE market for black guys. It's not his job nor his responsibility to be one of those sites. That he isn't one of those sites doesn't make him racist.

    He was very civil and decent to you. I don't think you were civil or decent in return. Your words: I don't have to further expose the ugliness of your soul that the racism is rotting.

    Completely uncalled for and more telling of you than him.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dominic,

    I have been in some facet of the entertainment industry for quite some time. Between mainstream and porn combined, I've been at it for about 20 years, so if I'm not chosen for something, I have the thick skin to move on with no grudges. I offered myself as a model as a way to fill that void I felt you had in your site of medium to dark-skinned models. So even if you didn't choose me, I did have faith that you would choose someone else soon to fill that void, because I didn't see you as a Sean Cody or Corbin Fisher. BUT when after all that time since our 1st email exchange, with my still not seeing that void filled made me feel let down.

    The problem is that there is a serious problem of racism within the gay community that no one wants to address, and with porn being such a big part of gay culture (whether some want to admit it or not) it makes people in the industry (like ourselves) have to take on the added responsibility of combating that racism with our art. Therefore, if you don't choose me, then I'll be looking for someone medium to dark complexioned who (like me)doesn't have a "thug" look. And if I seem to have a grudge, then it comes from the long wait. And with such a long wait, what else am I suppose to think of you? I mean in a city, in a state, in a country this big, someone has to fit the "non-thug" bill BESIDES ME. If another medium to dark-skinned model was on your site by now, the termination of my membership and THIS BLOG POST MIGHT HAVE NEVER COME TO EXIST.

    Now, it is a shame that we have to think about what color we put on the screen, but it's part of that added responsibility to aid the gay community that is its own worst enemy by way of racism. I say "we" because until recently I was in talks with a studio about backing me to do my own movies, but that's another blog entry.

    I also don't see color with people. I've been to places where others will point out that I'm the only Black guy in the room when I haven't even noticed. The problem come when you can spend all day around a bunch of people of a different color, BUT at some point of the day, you will look into a mirror, and then it hits you ----- that's the first time you've seen that color all day. That's what happens when I look at porn. I see nothing that looks like me when I know it's out there to be chosen. How do I know it's out there to be chosen? Because I'm here, and while I believe myself to be unique and a rare find, I am humble enough to know there are others who are just as unique, just as much of a rare find.

    I just might take you up on your offer to meet face-to-face with you. If I believe that you have been misunderstood by me, I will gladly write a blog post to that effect.

    And for the record, (1)I don't write my blog to make a name for myself. It started out that way, 3 1/2 years later, it has become my tool for informing people by praising the good, and exposing the bad; (2) I never wanted to do ethnic porn because of the stereotypical behavior, but no one else would hire me; (3)I do believe a Black-on-Black scene doesn't have to come off as degrading as most thug scenes. Black models who think so need to come off that racism against other Black men --- THE SAME WAY I HAD TO. Yes, I admit that I was racist against other Black men at one time. I have an entire blog post talking about it and how I overcame it.

    Let me close by saying that I greatly appreciate you commenting on this post publicly rather than privately. If you doing it publicly bothered me, then it would be a case of me being able to dish it out but being unable to take it. And that is not me. In fact, I was hoping you'd drop by.

    Maybe all I've said here will give me a better idea of my frustration, as your comment gives me a better understanding of yours. However, I still stand behind what I wrote, because that is what I saw when I looked at your site over time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Tre,

    I hope you do take the time to come down and see me at PrideFest. You have said you "stand behind" what you say, but you really attacked me personally, and my site viciously and negligently. I hope that you at some point retract the horrible things you said.

    As I mentioned, it's ironic timing, because we've been so excited to finally have another black man on our site, which we are releasing next week. An odd coincidence, I suppose. Who knows, he's probably too light skinned for you.

    His model page isn't even ready yet, but I uploaded a photo just for you. You can download it here: http://dominicford.com/DominicFord_Scott.jpg.

    Whether he is dark enough for you or not, frankly, doesn't concern me. I will continue to find the hottest models I can (regardless of their skin color or shade of color) and release them on a schedule that makes sense to me, not to you.

    The fact that you were angry that you didn't see someone else with exactly your skin tone within an amount of time you felt appropriate seems downright childish to me. Who are you to set a time schedule for me or anyone else?

    I get so many people emailing me.... "get me more readheads," "get me more barely legal 18 year olds," "get me more famous porn stars like Matthew Rush," and I will add your "get me more darker skinned guys" to the list and prioritize it along with all the other requests.

    At the end of the day, we hire the best of out of the folks who apply to model for our site. Our talent pool is limited to them. I will neither specifically look for or reject a model in hopes to win your approval, as that would be validating your opinion. Feel free to send guys my way, though. We are always looking for fresh, hot faces!

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but why not wage war (if you feel you must) against those sites that have NEVER had a black guy or latino guy on them (and we both know who they are). And then wage war on the thug sites for never featuring white guys. And then the Asian sites for never having Latinos.

    To fault me for trying to be diverse (and succeeding by most standards), but not living up to a standard that you have decided is the line between "racist" and not does not help the cause. You fling the race card and the word "racist" irresponsibly, and it is a disgrace to people who put real meaning into those terms. I think you have done more harm than good in this tirade, as now every time I choose to hire or not hire a black man I have to do so wondering if you'll decide to call me a Nazi or something else beyond racist next.

    Name calling is something ignorant people do in grade school, and I hope you realize the damage you've done to the industry by starting this with me. You could have encouraged sites like mine to be more diverse, or applauded the fact that we don't just feature white guys. You chose negativity instead of positivity, and as one of your other commenters said, that shows much more about how you prefer to handle issues than anything else.

    Hope to see you Sunday,
    Dominic

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dominic,

    To say some of the things you said in your last comment show that you don't seem to understand a Black males frustration in this industry as vividly as I tried to explain it to you with this quote from my last comment:

    "The problem come when you can spend all day around a bunch of people of a different color, BUT at some point of the day, you will look into a mirror, and then it hits you ----- that's the first time you've seen that color all day."

    How in depth have you gone into the issue of racism with the men of color you've known or dated? Do they totally avoid the issue? Because to say that I'm being childish in this issue shows that you're not getting it. "It" being the reality that there is a wait that constitutes as being "too long". And I have not done more harm than good to this industry by addressing this. I'VE DONE MORE GOOD, because all the Black males out there who feel overlooked because they are seen as "too dark" have a voice by way of me speaking out on this issue, as I have on other matters. Because not enough actors of color are speaking out.

    In fact, not enough actors of color CAN. Because either many gay porn news sites won't talk about them, and/or the studios these men of color are connected with won't promote them to have any degree of intellect so they can keep promoting the image of these guys being "the uneducated thug".

    Your replies make me seem as if I think I'm some kind of god. I am not, and I know this much. I am a Black man annoyed by the racism I see around me. Annoyed by how few like myself in complexion and body type I see when I go to a site where I think the models are hot. And I'm not the only one. There are many men of all colors who share my sentiment.

    If a site seems to be making some kind of progress, I want them to do better. Because as I've said of myself in the past, I'm a perfectionist, and anyone who is in my field, I demand the same perfection of them as I demand of myself. That may make me overstep my bounds sometimes in demanding certain things of my colleagues that are out of my control. And to that I say, "Fine, damn me for wanting a utopia." But I want my utopia that has racial equality, I want it now, and at least I'm not afraid to say it.

    For the record, this was initiated by way of your survey. I'm not saying you shouldn't have done a survey. I am saying it's what left you open for criticism. Think about this, how many people who cancelled their memberships decided to not even answer your survey? A possible reason is that they agree with me, yet didn't bother going into detail of the grievance. AND I have attacked over time in this blog, both Sean Cody and Corbin Fisher. Had they put out a survey asking me why I quit, I think I would have lost it in telling them what I think of them, AND THEY KNOW THIS, and fear it. Hence why they won't ask.

    You are making progress, I pat you on the back for that, but the aforementioned frustrations, and our unfortunate responsibility to cater to those frustrations due to the gay community's racism makes people like me impatient in seeing change. It's so overdue, we don't want it spoon fed to us, because it makes us unaware that it's happening, even though it is.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks Tre. I hope to meet you on sunday.

    In your email to me, you mentioned that Scott (our model for next week) still wasn't black enough for you. Perhaps the lighting makes him look lighter than he is. He's pretty dark. But your photos on this blog don't look any "blacker," so perhaps you look darker in real life than you do in photos too. (I'm talking about the photo of you against a white backdrop on the top of this page, the one on the lower left hand side looks a LITTLE darker). So, I feel like its the pot calling the kettle "not black" when it comes to photography and lighting.

    As I said, no one who is uber darker-skinned (and non-thug) has applied to our site. Feel free to refer people to us you think have the look we are going for!

    I can't keep going back on forth on this, as I think we said as much as we are going to in this forum. There are many other issues I'd love to talk to you about offline, including the fact that our diversity is actually hurting our sales, but I continue to do it anyway out of the hope that bringing guys I think are hot (regardless of race) will help break down some barriers. At the moment 24% of our models are non-white. I am proud of that, and the number grows weekly. But believe me, while critics and pundits are pushing for diversity, paying members are NOT. It's sad, and I am trying to do my part to change that by showing our users hot guys of different ethnicities. But we definitely feel a hit on new subscriptions when I do that.

    And for that effort, you continue to stand by your slander of "racist" and saying things like "the ugliness of your soul that the racism is rotting." I am happy to continue a dialogue with you, publicly or privately, but you have gone too far in your name-calling and need to retract those before we can have a healthy, mature dialogue.

    Best,
    Dominic

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dominic,

    I am well aware that I come off lighter in some pics than in others. That's why I reserved my final assessment of your new model. Therefore, don't try insulting me when I clearly said that lighting might be a factor as to how I may be wrong in saying that this model is not what another Black person would call "dark-skinned". Blind defensiveness on your part only makes me stand more firm than the last on what I said, since every comment I have given in response shows more and more that I may be loosening up.

    I do want to do this talk, VERY MUCH SO I DO, but I don't think Pridefest will be a good time. It may be a good start, but I might be marching. And even if I'm not marching, you may be too busy tending to people at your booth, and it is quite obvious that we both have a lot to say on this matter.

    So definitely, let's talk.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Not sure where the insult was, but I certainly didn't intend one. If it was saying that you look lighter skinned in your photos than you probably are, I am sure many people would find it interesting you think that's an insult. It was neither an insult nor anything else, just an observation: you blast me for the color of a model not being dark enough for your tastes, when in reality your photos are generally no darker than his. So by your own admission, including YOU on our site probably would evoke the same rhetoric you've given me thus far, as you wouldn't be black enough either given the photos I've seen of you.

    I've uploaded a few more photos of Scott on his official model page. You can see in his photo with Ridge the he is darker than in some of the shots of him alone.

    http://www.dominicford.com/model.php?PerformerID=40

    More photos will be up next Thursday once we release his video. It's gonna be hot!

    As of the launch of Scott's model page, 26% of our models are men of color (ie: not white). I would love you to find me any other mainstream site (that you would consider predominantly a caucasian site, as I assume you consider us) that has as high a percentage of other ethnicities.

    Or find me a "black" or "latino" site that features 26% of models with other ethnicities. Generally, I beg you to find me ANY other site that features 26% or more of its models that have ethnicities other than whatever the site's majority ethnicity is.

    I think you will come up short. And, if you made a top 5 list, we would be among them.

    I am happy to talk. As I said, you need to recant your hateful, hurtful, rampant, and errant name calling before that happens.

    I won't be replying (publicly or privately) anymore until that happens.

    Best,
    Dominic

    ReplyDelete
  13. As a darker-skinned black guy, I have to say I agree with Dominic. I've been very upset with the likes of Sean Cody, Corbin Fisher, etc. and their inability to incorporate more diversity on their sites. But I'm sorry to say that Dominic appears to be trying and doing well, and his site is benefiting from it.

    ReplyDelete

I HIGHLY respect those willing to stand behind their comments with a name. So if you use "Anonymous" on a viewpoint that challenges mine, IT WILL BE DELETED for your cowardice to not show yourself makes your viewpoint and you irrelevant.

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