“It’s a rare occasion that someone is invited to speak at the most prestigious university in the world,” Flynt said. “I consider it an honor.”
The Flynt event, scheduled for Feb. 25, has caused controversy for the organization, whose iconic past guest speakers include the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Winston Churchill.
Women’s groups that accuse Flynt of exploitation have protested the event and has caused accusations that the Union was “dumbing down” its choice of speakers by relying too much on celebrities.
Nevertheless, Oxford Union President Charlie Holt defended the Flynt appearance.
"He has led a fascinating life, and one that the Union believes will be of interest to its members," Holt said. “Whatever your views on the questions of pornography, public decency laws and censorship, the talk should be an interesting one.”
Flynt recently approached the U.S. government for financial aid to bailout the adult entertainment industry during the credit crunch and is currently involved in a lawsuit against his two nephews, Jimmy Flynt II and Dustin Flynt, for starting up rival adult company, Flynt Media Corp. Larry Flynt says the company’s name is too similar to his studio’s and that they are producing what he considers inferior pornography that may damage his reputation.
The Oxford Union was established 182 years ago and is independent of Oxford University, however draws most of its members from the institution as well as other local universities. According to its website, the Oxford Union is an organization that holds no political views and instead embraces controversial issues through discussion and debate.