XBIZ Names FSC’s Diane Duke as Woman of the Year

Bob Johnson

LOS ANGELES — XBIZ, the adult entertainment industry’s leading news media organization, is pleased to announce Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke as its Woman of the Year.

Duke will be honored at the highly anticipated 10th annual XBIZ Awards ceremony on Jan.10 at the legendary Barker Hangar in Los Angeles.

The industry leader’s outstanding achievements in crucial, hot-button and sensitive areas across the board have made her the hands-down choice for this year’s award.

Noted attorney, FSC board Chair and Duke colleague Jeffrey Douglas said, “History is full of people who have accomplished great things by harnessing their worst qualities to an admirable goal. Most of the ‘greats,’ whether artists, politicians, union organizers, industrialists, scientists or lawyers, are jerks, the kind of person you would dread having as a relative. Diane Duke has accomplished great things while being a great human being.

"She has healed divisions, advanced the quality of life for everyone associated with the adult industry and led the battles against those who would subjugate and demean adult performers, creators, distributors and entrepreneurs. She inspires her staff and those of us fortunate enough to work regularly with her. She is trusted and respected even by the industry leaders who historically viewed the Free Speech Coalition with great suspicion. Her commitment to the people and commerce of the industry is resolute. There is no better person to receive this great honor. I am happy to join so many others in celebrating the choice of Diane Duke as the XBIZ Woman of the Year on the occasion of XBIZ’s 10th anniversary.”

Evil Angel general manager and FSC compatriot Christian Mann also pointed to Duke’s unwavering efforts.

“Diane Duke is what my dad used to call a “stand-up guy,” Mann said. “In no particular order, she’s strong, honest, frank, dignified, smart, professional, courteous, compassionate, dedicated, considerate, articulate, diplomatic, focused and thorough. Her leadership skills never cease to impress me. Those of us who have the privilege of working with her also know that she’s funny, witty, patient and punctual… always punctual. She is the best media representative we have, a shining example for anyone who wishes to speak to the outside world on behalf of our industry. She is the reason I serve on the FSC Board of Directors. She inspires me to care and motivates any work, outreach or fundraising I do for the Free Speech Coalition. On top of all that, or more apropos, underneath all of that, she’s one hell of a sexy broad.”

Commenting on the award, industry maverick and Kink.com CEO, Peter Acworth said, “Throughout my career, I have rarely come across anyone as hardworking and dedicated as Diane. The industry has a formidable ally in Diane Duke and I am delighted she will receive this award.”

Eldorado CEO and founder Larry Garland also lauded Duke and said, “As director of the Free Speech Coalition, Diane Duke's commitment to the health and protection of our industry is matched only by her unwavering enthusiasm and can-do spirit. A consummate professional through and through — I consider myself lucky to have had the privilege of working alongside Diane at the FSC. A Woman of the Year award was never so fitting. On behalf of all us at Eldorado, I'd like to wish heartfelt congratulations to my colleague and friend, Diane Duke.”

Another well-known industry attorney, FSC board member and free speech advocate Reed Lee said, “Diane has brought to FSC a critical combination of non-profit management skills and a polished political savvy. She understands the demands that this industry places on its trade association and those that the culture wars impose on us as defenders of free expression and sexual liberation."

Lee continued, "She runs FSC on a shoestring budget and yet has a major impact on many issues that are critical to the adult entertainment industry. Those of us who work most closely with her know how talented and committed she is. It is heartening to know that others recognize it too. She deserves our profound thanks and congratulations.”

XBIZ president and publisher Alec Helmy congratulated Duke and said, “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and untiring person leading the industry’s most valuable protector of our rights and freedoms. Diane is a prime example of professional excellence and personal integrity, and the embodiment of the trade organization she leads. It is with great pleasure that we recognize Diane as our Woman of the Year.”

Responding to the news of her award Duke said, “I feel so fortunate to be able to advocate on behalf of this extraordinary industry. To be recognized for doing the work that I love is truly incredible. I am humbled and so very grateful — thank you."

For the latest XBIZ Awards news announcements, follow @xbizawards.

Related: