LOS ANGELES — The University of California, Davis has issued a letter to Assence Films informing company owner Mike Kulich that the institute would be “delighted” to receive the rejected donation offer made earlier this month by the upstart studio to the National Education Association in the name of Sasha Grey.
Dr. Darrell Y. Hamamoto, professor and director for the University’s Popular Culture Institute, wrote, “While a much smaller education entity when compared to the super-lobby impact of the NEA, the Popular Culture Institute at the University of California, Davis would be delighted to receive a modest grant from Mr. Mike Kulich of Assence Films in support of 'sexually-positive media culture.'”
Assence Films’ offer to donate part of the proceeds from sales of its gonzo title “Anal Artists,” starring Grey, to the NEA’s “Read Across America” campaign was made on the heels of an NEA publicity scandal that found Grey, one of the adult industry’s most hardcore performers who is now retired, reading to students at Compton, Calif. elementary school.
“In receiving Mr. Hamamoto’s letter, I was truly humbled in what he had to say regarding our donation offer,” Kulich told XBIZ. “After reading a little bit about him, I was extremely impressed by his views on the desexualization of the Asian-American male in the media and his alternative approach to education by producing adult movies as research.”
In 2003, Dr. Hamamoto produced a 50-minute adult film titled “Skin On Skin” with an all-Asian cast to promote the sexual empowerment of Asian people.
Kulich said he will take the donation offer refused by the NEA and give it instead to the Popular Culture Institute at the UC Davis. “Absolutely. We will,” Kulich said. “I’ve called Dr. Hamamoto and am awaiting his call.”
Considering the sales boost “Anal Artists” has received from the national exposure this story has generated, that donation could be quite considerable.
Assence Films is distributed by Exile Distribution.