In what was being billed as a more “Hollywood chic” and less formal version of past Night of the Stars fundraising events, FSC Executive Director Michele Freridge told XBiz that the intention of this year’s event was to create a more “scaled-down, fun and network-oriented party” to garner support for the FSC and other organizations that are working to help uphold the basic provisions of the First Amendment.
Issues related to 2257 record-keeping regulations and .XXX were hot topics of the night, even popping up in acceptance speeches as the list of award recipients took to the podium to leave their mark on free speech history.
Making numerous witty jibes at industry folks, master of ceremonies Adam Glaser, also known as Seymore Butts, kept the ceremony moving along as luminaries such as Jim Griffith of Playboy Entertainment Group, Mike Moran of LD Management, Scott Tucker of TopCo Sales and industry attorney Paul Cambria accepted awards for their various contributions to the adult industry.
“Free speech is the hallmark of an open society,” Griffith said upon accepting the Positive Image Award, acknowledging Playboy’s continued dedication to free speech issues. “We all should enjoy the power of the FSC across all platforms to make sure generations to come are protected.”
Accepting his Freedom Isn’t Free award, Moran of LD Management said, “It seems like it gets harder year by year. We might lose a few battles, but we are and will win the war.”
Other award recipients included Alicia Rio and Johnny Keyes for Lifetime Achievement; Jeff Stryker, Best Gay Actor; Wash West for Lifetime Achievement as a Gay Director; and a posthumous tribute to director Jim Holliday accepted by close friend Bill Margold.
To top off the evening’s ceremony, ASACP Executive Director Joan Irvine was given a $10,000 donation from SplitInfinity CEO Chris Jester – which Jester had been awarded by the FSC for his work in the fight against child pornography – followed by a $25,000 donation from Eddie Wedelstedt of Goalie Entertainment and Eddie’s Kids who lauded the work of both ASACP in helping to keep the adult industry clean of child pornography and the industry lawyers who have worked tirelessly to protect the rights of adult professionals.
“I want to thank Chris and Eddie for this wonderful honor,” Irvine told XBiz. “We are so pleased to be able to provide the empirical evidence that proves the adult industry is not involved in child pornography,” she said, referring to recently released stats indicating that of the more than 150,000 reports of suspect child pornography sites received over the last two years by ASACP, that 99.9 percent of those reports had nothing to do with professional adult websites.
SplintInfinity’s Jester told XBiz that turning his $10,000 award from the FSC over to ASACP was a decision that he and his wife had decided was the best way to spend the money.
“In the end, when you win an award, it feels really good to then turn around and contribute it to a really worthy cause like ASACP and the great work they are doing,” Jester told XBiz. “It just feels like it can do even more good going forward this way.”
The FSC’s Freridge told XBiz that the outlook for the FSC in the coming year has never been better. Comparing this year’s fiscal increase to last year’s, in which the FSC was $49,000 in the red, Freridge said that membership numbers are at an all-time high and that the FSC intends to perform routine audits through which it can fully inform members of where their dues are being spent.
“We support the FSC because our very livelihood depends on it,” Jeff Mullen of All Media Play said. “It is just that simple.”