Ron Jeremy discusses life in porn


USC students got an inside look into the real world of the pornographic business on Thursday at An Evening with the Adult Film Industry.

Sex star · Adult film actor Ron Jeremy discusses Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy to a full crowd Thursday in the Ray Stark Family Theatre. - Austin Vogel | Daily Trojan

Sex star · Adult film actor Ron Jeremy discusses Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy to a full crowd Thursday in the Ray Stark Family Theatre. – Austin Vogel | Daily Trojan

Held in The Ray Stark Family Theatre at the School of Cinematic Arts, USC students filled every seat in the auditorium and stood against the walls to watch Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy. The event also included a discussion afterward from “the legend” himself, along with the founder and co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment, Steven Hirsch, and adult film actress Allie Haze.

The event was put on by Cinematheque 108 in conjunction with the Picturing the Popular speaker series, with the aim of helping the audience to better understand the successes of the adult film industry.

The 2001 documentary feature about Jeremy exposed his journey from being “a ham” growing up in Queens, New York, to being an internationally famous porn star with a career that has lasted over 20 years.

During the question-and -answer discussion after the screening, Jeremy showed off his humor, jokingly saying, “I always lean forward, because I have more chins than a Chinese phone book.”

Jeremy said in both the documentary and discussion that his dream is to make it into mainstream film, but he said the stigma of pornography has hindered this success.

Jeremy said he had an opportunity to start a career in porn after a naked picture of him was published, which led to his first job offer in adult film. He said he initially hesitated, but admitted to himself, “Well, heck! I’m sleazy. Why not?”

Clement Cheng, a first year graduate student in the Peter Stark Producing Program, said Jeremy might push the envelope but noted he does not find it offensive. Instead, Cheng views Jeremy as a product of his industry.

“I think his image is sort of a cultivation of his experiences and is being used sort of as a commodity,” Cheng said. “He’s Ron Jeremy the porn star, not the actor.”

Moreover, Cheng said he is happy USC hosted the event so that students could learn and discuss a topic that is often considered taboo.

“You don’t see a lot of films that talk on this subject,” Cheng said. “For me, it gave me a perspective into an industry that people are often too afraid to talk about.”

The event also looked at Hirsch, who has been credited as helping grow the adult film industry into what it is today. In a discussion mediated by David Lerner, a Ph.D. candidate in critical studies, Hirsch said that the industry was something that was always a part of him since he was heavily influenced by his father, Fred Hirsch.

“I sort of grew up in the industry,” Hirsch said. “It was sort of the family business so I always expected from day one that we [Vivid Entertainment] would be the biggest and best company.”

Jelena Grozdanich, a junior majoring in communication, said the event helped her see multiple sides to the industry.

“The event definitely opened up my eyes to something that is more legitimized than what you might initially think,” Grozdanich said. “I think that at a school like USC, we try to expose a student to everything to create an intellectual conversation to see both sides to one of the greatest controversies.”

Ashley Warner, a junior majoring in communication, said that regardless of how an individual feels about pornography, one should at least strive to learn about the subject from multiple perspectives.

“It’s a taboo and no one really wants to talk about it,” Warner said. “But the least we can do is to try to understand and educate ourselves about an industry that seems to only be growing bigger.”

  • Lauren Bruer

    “showed off his humor”? you spelled racism wrong.

  • North University Park

    Did anybody bother to ask Ron if he can still perform fellatio on himself?