At a benefit thrown Friday night by the Free Speech Coalition for notable members of the adult film industry, publisher/free-speech battler Larry Flynt, the late John Holmes and veteran adult film actress Seka were among those honored for extending the Bill of Rights’ protection of freedom of speech to some of its furthest reaches within the entertainment business.
The assembled crowd of more than 800 roared their approval of Flynt’s continued watchdogging of their right to ply their trade free of governmental interference, but in a remarkably emotional speech Flynt reminded the throng how easily that right can be taken away.
“People in this business can never become complacent that the battle’s won,” the publisher of Hustler magazine and the subject of the 1996 Milos Forman film “The People vs. Larry Flynt” warned. “The right to express yourself freely can be taken away just as easily as it’s been granted to us, and we need to remind ourselves of that fact every day.”
Emotion also ran high when veteran adult film producer and distributor Bob Tremont, given the coalition’s “All Around Good Guy” award, noted that he continued to “battle these liquid demons for the right to my soul” even as those around him shouted their support.
The evening ran the gamut from low comedy, thanks to emcee/veteran adult film star Ron Jeremy’s stunningly tasteless repartee, right through to Flynt’s continuing quasi-tragedy. And the attendees ran the gamut, too, from an ice-blue-colored wig and matching pubic hair contingency to individuals wearing track suits, full evening dress and near-nude attire.
Among those also honored by the coalition during the evening — designed to honor the adult film biz’s 25-year anniversary of its commercial coming-out, thanks to “Deep Throat,” “The Devil in Miss Jones” and “Behind the Green Door” — were actress-director Candida Royalle and Playboy Channel talkshow hostess Juli Ashton.
Other legends of the biz who also attended and/or presented awards included Marilyn Chambers, Nina Hartley, Gloria Leonard, Annette Haven, Amber Lynn, Harry Reems and Georgina Spelvin.