Dustin Lance Black Responds After Alma Mater Rejects Him as Commencement Speaker Over Sex Photos

Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black is speaking out after his alma mater, Pasadena City College, invited him to be PCC’s 2014 Commencement speaker, and then dropped him after the Board of Trustees was made aware of sexually explicit photos on the internet of Black having unprotected sex.

Writes the PCC Courier: Black

“With the porno professor and the sex scandals we’ve had on campus this last year, it just didn’t seem like the right time for Mr. Black to be the speaker,” Board President Anthony Fellow said. “We’ll be on the radio and on television. We just don’t want to give PCC a bad name.”

The college recently went through two scandals involving professor Hugo Schwyzer, the “porno professor” who admitted to sleeping with students, and journalism instructor Warren Swil, who admitted to showing nude photos of himself to a student.

The administration decided to go forward and invite a safer pick: Pasadena Director of Public Health Dr. Eric Walsh, who accepted and is confirmed to be the commencement speaker, according to Robert Bell, a commencement committee member and vice president of academic affairs and student services.

Black, who "confirmed the invitation, booked the international flights to get back to Southern California, canceled work, and turned down paid invitations" to speak at the ceremony wrote an open letter to the school in response to what he says are the school's attempts to "shame" him.

Writes Black, in part:

For too long now I’ve sat silent on this issue. That ends here and now and with this sentence: I did nothing wrong and I refuse to be shamed for this any longer.

In 2009 a group of people surreptitiously lifted images from my ex’s computer and shopped them around to gossip sites in a money making scheme. These were old images from a far simpler time in my life, a time before digital camera phones and Internet scandals. They were photos of me with a man I cared for, a man who shared my Mormon background, and who was also struggling with who he was versus where he came from. And yes, we were doing what gay men do when they love and trust each other, we were having sex. I have never lied about my sexuality. If you invade my privacy, this is what you will find. I have sex. It brings me joy, fosters intimacy and helps love grow. I hope anyone reading this can say the same for themselves and for their parents.

In 2010 I took the perpetrators of this theft to Federal court and Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled unequivocally that the defendants had indeed broken the law. The details of this case are readily available for anyone to read — including PCC’s leadership and Board of Trustees.

In the eyes of anyone who has seen the devastating effects this trespass has had on me personally, creatively and professionally over these many years, in the eyes of my mother and friends who have held me as I’ve cried, and under the blind scrutiny of the law of this land, I am the victim of this “scandal,” not the perpetrator.

With this cruel act, PCC’s Administration is punishing the victim. And I ask you this: If I was a heterosexual man or woman with this same painful injury in my past, would PCC’s Administration still be rescinding such an honor?

Comments

  1. Bat says

    Sorry Dustin, the school doesn’t want students to be busy looking up and passing around sex photos of you while you’re giving a speech. It’s too distracting for a solemn day. Besides, how many young boys have you ‘loved and cared’ for? Lol I’m guessing quite a few.

  2. anon says

    Have you seen the photos in question? For such a “simpler” time, there seems to be an awful lot of different camera angles employed in taking those photos. Was there a third person in the room documenting the sex? Or, did the duo keep getting out of bed to adjust the equipment? Seems like a lot of effort must have been put into creating these photos of a “simpler” time. As he says, “we were doing what gay men do”. I guess by that statement, he means to imply that all gay men take photos of themselves having sex.

  3. bambinoitaliano says

    Why should you care if he take photos of his own sexual recreation? Stop taking his word out of context. By what all gay man do as in sexual relationship between two gay men. This is not about popularity contest. The fact of this story has no bearing on whether if you like him or hate him as a celebrity. Extract the bitterness from your own life before it cloud your judgement on anything and everything.

  4. MaryM says

    I suspect his alma mater may be more concerned about the age of the men DLB likes in case a scandal breaks out.

    His current teenaged lover is of course Tom Daley who was 18 when 38 year old DLB started dating him.

    But what of all the other teenagers he has dated. There’s nothing illegal about men in their late 30’s dating teenagers over 18. So let’s hope DLB ID checked all those teenagers he has been linked to.

    DLB’s incredibly sleazy and predatory reputation and his close friendship with Hollywood ‘players’ like Bryan Singer means that his alma mater may simply be exercising caution.

    He is no victim. If you record yourself in this manner then it’s hardly a shock it gets revealed. The Pamela Anderson scandal is almost 20 years olfd.

  5. really? says

    @ANON, you sure seem to have spent quite a bit of time and effort in examining said photos.

    @MARYM, “But what of all the other teenagers he has dated.” What evidence do you have that he’s dated anyone who isn’t of legal age?
    All what other teenagers?

  6. BobN says

    “The Pamela Anderson scandal is almost 20 years olfd.”

    That “scandal” was because Pamela Anderson was seen as sexually desirable by a huge percentage of men.

  7. pete n sfo says

    He didn’t do anything that all of us haven’t done. He’s now a celebrity and that makes him vulnerable.

    I understand PCC’s decision in the context of the mess they have on their own hands, created by their own staff, but after having read DLB’s letter, I would support his position completely.

    And he’s right. If a woman had been victimized in this way- it would evoke sympathy. Gay sex still makes the issue unpalatable.

  8. Will says

    @PETE N SFO – while I agree that almost all humans have sex I personally would never document it via videos or photographs or take lewd pictures of myself for the purpose of soliciting sex. These photos were apparently taken in 2006 which means Dustin was around 30 so he can’t blame youthful ignorance as an excuse.

    Irresponsible actions can have consequences, epically if you want to be a role model and in the public light. I have very little empathy for Dustin as he made a poor decision as an adult and now must live with the embarrassment/consequences.

  9. demerol says

    I disagree. I don’t see Paris Hilton or Kim Kardarsian getting invited to speak at graduations either. We need to stop borrowing from black racial handbook. Disagree with me? You are racist or homophobic. This madness needs to stop.

  10. jomicur says

    American puritanism at its dippiest. They seriously think that the knowledge that people have sex will “give the college a bad name”? It sounds like they should have let Black speak, but made him wear a big scarlet A.

  11. Will says

    @PETE N SFO – one last thing. Dustin wasn’t victimized, there was no hidden camera, he intentionally participated in the video/pictures. While he probably never intended for this to get out, and the person who stole the video/images was wrong, he never should have made the amateur porn to begin with. By your logic Anthony Weiner was “victimized.”

    Rule of thumb to live by – don’t do (or at the very least document) things that would embarrass you if it was shown to your mom, priest, colleagues, internet, etc.

  12. AJ says

    He’s acting like someone sneaked into his house and took pics. I’m sorry, but even straight people who have photos/ videos leaked have a certain reputation from then on. He just needs to man up and deal with the consequences.

  13. AJ says

    He’s acting like someone sneaked into his house and took pics. I’m sorry, but even straight people who have photos/ videos leaked have a certain reputation from then on. He just needs to man up and deal with the consequences.

  14. AJ says

    He’s acting like someone sneaked into his house and took pics. I’m sorry, but even straight people who have photos/ videos leaked have a certain reputation from then on. He just needs to man up and deal with the consequences.

  15. mason says

    @Demerol, no where in DLB statement does he utter the word homophobia. He states that it appears that PCC is punishing the victim of the crime, which is himself when his private pictures were stolen and then shopped around. I’m concerned that you read into that statement homophobia.

    There is no analogous comparison between DLB and KK and PH. DLB has made movies, won awards, and been an activist for LGBT issues. Those other two have been famous because of their sex tapes.

  16. mason says

    @Demerol, no where in DLB statement does he utter the word homophobia. He states that it appears that PCC is punishing the victim of the crime, which is himself when his private pictures were stolen and then shopped around. I’m concerned that you read into that statement homophobia.

    There is no analogous comparison between DLB and KK and PH. DLB has made movies, won awards, and been an activist for LGBT issues. Those other two have been famous because of their sex tapes.

  17. mason says

    @Demerol, no where in DLB statement does he utter the word homophobia. He states that it appears that PCC is punishing the victim of the crime, which is himself when his private pictures were stolen and then shopped around. I’m concerned that you read into that statement homophobia.

    There is no analogous comparison between DLB and KK and PH. DLB has made movies, won awards, and been an activist for LGBT issues. Those other two have been famous because of their sex tapes.

  18. mason says

    @Demerol, no where in DLB statement does he utter the word homophobia. He states that it appears that PCC is punishing the victim of the crime, which is himself when his private pictures were stolen and then shopped around. I’m concerned that you read into that statement homophobia.

    There is no analogous comparison between DLB and KK and PH. DLB has made movies, won awards, and been an activist for LGBT issues. Those other two have been famous because of their sex tapes.

  19. Sean Maloney says

    Bottom line (no pun): It’s the school’s decision, in the end (no pun) whether DLB agrees with it or not. He can protest it all he wants, but schools are by-and-large conservative entities esp. when it comes to their endowments (no pun) and how to increase them (no pun). If this was a heterosexual man or woman, the school would have had the same response.

  20. UFFDA says

    What a seething bunch of condemning, nasty responses we have here, little mercy, understanding or forgivwness. It just confirms how reptilian, not to say cannibalistic, many gay men are. In real life I wouldn’t come near such a soiled sorry bunch of creeps. If this is a community you can shove it

  21. ratbastard says

    Meh….kinda like a ‘morals’ clause in employment contracts.

    Mr. Black should just deal with it. He’s a wealthy, privileged, successful man.

  22. MaryM says

    DLB is a middle aged man dating a teenager.
    He is friends with Bryan Singer who has just been accused of raping a teenager.
    He has attended Bryan Singer’s notorious pool parties where the attendees (apart from the rich Hollywood types) are all teenagers.

    I can see why such a man might be inappropriate to speak at a graduation (although I suppose the graduates will be in their early 20’s so too old to be of sexual interest to DLB)

  23. says

    well said and it’s true – would a heterosexual be banned because photos were leaked that showed THEM having “unprotected sex”
    ?

    Curious – has there ever been a sex-photo leaked where the heterosexuals in question were EVER wearing condoms?

    people have sex. what’s the scandal? that a grown adult man is sexually active?

    it’s not a scandal. “BREAKING NEWS! Openly gay Oscar-winner has a fully functioning penis and these photos prove he has been sexually active!!!:

    ….and?

  24. erick70115 says

    As usual there are posters here who should go back to watching FOX news and stfu. What DLB did in private was private until it was stolen, sold and made public. And good for him to have have successfully gone after the thieves.

  25. CLB says

    Guys, this is Dustin Lance Black we’re talking about here. He’s a real life gay superhero, a single voice which speaks for all of us, and the defender of our liberty- just don’t mind the barebacking and/or the pederasty. Come on! He’s an intelligent and highly opportunistic and filmmaker who has seized onto our issues and done well for himself by promoting them in the public sphere. The shortcomings of his private life are at this point well-documented. He’s not our gay savior, nor is he a martyr in this situation. Let’s treat him like we treat any other talented and troubled artist- with appreciation of his skills, and awareness of his very public weaknesses and poor decisions. He can’t be the beneficiary of one without the consequences of the other.

  26. Homo Genius says

    “Was there a third person in the room documenting the sex?”

    That made laugh thinking about all these “amateur” or “real sex” sites. Like if its just the 2-3 of you, who is taking the freaking picture you are all in?

  27. says

    I understand that some commenters here couldn’t get laid if their lives depended on it, and others can only have sex in total darkness and would never think to document the copulations because even they wouldn’t want to view themselves in action. I can only assume that’s why they’re so angry.

    Why else? Oh darn, two guys in a relationship filmed themselves having sex. It’s hot.

    Amazing that our culture still freaks out and screams “SCANDAL!!”” at photos or videos of expressions of sexuality and sensuality, while photos with people glorifying guns —– nobody batts an eye.

    Priorities be messed, yo.

    Who’s taking the videos? Cameras resting on bookshelves, or a buddy who’s in on the fun, that’s who. Oh, another scandal! Some gays (re: some PEOPLE) have more adventurous and liberated sexual lives than you. Boo-Hoo that you’re bitter you’re not in on it.

    Its’ SEX – folks. What’s the big scandal? The jealousy and bitterness in here ….dang it be palpable.

    DLB didn’t distribute the photos himself, nor did he personally email them to the students of this school.

    he forced nobody to see them.

    to the hand-wringing ninnies in here: get f***ed. you clearly need it.

  28. Bill says

    @Will : sorry, but if the report is accurate, he was victimized. The claim is that these pictures were on his previous boyfriend’s computer and that a third party copied the pictures and tried to sell them. That’s illegal under U.S. copyright law, not to mention various other laws (depending on how access to the computer was obtained), and apparently a judge ruled against the defendants – the creeps who stole the pictures.

  29. AJ says

    OF course PCC would not want to add a 3rd “scandal” to their name in such a short time…I don’t think it’s them trying to shame anyone..I would bet had those other 2 incidents not happened they would not have cared one way or the other about those pics being published. Not everything is about bullying or trying to keep people down..stop being a crybaby

  30. says

    i *get* that the school doesn’t want another “sex scandal” – the REALITY, however, is that THIS IS NOT A SEX SCANDAL.

    how is it a scandal when there’s…what, PROOF that an openly gay adult man has….what, HAD SEX?

  31. GEB says

    Relax Lance. I did my black and white “tasteful” nudes at age 21, by a respectable photographer of the time. They were published and would pop up at the most unbelievable times in my life–discovered by my parents, to say the least. I’d never seen my older brilliant roommate, so angry with me over it. He was right. They weren’t porn, but… Today I view them as proof of a life gay life well experienced in the 20th Century.

  32. Kenneth says

    If the school was so concerned about this “scandal,” they should not have extended an invitation in the first place. These photos weren’t released yesterday! He isn’t asking for compensation, he is making a valid and well thought out response to the school’s clear lack of consideration.

  33. says

    Simple, “Ben” – because those without sex lives (who are bitter about it) are always the ones railing against the fun and enjoyable sex lives of others.

    You show me an anti-gay conservative and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t had a decent orgasm in eons.

    Oh Gosh – DLB videoed sex with his partner – and Society’s Un-F***ables get all bent out of shape over it.

    Are couples in relationships supposed to always use condoms? Are they to be punished if someone else leaks images of them?

    it’s just S E X.

    “Sorry, I know you’re an inspiring, talented and acclaimed award-winning writer and producer, but the fact that we can prove that you’ve had sex means that none of your indeed inspiring and admirable qualities have any merit anymore”

    or something.

    people who have sex tend to not get all out of whack when there’s confirmation that *someone else also has sex*

  34. says

    i appear fully nude in the book “POSER” by photographer Caitlin Cronenberg. Rather than be ashamed of me, my fam bought a copy. put it on their coffee-table. but then again, my straight old parents thought the film Shortbus was “beautiful”

    #moderntimes #getwithit

  35. Andrew says

    MaryM – I usually agree with what you have to say, esp. about the fraud of “LGBT”, but you are off base on this. We either have an age of consent or we don’t. You don’t get to set an age of consent and then redefine it based on your whim. You can toss around the term “teenager” as if to conflate a 19 year old with a 13 year old, but it is dishonest to do so.

    Little Kiwi – It must be frustrating for you. You got naked for a book that no one read. If sex photos of you should ever leak onto the internet, no one would care. You thought you would become a big star and a big celeb like DLB, but here you are, wasting your life as a blog commenter.

  36. Howard B says

    As I usually do, I find myself in the middle on this. DLB is totally correct that pic’s of him and his ex having sex are no ones business but him and his ex. The way these pic’s became public is outrageous.

    On the other hand, DLB’s portrait as a wronged victim just doesn’t ring true for me. He asks the question “If I was a heterosexual man or woman with this same painful injury in my past, would PCC’s Administration still be rescinding such an honor?”. I think given all the other factors involved, then YES, a str8 man or woman would also be dis-invited if a similar “scandal” were uncovered involving them.

  37. raul415 says

    MARYM and all the other people who keep alluding to the possibility that DLB is some sort of pedo. It strikes me that this is more lingering gay self loathing. Men around the world date women who are younger than them, they have children by these women and for the most part these women have no economic power or social leverage. I am no particular fan of DLB but it is clear that the school’s decision to punish this guy for photos taken a decade ago, a theft that lead to a court ruling in DLB’s favor is clearly a knee jerk homophobic response.

    As for those of you who have a knee jerk response to DLB’s habit of dating men younger than him, do you have the same feelings towards other famous men who have the same practice? I would suggest that the wilderness might be within.

  38. Arrow says

    I hope his young boyfriend had a hand in having him come forward and defend himself. Lance always appears so nervous and uncomfortable in those British tabloid shots. I found his balloons on grave pictures much more troubling.

  39. JMC says

    It’s ridiculous they backed out it having him as a speaker over this, but he lost it with his last sentence. Naked photos are used as weapons to destroy the lives and careers of straight women more than anyone.

  40. Randy says

    Black is a victim, but not of the video.
    Black is only a victim of his own shame, and of the shaming by PCC.

    Shame on PCC.

    People have sex. Being respectable is not in conflict with that.

  41. Steve Chapman says

    We do realize this was 2006. 8 years ago, we embraced Bill Clinton after his debacle with Ms. Lewinsky. My bet is if Mr. Clinton wanted to speak they would welcome him. I don’t know Mr. Black, nor do I know the “heart” of the board of PCC. So I can’t judge action. What I do see here is a lack of grace, forgiveness and teachable moment. The board of PCC got exactly what they didn’t want. Now they get to explain to their student body, alumni and the world why they would make a decision like this. Seems like they shot themselves in the foot and need to apologize.

  42. GEB says

    The lesson in all this is that having three names provides the pretense of class, but that undeniable hint of snobbery. Maybe if he’d gone with the common two names, or even only one, people wouldn’t have come down so hard on him. Witness what Madonna and Cher have gotten away with. Something about Lance makes people want to see this black mark against him, evolve into some brown age spots on him. The name Gore would might have suited him. I flatter him of course.

  43. Matziabb says

    I find this to be a very heartfelt and honest response for a very painful episode in one’s life. I wish he’d done it sooner so we’ d understand it better. But at least now we know how he feels and I for one appreciate it.

  44. David says

    Having said that I’m surprised by the anti-sex puritanism of some of the comments directed against Black, let me say I’m NOT surprised by the hateful nature of many of these comments.

    Hatred is to be expected here.

  45. voke says

    If you read the background, Mr. Black was never formally invited. He was asked if the date was available on his calendar. How he turned that into a formal invitation seems to be what is at issue. The other issue is Mr. Black is being a little disingenuous in description of the young man in his “videos.” He is well documented that he dabbled in porn and escorting in Arizona. So for Black to make it sound like this was two confused gay Mormon men “confused” and “in love” shades his “victim” argument.

  46. Nat says

    “Having said that I’m surprised by the anti-sex puritanism of some of the comments directed against Black, let me say I’m NOT surprised by the hateful nature of many of these comments. ”

    Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, and sex positivism is the last refuge of sexual predators and their enablers.

  47. Arrow says

    Black is a Tom Ripley with bangs. I hope this rejection, if indeed the offer to speak was genuine, is indicative of an ever so slight and gradual, right turn. Like it or not, prepare yourself for the coming political upheaval of the next congressional elections.

  48. Esme St. Clair says

    Did he really have to share that he had to be “held” while he cried? What a wimp! And if he really thinks the decision would NOT have been the same had the potential commencement speaker been a woman, he’s living in a dream world or enthusiastically embracing victimhood big time. A topless photo, let alone one of a woman having sex would have been enough to put the kibosh on that idea. Come on.

  49. steve says

    this is why I refuse to do the nude pics thing… I felt bad for him when this came out… speaking of which, if any of you guys hook up and the person has their laptop open – remember webcams…I’m starting to think I’ve had people record hookups I’ve been involved with on their f-ing webcams…

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