Free Speech Coalition, the national trade association for the adult film industry, announced today it is rescinding an award it presented in 2009 to Ron Jeremy, in response to allegations of sexual misconduct by the famed porn actor.
"We have now heard multiple accounts, both publicly and in confidence, from upset, angry performers about encounters with Ron Jeremy that ranged from groping to assault," FSC Executive Director Eric Paul Leue said in an interview following the allegations. "Jeremy dismissed the accounts or made excuses. We cannot honor someone who refuses to take his colleagues' right to consent seriously."
The organization presented Jeremy with its Positive Image Award in 2009. The award honors a person who helps dispel negative stereotypes and misconceptions about working in the adult-entertainment industry. Jeremy, 64, could not be immediately reached for comment. In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, he questioned allegations that surfaced in online forums suggesting that he was notorious for groping women at adult-film expos.
"If I ever grabbed a girl against her will, I'd have a face like a panda bear," he said, describing himself as old and chunky. "If I did something against someone's will, I'd have been punched in the face by now."
Jeremy specifically denied an allegation made on social media by a web-cam model who claims Jeremy once stuck his hand in her panties and fondled her while they were posing for a photo at an adult convention.
"I don't think that happened," he told The Daily Beast. "Maybe I was massaging. I've done that. Maybe a little tap, pinch, squeeze. I've done that but I always ask first."
Free Speech Coalition earlier this week issued a statement in solidarity with people who come forward with allegations of sexual assault, harassment or rape, noting that several adult-film performers had joined the #MeToo campaign aimed at spreading awareness of the issue.
The organization noted that "just because an adult performer makes a living with their body, does not mean that anyone -- not a co-star, not a colleague, not a lover, not a fan, not a director, not an agent, not a doctor -- has any right to it that the performer doesn't grant freely and enthusiastically."