By now many of you have heard that Max Hardcore was sentenced to 46 months in Federal Prison for his obscenity charge. He will spend his time in a minimum security prison and was fined $7,500 personally and $75,000 to his company on 10 counts of distributing obscene videos through the mail and the Internet. He will appeal the decision of course, but it looks more and more like Max will spend a considerable amount of time behind bars.
I have reviewed Max’s movies for years. I’ve had some good things to say about some of them (Max World 16 and Video Games). I have also had some harsh criticisms of his work over the years. (Hardcore Schoolgirls 16 to name one.) We have not had a great professional relationship over the past several years either. When he was with Legend he had every box from them labeled “No Max” once I was removed from a screener list. No big deal there. Companies and individuals can and do pull people from screener lists. He also refused interview requests and made it fairly clear to anyone who would listen that he didn’t think much of me. Also fine. I don’t expect people to buddy up to me when I say harsh things.
Over the years I have heard so many things about Max that I could probably have made him a constant topic of conversation. Most of these things were said off the record, in casual conversation or in interviews with people who just didn’t want to stir up trouble. Other items were said in confidence or were things that I didn’t want to print to because they were pretty horrible and ultimately not things I could prove. To be fair I also heard some good things about Max. Performers I trust told me in private conversations that they enjoyed working with Max, that he was respectful and that they would work with him again.
So was I filled with mixed feelings when Max went down? Was I happy to see him busted?
In short, no. Because I think he is a great guy? No. Because I think that every rumor about him is untrue? No. Because I think he is an innocent victim? Hell no.
I am unhappy that Max is going to prison because he is going there for making movies. The Feds got him for obscenity. They are sending a man to jail for nearly four years for making adult material between (As far as we KNOW) consenting adults. Max is going to prison not for the things many accuse him of (Including by the way some truly horrible acts that SHOULD land anyone who commits them in jail for much longer than 4 years), not for violence against women, drugs, rape or any number of things. He is going to jail for making PORN.
Let that sink in. That should scare the living shit out everyone reading this. You may not like Max’s porn. I haven’t watched in years and wouldn’t want to. But so what? If someone makes movies you don’t like, writes books you don’t like, sings songs you don’t like or paints pictures you don’t like you simply ignore them. You don’t put a person in jail for the art he or she creates. There are many of you reading this who probably figure “Hey, he got what he deserved” and you are welcome to that opinion. Maybe he’s done some horrible things and deserves to be in jail for something. I just can’t sit around and be happy that anyone, even Max, is going to jail for this. For making fucking movies. What happens if it’s John Stagliano next? Or Jules Jordan? Or Eli Cross? What then?
Before any of you think that I’m defending Max or declaring him innocent of all things, stop. That isn’t what I’m doing. I am not ignoring the things I have heard, the things I believe and even the things I know. He just wasn’t on trail for any of those things. I’m not playing Devil’s Advocate here either. I don’t buy into the idea that we necessarily have to forgive all sins just because he’s up there fighting for freedom. Max is who he is. Many people despise him and for some this will always be cosmic justice. (Like OJ going away from something small after getting away with murder or Al Capone going to jail for income tax evasion.) I can understand those feelings, but that is another discussion for another day.
I am genuinely disturbed that Max is going to prison for obscenity. He is not going to jail for what he might have done, what people say he did or what a lot of people would like to see him behind bars for allegedly doing. If he had been convicted of beating someone, raping someone or killing someone I would feel completely different. In this case I am concerned with what he was convicted of and that scares the shit out of me.
Regardless of what I may think of Max, what he may think of me, what he may have done or what he may represent to many people, he is going to prison for making movies. And on that, I have no mixed feelings, none whatsoever.
NOTE: I welcome all feedback, agree or disagree. This is an important issue and I would love to post as many differing points of view as possible.