Industry News

The Astor Place Riot

Moxie blogs:

I got a kick out of the brouhaha over the pushing contest between porn gossip columnist Gram Ponante and stunt cock Kurt Lockwood and the dustup it caused on XPT and in the industry. People jokingly greeted Gram at the XRCO awards “did you call me a fag.” If you missed it, go here

No one was killed or seriously harmed and no troops were called out. Porn has a ways to go to match the worst mainstream actor bitch fight, The Astor Place Riot. May 10, 1849, 20,000 members of the Order of United Americans, forerunner of the know-nothings and a group with much strength in the organized gangs of the Bowery and other working-class areas jammed the streets around the Astor Place Opera House and 31 people were killed when troops were summoned and fired into the crowd.

What was it about? Well, two rival actors Edwin Forrest and William MacReady basically called each other fags and performed MacBeth at the same time blocks away from each other in New York.

It all started a few weeks earlier in Paris when MacReady (porn name if I ever heard one) hissed at Forrest. Hissing seems like that times version of calling someone a fag. Considering that most historians describe Mac Ready as “effete” that must have been less than amusing to Forrest.

A few weeks later they both arrived in New York and decide to perform the same play. I guess that was their era’s version of a dance off. Forrest, the nativist tragedian was supported by the locals of five points (if you saw Gangs of New York you get the picture) while Mac Ready was supported by the artsy upper crust like Washington Irving, Herman Melville and John Jacob Astor. Not a fair fight, except the wealthy had their own army.

During the riot, Mac Ready was smuggled out of the theatre, some say, in a dress. Perhaps he looked something like this.

Come on adult industry, you can do better!

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