This time, the hapless lot of directing a post-screening panel fell to Elvis Mitchell, former movie critic at the NY Times. The panel was made up of HarperCollins publisher Judith Regan, journalist Peter Boyer, criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz (who defended Harry Reems in the famous obscenity trial), and feminist professor Catherine McKinnon.
Mitchell looked on helplessly as McKinnon did her thing, claiming that the film we had just watched was promoting the acceptance of rape. At one point, however, her righteous zeal became unhinged when she claimed that it was not possible to do deep throat safely, that it was a dangerous act that could only be done under hypnosis. "What's so funny?" she snapped as the audience rippled with mirth. Todd Graff's hand shot up - "I can do it," he said, and the room echoed with a chorus of gay men going "me too!" (Gigi Grazer - wife of Brian - later told Graff to stop bragging and that she could do it better than him and had the rocks on her fingers to prove it. Touché). But La McKinnon was not to be discouraged; she claimed that emergency rooms were filled with women victims of throat rape, not to mention the ones who hadnt even made it that far and had died in the act.
Judith Regan chimed in preposterously, maintaining that her Jenna Jameson autobiography, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, really was "a cautionary tale" rather than just an afterthought of a subtitle. She argued that all sex workers are victims of sexual abuse. Frontliner Peter Boyer went on on about rape porn and tried to raise a quorum on fisting.
Which left the task of defending Deep Throat and the porn world by extension to Alan Dershowitz, who pointed out that to say porn promoted rape was akin to saying that rap promoted. . . But then Elvis Mitchell leapt to his feet, as if about to throw a Springer-like punch, and put us all out of our misery by ending the panel abruptly. [emphases added]
Poor Elvis. He's so courageous. I guess some things can be too hard to swallow, even for former NYT critics.