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It’s not that there isn’t enough to write about in the adult industry. Quite the opposite. There’s too much happening to keep on top of things.
Rob Black’s is a breaking story. Twice in two days, Black’s Internet show has been shut off the air. Thursday, management of Blog Talk Radio announced that they had been under cyber attack. Then half way during his Friday show, Black again went off the air.
Two days in a row takes coincidence out of the conversation. Someone obviously doesn’t want Black airing his message. I know from my own experience, the adult industry, which espouses free speech, usually doesn’t like it when an individual exercises it.
Black earlier this week challenged either AVN’s Peter Warren or Steve Javors to write an article into why John Stagliano is shooting his Stretch Class series without making full disclosure to his female talent that he is HIV positive.
Black got on his show challenging the “men of action” over at AVN to do something about it. Black wasn’t talking about Javors and Warren, either. He was calling out owner Theo Sapoutzis to get the ball rolling and start cleaning house over at the magazine.
AVN continues to ignore the obvious, and Black has said that he’d camp outside of AVN this coming week with a megaphone. He’ll do it, too.
This story goes back to October, 1999. Black was running for mayor of Los Angeles [no joke] and held a morning press conference to announce his candidacy.
One of the AVN staffers, Suzie Mid America was in attendance.
After the conference, Black and about ten of his XPW wrestlers headed over to AVN. Black and owner Paul Fishbein were having words over an ad bill. Black didn’t like the fact that Fishbein was telling the rest of the industry he was a deadbeat and decided to make his beef a public spectacle in front of Fishbein’s employees.
I get a buzz on the intercom from the lobby. Fishbein was out of the office, and Black wanted to talk to me. I come out to the lobby and am met by a battery of clicking cameras.
Asked what the cameras were about, Black said he wanted a record of how AVN had been systematically “screwing” his company. Black went over his beef about how Fishbein was calling him a deadbeat.”
Black immediately launched into a tirade of profanity and threats that Jimmy Hoffa would have admired. One of the employees, Elaine, called the cops.
With exaggerated finger-pointing and snarling accusations for the benefit of the camera, Black exploded about how AVN was totally blasé about everything he was trying to do on behalf of his company.
Black particularly brought up the fact that AVN staffer Suzie Mid America had attended his press conference and seemed totally unimpressed judging by the way she “was rolling her fucking eyeballs.”
I guess, it was during the course of the press conference, that Black played a videotape featuring himself and his goon squad invading an AVN awards nominations’ meeting maybe it was the year before, I’m not sure. At the time, with video cameras rolling, Black along with pro wrestler Bubba Ray Dudley entered Fishbein’s office unannounced, disrupting the AVN staff meeting.
Black had subsequently boasted that “someone famous” on that tape would be joining Extreme Associates. When pressed on the issue at the mayoralty press conference, Black admitted that it was Dudley but said the whole effect was completely lost on Mid America who’s not a wrestling fan.
Working himself into a lather, Black took one of the potted plants in the lobby and threw it on the floor.
I advised Black to “get off the steroids,” that he was taking the wrestling-thing way too seriously. Within in seconds, an LAPD black & white showed up in the company parking lot. Two cops rushed the lobby, pinned Black’s face against a wall, slapped handcuffs on him and took him out to the squad car.
By the no questions-asked nature of the arrest, the guess over at AVN was that the “cops” may have been actors and that the event was staged to garner even more publicity for Black. Bogus arrests, like these, used to be a commonplace feature in pro wrestling shows.
Fishbein got back to the office and was filled in. A follow-up call to the local police determined that there was no record of an arrest. Stressing that the safety of his employees was a paramount issue, Fishbein filed a report with the police. Two more cops showed up at AVN. They told Fishbein they couldn’t act unless Black returned and trespassed on private property.
The police also reviewed the bizarre incident on the security tapes from the lobby.
“It looks like one of us,” said one of the cops.
The only other alternative Fishbein had, according to the police, was to file a vandalism report regarding the plant. Fishbein assessed its worth at $35. The police also suggested that Fishbein could file a restraining order. Fishbein said he was planning on it but, on second thought, realized that’s exactly what Black probably wanted him to do.
Fishbein also stressed that never at any time did he refer to Black as a deadbeat.
“But he is a coward,” said Fishbein. “What kind of businessman settles a business issue by bringing 10 guys to someone’s office, with a video camera, puts on a show, tries to bully and intimidate the employees and then has his own arrest faked? We have the whole thing on tape from our security camera and if there was sound, I’d stream it on our web site. This is retarded.”
“I guess this started because I called Rob Black for money he owed AVN and he refused to return my phone calls,” Fishbein said.
“I called Rob six times over three days. His guys took the messages. They told me he was out buying new turnbuckles for his wrestling ring or something. Anyway, he never called back. I told my partner to just handle it the way he would anyone else who was behind in their bills.
“Why didn’t Rob just answer the phone like a normal human being? All he had to do was pick up the phone and explain to me when he was going to pay his bill. That’s all I cared about. And, as I said to you, why should we continue to give him all this publicity when he won’t return calls.”
In the end, of course it was a publicity stunt, but Black got the attention he wanted. Just as when he threatens to camp outside of AVN this week.