"Oscars of Porn" vs. the Oscars: The Surprising Similarities

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The AVN Awards and the Academy Awards have a lot more in common than you might think, starting with their "no gifts" policy for voters and their anti-Trump speeches.

The AVN Awards, which bills itself as "the Oscars of porn," with such honors as best anal and best girl/girl sex scene, held its 34th ceremony Jan. 21 in Las Vegas. While some of the adult stars show more skin on the red carpet than do mainstream talent, the events actually have a lot in common. The AVNs even have their own #OscarsSoWhite-style debate, with "a lot more barriers for people of color to get into the porn industry," says black performer Chanell Heart. Just like an Oscar, an AVN boosts a star's quote — but its nominees are less likely to bring Mom to the show. How the two events stack up:

AWARDS

AVNs: Of 100-plus awards, 19 were given out at the Hard Rock Hotel ceremony.

Oscars: All 24 competitive awards will be given out Feb. 26 at the Dolby Theatre.

CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES

AVNs: An awards-committee member accepting or soliciting gifts from filmmakers would be dismissed, says voter Dan Miller of AVN Magazine. "One year at lunch somebody handed me a DVD with $300 cash in it." (He says he returned it.)

Oscars: No gifts are allowed, but performers campaign for themselves and film companies lobby on their behalf, sending out screeners and expensive for-your-consideration booklets and hosting voters at fancy lunches and dinners.

RED CARPET

AVNs: "Who aren't you wearing?" could be the question for such stars as Cassidy Klein and event co-host Riley Reid, who attended in strikingly skimpy outfits, while others dress to the nines as civilians gawk.

Oscars: Oscar is big business for designers, with stars touting their gowns — Brie Larson stepped out in Gucci for her best actress win in 2016, while supporting actress winner Alicia Vikander wore Vuitton — as civilians gawk.

HOSTS/PRESENTERS

AVNs: Comic Colin Kane hosted; presenters included past winners (Abella Danger) and legends (Ron Jeremy).

Oscars: Jimmy Kimmel hosts; presenters will include past winners (Vikander) and legends (Meryl Streep).

CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE

AVNs: James Deen, who's been accused of sexual assault, was nominated for 12 awards, including male performer of the year, but did not attend.

Oscars: Mel Gibson, whose anti-Semitic comments put him in director jail until Hacksaw Ridge (a best pic and directing nominee), is set to attend.

MUSICAL PERFORMERS

AVNs: Flo Rida; Snoop Dogg and Chingy in the past

Oscars: Justin Timberlake, Sting, John Legend, Lin-Manuel Miranda

POLITICAL SPEECHES

AVNs: Some cheered the defeat of Prop 60, which would have required condoms in porn, and insulted Donald Trump.

Oscars: Speeches criticizing the president and his policies are expected.

A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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