GayVN Stars Hosts Groundbreaking Broadcast of 2020 GayVN Awards

LOS ANGELES—As he watched the broadcast last night of the Best Actor presentation from the 2020 GayVN Awards in January, DeAngelo Jackson couldn’t contain his emotion. He covered his face with his hands, broke into a smile, clasped his palms together in thanks and then rubbed his eyes. He was living the experience all over again. “I was floored. I thought to myself, ‘Gather yourself, DeAngelo, gather yourself to be able to go up there and speak,’” he shared during the world premiere streaming broadcast of the 2020 GayVN Awards presented by ManyVids, exclusively on GayVN Stars. Jackson won Best Actor for his role in Icon Male’s Blended Family, becoming the first man of color to receive the honor. “I’m not speaking just for myself; I’m speaking for African American males. So for me, it was emotional…I thought, ‘Wow.’ For me it was groundbreaking, because I thought of us—when I say ‘us,’ I think of African Americans—not being looked at as just being a fetish, just being a BBC or ‘big black cock.’ So when I made my speech, I knew I had to gather myself to say something that resonated toward all of us,” he says. “Yeah, it’s porn, but it’s a stepping stone. You can go from porn into greater heights. So for me, I was floored; I could not believe I won that category at all…and it’s not just for African Americans, it’s me being a man of color—so Latino, Asian American, whatever the case may be, I was the first. I was like, ‘What?!’ I’m like bursting the door open…and I wasn’t being dramatic when I said I’m the first like Sydney Poitier or Halle Berry to win. That’s the way I feel. I feel emotional…I’m not being viewed as just a fetish for my body part.” Jackson was joined last night by fellow winning performers Cade Maddox (Performer of the Year), Nic Sahara and Alex Riley (who shared the Best Newcomer award), along with legendary director Chi Chi LaRue (who helmed Falcon’s Love and Lust in Montreal, which won Best All-Sex Movie). Also joining were red carpet host (and former CockyBoy) Liam Riley, along with Trophy Boys (and nominees) Riley Finch and Brock Banks—who smiled throughout the broadcast and talked about his quarantine. “I just got a new puppy, so that’s been very busy. I’ve been puppy training, so that’s been exciting,” he shared, which was fitting given his memorable puppy play role in the well-received video that opened the award show (and once again drew laughs from everyone). “I’ve been working out a lot, and I’ve been stretching my hole a bunch. It’s been so much fun…I’m getting prepared for when I come back.” The broadcast (like the award show) was hosted by Alec Mapa, with GayVN Awards Show executive producer Gary Miller moderating and asking questions. The GayVN Awards were held January 20, 2020 at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Like Jackson, Maddox was equally emotional as he watched himself win the award, his voice quivering once again as he talked about his experience from four months ago. “I wasn’t expecting it; this just brought back the excitement and the tears to my eyes again. It was like a couple times on stage—and even backstage—I caught myself…I just got very emotional. It was very exciting. Not expected at all, but very exciting, a very great feeling.” Jackson pointed to the screen with his hands and nodded in agreement when the broadcast showed Maddox’s emotional backstage interview, where the performer noted that the win was only a beginning: “It means I really have to step up my game for this year, right? You have to do better than the last year. That’s my thing.” Maddox was pressed by Mapa about one of the things he said during his on-stage speech when he thanked boyfriend Kevin Benoit: “So Cade, you have a boyfriend and you said it’s ‘a lot’ to be with somebody like you. Get more specific. Give us the dirt. Why is it hard dating Cade?” Maddox didn’t miss a beat: “Well, what I meant by that is it takes a lot for someone to date someone in this industry. You can’t be very emotional, you can’t be very jealous. It takes a lot. I know every time I have to go leave for a scene, I can see it in him…it’s not the best feeling in the world, telling your boyfriend (when you leave). But he’s great—he’s a big supporter, he’s helped me a lot…that’s a ‘thank you’ I had to say.” Mapa continued: “So what do you do to make up for it afterwards if there’s a bad feeling? Is it a trip to the Cheesecake Factory? Or do you have to buy a hat?” Smiled Maddox: “Oh, he loves desserts, so we get all kinds of dessert all the time. We went to Menchie’s last night.” Mapa asked if Cade’s boyfriend was with him (he was), and if he could peek in and say hello (he could). “Hi handsome…now tell us, what is it like to see him? Have you actually watched him film a scene? Or do you just go, ‘You’re at work now honey, I’ll gonna wait in the taxi.’” Benoit proved to be a good sport: “Well, I don’t wait in the taxi, I don’t take a taxi,” he replied matter-of-factly, eliciting laughs. “I just watch the trailers to make sure it’s alright, and then I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s promote it.” The two then hugged and kissed to the delight of viewers—and Benoit wasn’t the only special guest star that Maddox brought on. He also frequently lifted up their two little dogs—Rosco, a Jack Russell mix; and Bruno, a chug (pug and chihuahua mix). That delighted viewers who showed up in the chat room, which included GayVN Award winner Ricky Larkin—who won Best Bi Sex Scene in January and was up for three more awards, including Performer of the Year. “So awesome to have got this nom…congrats Cade!” he shared in the chat. “Younger and better-looking Gerard Butler!” Larkin also had praise for LaRue (“Chi Chi is the GOAT” he wrote in the chat), who was happy to see all of the winners celebrated again. The director reflected on his career and noted that the show and the accolades never get old. “I love all the guys that were in it. I said it before—it feels like an extended family to me, being on sets with boys and the crew and stuff. It’s my happy place, it really is. It’s finding new talent and doing these movies. These owners—people like Tim (Valenti) and Jon (Blitt) from Icon and Noir—let me come up with these crazy ideas and do ‘me.’ We’re putting together some really amazing stuff, and you can’t do this without the boys. A lot of people call me ‘Mama Cheech.’ I’m fighting for the ‘mama’ label with mr. Pam—this is really where I belong. It is.” mr. Pam was also in the chat, encouraging and congratulating her peers every step of the way (including “Gawd damn that’s a hot outfit. Nice DeAngelo!!!” and “Aww love you Cade!!!”). She was particularly taken by hearing Sahara talk about the Best Group Scene win for NakedSword’s Five Brothers, which she directed. The scene also included Jay Dymel, who passed away last year. “Pam was amazing at directing all of us, and (Jay) was a major player in the movie. So really this whole movie, I don’t know how it would have happened without him. Me and Jay became really close, especially when he went to Florida, and when we went to Las Vegas to go film,” Sahara shared last night. “It really hit home because we became so close, just even as friends. If I ever needed anything, he was always there for me. So I think it was pretty appropriate to thank him and just be grateful on his behalf, because I know that’s what he would have wanted, and he would have wanted the party to go on.” Shared Pam in the chat: “Love you Jay…thank you Nic.” Mapa also offered his sympathies: “I’m so sorry for your loss, and it’s true that there was emotion showing and in your voice, and I think your dear friend we lost was with us that night,” said the host. “I’m sure he’s looking down on you proud from that big gay porn set in the sky…he would want you to be happy and he would want you to celebrate friendship.” Sahara wasn’t done, as he also shared the Best Newcomer win with Alex Riley. Riley showed up last night wearing the same sharp outfit he won in—and also brought along his award. “I was so surprised,” shared Riley. “I was sitting right next to Ashton (Summers) at the Helix table, and we were listening to who they were going to call for Best Newcomer…everyone was looking to see if I was going to win it. I wasn’t expecting it. Seriously, it was the biggest shock of my entire life, literally. Like when I went on stage, after getting shoved up there to go because they said, ‘Hey, you won! Get up there!’ I literally couldn’t breathe. I’ve never experienced anything like that, it was crazy. My breath was just taken from me. It was a really great moment.” Miller then turned his attention to Sahara, noting how he was a Trophy Boy at the 2019 ceremony and now had two wins to complete a meteoric rise. “Crazy, really. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I got choked up again. I forgot to thank a lot of people, like Dominic Pacifico—he’s the one that actually got me into porn, and Icon Male, definitely forgot to thank them,” Sahara said. “There was a lot going through my head, and it was just running 10,000 miles a minute. I wasn’t prepared for sure for any mind of a speech or anything like that, and I didn’t really know what I was facing. It was absolutely crazy, and I’m so glad that this journey has brought me here.” Mapa then chimed in: “This is the great thing about the GayVN Awards—you never know what’s gonna happen, and I can honestly say as a gay man, this is the most shocking tie since Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn both won the Academy Award for Best Actress.” Immediately added Sahara: “And (Alex is) great! He’s gorgeous and he’s a very strong performer, so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have gotten that award as well.” For Riley, the feeling was mutual. “I think the same thing about you! I was like, ‘Yes! I got tied with the best person.’ You know what I mean? People may think, ‘Oh, it was a tie. Don’t you feel bad that it wasn’t just you?’ No, heck no…that’s awesome! Thanks guys! Nic, I love you!” Also in attendance was Valenti, president and CEO of Falcon Studios Group and NakedSword. He was inducted into the GayVN Hall of Fame in January, and was equally thankful last night. “I was incredibly grateful. Sometimes it’s not the easiest business to be in…this was really sweet, it was really nice,” he said. “This was so much fun. I love this show! GayVNs are always so much about love and encouragement and what’s coming next, so let’s keep doing it!” Mapa was also moved by Valenti’s speech: “I think it’s an extraordinary situation, because nowadays porn is so accessible. Tim and I are of an age where it was hard to get gay porn, and when you’re out in the middle of nowhere thinking you’re the only gay person in the world, you feel like a weirdo, you feel less than. There’s a lot of shame associated with that, and what Tim has done is he supplied the content for people who couldn’t get it, who didn’t have easy access to it. Now we have it at the press of a button, and it’s due to people like Tim that made that possible, so I was so glad Tim that you got recognized. It was the most well-groomed I’ve ever seen you.” (Added Valenti with a laugh: “I know, right?!”) The broadcast started with footage of arrivals on the red carpet in January, featuring Riley along with co-interviewer Christiana Cinn. “I think the red carpet has gotten bigger and bigger throughout the years. Everybody keeps bringing their fashion game more and more each year, so it’s really exciting to see,” shared Riley. “We get to see everybody arriving, and they’re really excited—most of them have not even been to GayVNs yet, so it’s really great to film. And I feel comfortable now to the point where I just get to have fun with it.” Mapa was equally happy for him: “How does it feel to be the red carpet reporter of the only red carpet where they’re ever gonna give a shit what gay porn stars are wearing?” Riley responded with a smile: “I was a model, so I’ve gotten interviewed by a lot of people, and I’ve just taken that advice. And then traveling and working with Shangela as her assistant, I got a full crash course in PR and media and how to talk to people on the red carpet, so it’s become a lot of fun.” Riley also praised GayVN for attracting musical acts for the show, with the two performances by King Princess being broadcast last night. “She is super talented…and for a live band to be at the GayVNs I think just added a whole new element to the show. It was amazing, it was fun to watch,” he said. “I always feel like we should aim super high, because you never know—there’s people who will just say yes, like Cardi B was just a huge unexpected yes (for the 2019 AVN Awards). The more that these people keep showing that sex work is real work and that the sex industry is real and alive, just like the Oscars, I think more people are open to doing it.” LaRue agreed: “When I saw that Cardi B was playing at the AVNs, I was just like ‘Fucking A, man!’ I remember one of the first ones, there was a folding table where there was cheese and crackers, there were folding chairs and like this makeshift little stage. And I used to be the performance, for like how many years Gary? For like five years?” (Miller quickly replied: “A long time ago, you did the Sam Kinison version of ‘Wild Thing’ at the AVN awards.”) Fans will be able to view the 2020 GayVN Awards on demand after the world premiere. The 2019 GayVN Awards Show is also available to view now at the GayVN Clip Store at GayVNStars.com. GayVN Stars, which officially launched this past January, is a subscription-based community tailored specifically for the needs of adult entertainers. It’s a space where creators may monetize their content without the fear of censorship, discrimination, account suspensions or shadow-bans. Creators may charge a subscription fee to view their content, or make their posts available free of charge. Sign-up for the platform is free at stars.gayvn.com.

written by: Brady Jansen

source: GayVN Stars Hosts Groundbreaking Broadcast of 2020 GayVN Awards | AVN

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