It had to happen sooner or later. The glitter has begun to fall from the adult media phenomenon that is 18-year-old Belle Knox. Knox, of course, shot to fame when she was recently outed as the Duke University student who had been paying her tuition fees through a burgeoning sideline career in porn.
After receiving all sorts of abuse, she wrote about the slut-shaming campaign she suffered in a xoJane piece that quickly went viral. Knox, who defended what she and others in the adult industry did as an expression of female empowerment, then found herself on the receiving end of not more abuse but, instead, support, from those in the adult industry.
The next thing we knew, Knox was pretty much mainstream, appearing on shows like Piers Morgan Live and writing a number of pieces for various sources. Some have suggested that it is perhaps that, her apparent mainstream prestige, that has made some in the industry turn on her.
Performers appear to be annoyed for a number of reasons. Some see Knox as basically a tourist in their world. According to writer and director Nica Noelle, for instance, “Porn is filled with people who are not by any means privileged. The fact that Knox goes to Duke causes many to suspect that she’s just a ‘visitor’ here, and not in it for the long haul.”
Her endorsement of porn tube site Pornhub – where she has been given an internship –also appears to have rubbed people up the wrong way. As far as many are concerned, sites such as Pornhub are responsible for helping the spread of porn piracy. This seems to be especially galling because Knox seems to have been chosen as the voice of the adult industry – a role which Knox did not ask for, it has to be said.
More than a few adult artists who have been in the business for many, many years have expressed anger that someone with so little experience in the industry should be extended such a role at all.
That said, not everyone is out to put Knox in her place – whatever place they think that is – and some have suggested that what is really pushing this backlash against Knox is jealousy and the fact that she occupies that magical spot between adult entertainment and mainstream that many in the industry long to occupy.
As Noelle went on to say, “I have never seen such vicious, unfounded, sadistic gossip anywhere as I have during my years in the porn community, so I’d be very reluctant to believe anything being said about Belle right now. In my observation, the problem is very simple: this girl is getting too much mainstream media attention and too many financial opportunities, so it’s time to take her down.”
Whatever the reasons behind all this attention, like it or not, the eyes are still fixed on Belle Knox.