If you’ve been hanging around Twitter for long, you’re familiar with a little site called ask.fm, where anyone can be asked any question, under the protection of complete anonymity.
In other words, it’s a place where an avid fan can find out your favorite color, or a troll who you blocked from allothersourcesof social media can ask probing and inappropriate questions. On August 5th, such was the case for up and coming porn star Connor Kline.
When Kline was asked “Would you/ have you had sex with a Black guy???”, instead of throwing out the question or posting a non-specific answer, Connor responded with a simple “Connor Kline Twitter” and then posted it to Twitter. And then all hell broke loose. What happened next played out like a train wreck watched by thousands of people on Twitter. Connor was seen as everything from “just a guy who likes what he likes” to an insensitive, blatant racist.
Is Connor Kline a racist? I can’t say with certainty because I don’t know him, but I want to say no. I think he’s a young guy with little experience in the ways that words can get turned against you in the blink of an eye. I think he said the wrong words at the wrong time and it was blown up into a monster that quickly escaped his control.
Anyone in the public eye has agents and publicists for a reason. Those who have something to lose by saying the wrong thing are pretty much kept off social media all together. Unfortunately, the personal interaction we receive from our porn stars that makes us loyal and appreciative fans can also be used to their detriment.
I don’t want those lovely, open, kind-hearted men to suddenly stop talking for fear of having their words turned against them. So here’s some advice for future social media interactions, should a touchy situation suddenly turn very ugly.
1) Admit you were wrong. Were you wrong? It doesn’t really matter. I absolutely believe we are all entitled to our own opinions. I also believe we’re entitled to have our own preferences and tastes when it comes to people we like to have sex with- even porn stars. But sometimes we bring up a topic that goes down like a lead balloon. Am I going to discuss politics with my ultra-conservative religious grandmother? Hell no.
Some topics are sensitive, and it shouldn’t have to be explained that race is one of those topics. Any time you state a strong opinion on one of these topics, it can be seen as insensitive to those who, through whatever personal experience, disagrees strongly with your statement. Own it.
2) Apologize. Words are a very tricky thing. Written words can be even more damning. Maybe the words you used were meant in an entirely different way than they were perceived. Maybe you really were joking. And maybe you have every right to state your personal beliefs and opinions without the judgment of others. You didn’t mean to offend, so screw those who took it the wrong way, right? Wrong.
It doesn’t matter if what you said was misconstrued and blown out of proportion. If a large group of people took offense to something you said, you, as an adult, should just apologize and move on. “I didn’t intend for my comment to come out this way. I’m attracted to all types of people for a variety of reasons.” or something of that sort. (Just as a sidenote, “I’ve fucked & am friends with every race”, while no doubt factual and also more than a little impressive, is probably not the direction you want to go while explaining yourself.)
3) Fight Your Own Battles. Should an innocent remark turn into a full-blown controversy within minutes, do not rely on others, even your very best friends, to make your arguments for you. This kills your credibility. And, once this happens, it is totally out of your hands. You’ve said one innocent or not so innocent remark. Again, at this point, it doesn’t matter. But when Marc Dylan, who has been linked to several purportedly racist remarks via social media and video starts to defend your honor, suddenly you’re linked in a much bigger way.
It also makes it very difficult for you to explain your comments as “a joke” when two days previous several friends of yours were defending your right to speak your mind when it comes to sexual preferences. If it was a joke, why all the vehemence on your behalf? Here’s where the apology and moving on come in really handy. No favoriting or retweeting. Don’t make it necessary for your friends to come to your aid in a situation they know nothing about. You’re your own person, so fight your own battles.
4) Don’t Trust Anyone. I could;ve just said “Don’t trust The Sword”here. When a blog approaches you under the guise that they will give you the platform to be able to explain yourself do not believe them. This is the same blog that repeatedly makes fun of and mercilessly bullies porn stars, whether it’s deserved or not.
This is the same blog that only hours before posted a scathing report about your supposed friend and supporter, Marc Dylan. Why oh why would you think this is the way to go about clearing up the situation? What you have here is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The words are saying one thing, but everything else is telling a completely different story. He lets you get things off your chest, but doesn’t even try to spin it in your favor and posts it with accompanying photos of your ass. No one in the media is on your side, so don’t trust them to tell your story for you.
5) Keep Your Mouth Shut. We all make mistakes. We all stay stupid things. We all forget that social media is not the place to joke or air unpopular opinions because there are all too many people waiting by for some controversial drama to cut through the monotony of their boring lives.
Once it’s said, though, just shut your damn mouth. There is nothing that can be said, beyond the aforementioned apology, that will correct the damage that has inadvertently been caused. Don’t fight for your rights as “just a normal person”. Don’t claim to be joking (whether you were or not). Don’t post photographic evidence to support your claims. Don’t let your final tweet on the matter be: I feel like the people throwing the shade and saying I’m racist, are actually the racist ones. You are simply making it worse. Shut that beautiful mouth of yours or put it to much better use. We all know you’re capable of it.
Social media can be a fantastic thing. It allows those in the public eye to show who they really are and creates loyal, enthusiastic fans- fans who pay good money to support you in your occupational pursuits.
Just remember that everything you say can and will be used against you, and you can be royally screwed if you don’t do some quick damage control. To Connor Kline I say “We all learn lessons the hard way.” So let’s learn the lesson and try to finally let this matter drop for good.