Michael Lucas (director)
Lucas in 2011
10 March 1972 
Moscow, Russian SFSR
|Other names||Ramzes Kairoff
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg)|
Michael Lucas (born Andrei Lvovich Treivas (Russian: Андрей Львович Трейвас), March 10, 1972, Moscow, Russian SFSR) is an American-Russian-Israeli gay pornographic film actor, director, activist, writer and the founder/CEO of Lucas Entertainment, New York's largest gay-adult-film company. He is a columnist for The Advocate, Huffington Post and Pink News.
The New Republic dubbed Lucas "Gay Porn's Neocon Kingpin", and FrontPage Magazine cited him as "the most mainstreamed, provocative, and controversial figure in gay adult entertainment today." He contends that his film Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita is the most expensive gay porn film ever made, with a budget of $250,000 and multiple celebrity cameos. In 2009, Lucas was inducted into the GayVN Hall of Fame, noted for "his stature as an A-list director and performer". He was included in a 2009 New York magazine feature about people who made it to the top, but arrived to the city with very little.
Lucas is particularly well known for his activism and outspokenness. His criticism of drug use and his sponsorship of public service ad campaigns about the dangers of unprotected sex in the gay community led Harvey Fierstein to interview him for The Advocate. His New York Blade columns on Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and Islam sparked a campus debate at Stanford University in February 2008 when Lucas was invited to give a speech to students. In 2010 he debated Peter Tatchell and Sue Sanders at England's Oxford University on whether the gay rights movement has undermined family values.
In 2009, Lucas released the film Men of Israel, which he called his most important. Journalists from The Atlantic, Out Magazine and Yediot Aharonot noted it as a landmark film as the first pornographic movie shot on location with an all-Israeli cast; while Tablet Magazine and the Los Angeles Times remarked on it being the first to feature an all-Jewish cast. Lucas followed the film with a gay tour of Israel. New York's LGBT Center stopped allowing groups associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to meet in their building after Lucas led a protest over their allowance of an anti-Israel group.
In 2012, he released his first documentary film about the thriving Israeli LGBT community. Titled Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promised Land, the film includes footage of Tel Aviv's vibrant nightlife, a same-sex wedding, and candid interviews with a diverse range of local Israeli gays and lesbians, including a gay MP, an openly gay Army trainer, a drag queen, a transvestite, a young Arab-Israeli journalist, and same-sex parents raising their children and a number of artists and activists.
- 1 Background
- 2 Career
- 3 Writer, speaker and activist
- 4 In popular culture
- 5 Awards
- 6 Filmography
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Lucas was born in 1972 in Moscow, Russia, to Lev Bregman, an engineer, and Elena Treivas, a Russian literature teacher. He was raised in a secular Jewish family. In 1994 he obtained a degree in law from Moscow State Law Academy. After graduation, Lucas briefly owned and operated a travel agency until 1995, when he left Russia for Munich, Germany, before settling in France for the next two years. In 1997, Lucas moved to New York City.
On November 12, 2004, Lucas was sworn in as an American citizen. In October 2008 it was announced that Lucas had married his boyfriend of eight years, Richard Winger. A press release stated that the couple wanted to get married to make a statement about same-sex marriage rights.
Lucas began his career in a German heterosexual pornographic film. While in France, he worked under the influential French director Jean-Daniel Cadinot, appearing as "Ramzes Kairoff" in two gay pornographic films, both released in 1996. Using the name "Michel Lucas," he worked as a Falcon Exclusive, performing as a top in five films released in 1997 and 1998.
He directed his first project, Back in the Saddle, in 1998, and also performed in the film. With co-director Tony DiMarco, Lucas won Best Director at the 2007 GayVN Awards for Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita. DiMarco and Lucas also won a 2008 XBIZ Award for Best GLBT Director, and Lucas received an award for Best Publicity Stunt for "Michael Lucas Found Dead".
The Banana Guide called his productions the most polished, big-budget gay porn films ever made and cited Lucas' love for the subject and high technical aptitude.
In 1998 Lucas founded his own production company, Lucas Entertainment, with money he earned from working as a male escort. He based the company in New York City (rather than Los Angeles, where many of the other pornography studios are located in part because of the city's hospitable environment for adult films.) In 2004, Lucas Distribution, Inc., his adult video distribution company, began operations. Lucas directs, produces and stars in his own films under the Lucas Entertainment banner. His studio has garnered many GayVN Awards and Adult Erotic Gay Video Awards ("Grabbys") nominations and wins.
In the summer of 2005 Lucas released Michael Lucas' Dangerous Liaisons; the film featured celebrity cameos from RuPaul, Boy George, Graham Norton, Bruce Vilanch, Lady Bunny, Amanda Lepore, and Michael Musto.
The company received 24 nominations for the 2009 GayVN Awards, including best picture for Return to Fire Island. That May, Lucas filmed the first gay porn film using all Israeli models, billing it as a sexual journey to promote Israeli culture. The company launched its Men of Israel website to promote the film, which announced its release for July 22.
Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita
In 2006, the studio released Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita Parts 1 & 2, a gay pornographic remake of the 1960 Fellini classic La Dolce Vita. The film won a record fourteen awards at the 2007 GayVN Awards, winning in every category in which it was nominated.
In February 2007, International Media Films, Inc., which owns the rights to Fellini's La Dolce Vita, filed suit against Lucas (as Andrei Treivas Bregman), Lucas Entertainment, Inc., and Lucas Distribution, Inc. for trademark and copyright infringement. The lawsuit seeks to collect unspecified damages and to stop sales of Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita Parts 1 & 2.
Writer, speaker and activist
|“||I couldn't talk about anything in Russia. I was growing up in a very strict regime. But I rebelled.||”|
In the 2000s, Lucas attracted attention for his views on politics and culture through a series of columns, speaking events and his increasing activism. He is a vocal opponent of drug use and an advocate for safe sex, both in the porn industry and the gay community at large. In August 2004, The Advocate published an interview by Harvey Fierstein with Lucas about his full-page public service announcements in several national publications warning of the dangers of unprotected sex.
Increasingly Lucas gained attention for his politics, and in particular his views on Israel and Muslims. In March 2008 he was profiled in The New Republic as "Gay porn's neocon kingpin". The article explored his background and a controversy over his writings on Islam that surrounded a lecture he gave at Stanford University.
Lucas wrote about the need for LGBT people to reassess conservatives in August 2010, citing Ann Coulter as an example of a gay-friendly conservative leader. One month later he attended the GOProud 2010 convention, where he argued with Coulter about the perception of her anti-gay jokes among the Republican Party's base voters.
On April 20, 2007, The New York Blade began to publish regular opinion columns by Lucas, who had previously had a number of comments published in the Blade's opinion section. In October 2009, Lucas wrote a column for The Advocate decrying the group Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism. In March 2010 Lucas began writing a column for The Advocate. His columns have focused on Israel, Russia's confronting homosexuality, and the Park51 controversy. In 2011 he started writing a column for Huffington Post.
His writings on Islam have been controversial. In a 2007 New York Blade column, Lucas expressed support for artist Charles Merrill's burning of a Koran that was estimated at $60,000. He has condemned Islam and accused it of creating negative attitudes that lead to the persecution of homosexuals. Lucas's Islamophobia led him write articles and quotes that offended millions of Muslims worldwide. His views greatly upset Muslims and Orthodox Jews worldwide.
As a columnist for The Advocate, Lucas continued to explore Islamic topics. In a heavily-debated column, he called the Cordoba House, a proposed Islamic community center and mosque controversially located near the World Trade Center site, a 'monument to Muslim terrorism' and an example of "political Islam's ascendancy." After the 2011 Egyptian revolution he wrote that the Muslim Brotherhood would fill a power vacuum, asserting that it would be a problem for the discreet Egyptian gay community that has lived with relatively little government persecution.
In April 2005, Lucas was invited to speak before a Calhoun College Master's Tea at Yale University's. The speech was organized with the assistance of gaYalies, a campus group for gay and bisexual men. He spoke about his life history and his views on pornography. In February 2006 he participated in a symposium on adult entertainment that was sponsored by the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, which later published Lucas' discussion in its Spring issue.
The Speakers Bureau at Stanford University invited Lucas to speak in Cubberley Auditorium on February 14, 2008, about the role the adult entertainment industry plays in AIDS prevention. The appearance sparked debate about his political columns for the New York Blade, particularly his assertions that "the Qur'an is today’s Mein Kampf" and that its teachings inspire Muslims to kill gay people.
The core of Lucas' worldview is his Jewish identity, and particularly his deep affinity for the state of Israel. His time growing up in the Soviet Union, which was notorious for its antisemitism, meant that like many Russian Jews, Lucas had to repress his identity. Lucas has claimed that he was given his mother's maiden name at birth specifically because Treivas sounded less Jewish than his father's surname Bregman.
Hezbollah's attacks in the 2006 Lebanon war affected Lucas, who in the midst of the fighting announced his plans to go to Israel to entertain gay soldiers (who are allowed to serve openly in the military). Lucas received a positive response to the trip; however, some religious segments of Israeli society had expressed less enthusiasm for the arrival of a gay porn magnate. In an article, "Lucas responds," Lucas characterized some of the reaction as homophobic and in an interview said, "Israel is my country as much as it is yours. To come to Israel is my birthright." In September 2009 Lucas was granted Israeli citizenship.
The next summer in a New York Blade column Lucas brought up his disapproval of Haredi Judaism in Israel once again. In "Trouble With Ultra-Orthodox," Lucas referred to the Ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem as "religious goons" and parasites for his belief that they take advantage of state welfare programs.
New York LGBT Community Center controversy
In February 2011, Lucas created a controversy over a pro-Palestinian group that planned to hold a meeting at New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. The group, Siegebusters, had planned to hold a fundraising party on March 5 at the Center to help fund another vessel to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, as well as to train activists. Lucas protested and claimed that Israel is the only gay-friendly country in the Middle East, that the group was anti-Semitic, and that LGBT people in the Palestinian territories are tortured and killed. After Lucas's calls for a boycott, the Center backed down and decided that Siegebusters was not an LGBT-related group, and so they should not use their space for the Israeli Apartheid Week event. Siegebusters protested the decision by organizing an online petition; Lucas told The Jerusalem Post that his success with the event's cancellation was a "landmark moment" in his life.
The controversy arose again in May 2011 after the Center agreed to let the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid meet in their building, triggering Lucas to again call for a boycott and an end to the Center's funding. In a statement defending the move, the Center said that it "provides space for a variety of LGBT voices in our community to engage in conversations on a range of topics." In a press release, Lucas responded that the Center had become an accomplice of an "anti-Semitic hate group whose goal is the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel". And in the beginning of June 2011, the Center decided to place a "moratorium" on renting space to "groups that organize around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
In popular culture
Lucas appeared in Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' 2004 book XXX: 30 Porn Star Photographs and the accompanying HBO documentary Thinking XXX. Greenfield-Sanders asked Lucas for a list of his 10 favorite films; the 10 films he listed are all films from his own production company. In May 2007, Kensington Books published a biography of Lucas titled Naked: The Life and Times of Michael Lucas. Lucas asserts the book was published without his involvement or approval.
- 2000 Adult Erotic Gay Video Awards ("Grabbys") Best Newcomer—Director
- 2001 GayVN Awards Best Solo Performance, Fire Island Cruising
- 2007 GayVN Awards Best Actor, Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita
- 2007 GayVN Awards Best Threesome, Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita
- 2007 GayVN Awards Best Director, Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita (Tony DiMarco, co-director)
- 2008 XBIZ Award GLBT Director of the Year (with Tony DiMarco)
- 2008 XBIZ Award Publicity Stunt of the Year, Michael Lucas Found Dead
- 2009 GayVN Awards GayVN Hall of Fame
- Adult films
A complete list of film performance and model credits can be found at Lucas Entertainment.com, including those directed, written or produced by Lucas.
- 2012: Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promised Land (written, produced, directed) - co-directed by Yariv Mozer
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michael Lucas.|
- Adult Erotic Gay Video Awards
- GayVN Awards
- List of male performers in gay porn films
- List of pornographic movie studios
- Photograph of Lucas' birth certificate showing his birth information
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- Columns by Michael Lucas
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- The Naked Truth about Michael Lucas, Michael Musto, The Village Voice, April 21, 2009
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- The Monument to Muslim Terrorism.
- Faisal Alam (June 1, 2007). "Fanning Flames of Fear, Hatred Against Muslims". New York Blade. Archived from the original on 2007-06-04.
- Michael Lucas (August 3, 2007). "Burn the Koran? It’s Gay Artwork" (– Scholar search). New York Blade. Archived from the original on 2008-05-04.
- Michael Lucas (August 3, 2007). "Religion, Sexuality, and Art". World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews.
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- Lucas, Michael (Spring 2006). "On Gay Porn". Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 18 (p. 299).
- Coming Out in the Developing World: Exploring Eastern Europe’s Hidden Closets, New School press release, April 19, 2011.
- 'Men of Israel': The new box-office stud?, Los Angeles Times blog, July 27, 2009.
- Bunder, Leslie (August 19, 2006), "Entertaining gay Israeli troops": "Talkbacks", retrieved from www.ynetnews.com on September 5, 2006.
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- Lucas, Michael (August 23, 2006), "Dear friends and fellow Jews", retrieved from www.lucasblog.com on September 5, 2006
- Michael Lucas (June 6, 2007). "Trouble With Ultra-Orthodox" (– Scholar search). New York Blade. Archived from the original on 2007-10-20.
- Michael Lucas Says LGBT Center Pressed Jewish Group to Move Meeting, Duncan Osbourne, Gay.com news, February 2011
- LGBT Center Cancels Israel Apartheid Event, The Advocate, February 22, 2011.
- NY gay center pulls plug on Israel-Apartheid event NY gay center pulls plug on Israel-Apartheid event, Gil Shefler and Benjamine Weinthal, The Jerusalem Post, February 24, 2004.
- Don’t Mess With Jewish Porn King Michael Lucas, Michael Kaminer, The Jewish Daily Forward, February 23, 2011.
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- N.Y. gay center rapped for renting space to anti-Israel group, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 26, 2011; accessed May 26, 2011
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- Greenfield-Sanders, Timothy, Photographer (2005). XXX 30 Porn-Star Portraits. New York, New York: Bulfinch Press. ISBN 0-8212-7754-5.
- Greenfield-Sanders, Timothy, Director (2004). Thinking XXX (TV Documentary). HBO.
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- XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, February, 2011
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- Official website
- Michael Lucas at the Internet Movie Database
- Michael Lucas at the Adult Film Database