Michael Lucas (director)

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For other people of the same name, see Michael Lucas.
Michael Lucas
Michael Lucas 2011 portrait.jpg
Lucas in 2011
Born Andrei Treivas[1][2]
(1972-03-10) March 10, 1972 (age 42)[1]
Moscow, Russian SFSR[1]
Other names Ramzes Kairoff
Michel Lucas
Michael Lucas
Ethnicity Ashkenazi Jew
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Website
http://www.lucasblog.com/

Michael Lucas (born Andrei Lvovich Treivas (Russian: Андрей Львович Трейвас), March 10, 1972, Moscow, Russian SFSR[1]) is an American–Russian–Israeli[3] gay pornographic film actor,[4] director, activist,[5] writer and the founder/CEO of Lucas Entertainment, New York's largest[2] gay-adult-film company. He is a columnist for The Advocate,[6] Huffington Post[7] and Pink News.[8]

The New Republic dubbed Lucas "Gay Porn's Neocon Kingpin",[9] and FrontPage Magazine cited him as "the most mainstreamed, provocative, and controversial figure in gay adult entertainment today."[10] 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.[2] In 2009, Lucas was inducted into the GayVN Hall of Fame, noted for "his stature as an A-list director and performer".[11] 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.[12]

Lucas is particularly well known for his activism and outspokenness.[2][9][11] 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.[13] 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.[14] In 2010 he debated Peter Tatchell and Sue Sanders at England's Oxford University on whether the gay rights movement has undermined family values.[15]

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;[16] while Tablet Magazine and the Los Angeles Times remarked on it being the first to feature an all-Jewish cast.[16][17][18] Lucas followed the film with a gay tour of Israel.[19] 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,[20] 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.

Background[edit]

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.[21] In 1994 he obtained a degree in law from Moscow State Law Academy.[22][23] 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.[24] In 1997, Lucas moved to New York City.[22][25]

On November 12, 2004, Lucas was sworn in as an American citizen.[22] In October 2008 it was announced that Lucas had married his boyfriend of eight years, Richard Winger.[26] A press release stated that the couple wanted to get married to make a statement about same-sex marriage rights.[26]

Career[edit]

Actor[edit]

Lucas began his career in a German heterosexual pornographic film.[25] While in France, he worked under the influential French director Jean-Daniel Cadinot,[27] appearing as "Ramzes Kairoff" in two gay pornographic films, both released in 1996.[citation needed] Using the name "Michel Lucas," he worked as a Falcon Exclusive, performing as a top in five films released in 1997 and 1998.[28]

Director[edit]

He directed his first project, Back in the Saddle, in 1998, and also performed in the film.[29] 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".[30]

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.[31]

Lucas Entertainment[edit]

Main article: Lucas Entertainment

In 1998 Lucas founded his own production company, Lucas Entertainment, with money he earned from working as a male escort.[25] 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.)[32] 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[33] and Adult Erotic Gay Video Awards ("Grabbys") nominations and wins[citation needed].

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.[34]

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.[26] The company launched its Men of Israel website to promote the film, which announced its release for July 22.

Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita[edit]

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.[35] The film won a record fourteen awards at the 2007 GayVN Awards, winning in every category in which it was nominated.[33]

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.[36] The lawsuit seeks to collect unspecified damages and to stop sales of Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita Parts 1 & 2.[37]

Lucas won the lawsuit in April 2010 in a summary judgment by Judge John George Koeltl, who dismissed IMF's claims of copyright infringement, since many porn films have parodied mainstream films.[38]

Writer, speaker and activist[edit]

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.[13]

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.[9]

In an interview with Michael Musto in April 2009, Lucas remarked that his stifled upbringing in Soviet Russia influenced how vocal he is about his opinions.[39]

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.[40] 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.[41]

Columnist[edit]

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.[42] In October 2009, Lucas wrote a column for The Advocate decrying the group Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism.[43] In March 2010 Lucas began writing a column for The Advocate. His columns have focused on Israel,[44] Russia's confronting homosexuality,[45] and the Park51 controversy.[46] In 2011 he started writing a column for Huffington Post.

Islam[edit]

His writings on Islam have been controversial.[47] 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.[9][48][49] He has condemned Islam and accused it of creating negative attitudes that lead to the persecution of homosexuals.

As a columnist for The Advocate, Lucas continued to explore Islamic topics. In a heavily-debated column,[50] 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."[51] 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.[52]

University lectures[edit]

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.[53] He spoke about his life history and his views on pornography.[25] 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.[54]

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.[14] 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.[14]

Lucas, who grew up in the Soviet Union and experienced its antisemitism, was on a panel at The New School on the state of gay rights and acceptability in Eastern Europe.[55]

Activism[edit]

Israel[edit]

See also: Men of Israel
Lucas, under the microphone, on the set of the 2009 release Men of Israel, the first adult film to use exclusively Jewish models.[56]

The core of Lucas' worldview is his Jewish identity, and particularly his deep affinity for the state of Israel.[9] 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).[4][57] 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."[58][59] In September 2009 Lucas was granted Israeli citizenship.[3]

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.[60]

New York LGBT Community Center controversy[edit]

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.[61][62][63] 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.[61][62][64] 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.[63]

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.[65][66] 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."[66] 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".[65] 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."[67]

In popular culture[edit]

Lucas appeared in Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' 2004 book XXX: 30 Porn Star Photographs[68] and the accompanying HBO documentary Thinking XXX.[69] 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.[70] Lucas asserts the book was published without his involvement or approval.[71]

Awards[edit]

Filmography[edit]

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.[73]

Documentaries

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Photograph of Lucas' birth certificate showing his birth information
  2. ^ a b c d Van Meter, William (October 30, 2006). "The Lion of Chelsea". New York Movies. New York Magazine Holdings LLC. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  3. ^ a b "Can gay porn save Israel's image? – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News". haaretz.com. May 17, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-17. 
  4. ^ a b Bunder, Leslie (August 18, 2006), "Entertaining gay Israeli troops", retrieved from www.somethingjewish.co.uk on September 3, 2006.
  5. ^ Porn producer turns political activist to stop gay community center from hosting anti-Israel bash, The New York Daily News, February 28, 2011; accessed July 18, 2011
  6. ^ Columns by Michael Lucas
  7. ^ "Michael Lucas". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-01-17. 
  8. ^ "Michael Lucas Pink UK columns". Pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Gay Porn's Neocon Kingpin, James Kirchick, The New Republic via CBSNews.com, March 20, 2006.
  10. ^ Michael Lucas: A Gay Man For Israel, Jamie Glazov, FrontPage Magazine, May 13, 2011; accessed July 18, 2011.
  11. ^ a b GAYVN Announces 2009 Hall of Fame Inductees, Harker Jones, AVN, March 12, 2009.
  12. ^ Waking Up to New York, New York Magazine, April 12, 2009.
  13. ^ a b Kennedy, Sean (August 17, 2004). "Porn star wants you...safe". Advocate.com Planet out Inc. 920 (37–39): 37–39. ISSN 0001-8996. 
  14. ^ a b c Adult film star’s remarks spark debate at the Wayback Machine (archived February 16, 2008), Kelly Fong, February 14, 2008, The Stanford Daily.
  15. ^ "Porn Actor Michael Lucas To Speak at Oxford University". Express.co.uk. May 27, 2010. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  16. ^ a b Great Exxxpectations, Wayne Hoffman, Tablet Magazine, July 21, 2009.
  17. ^ Gay-Porn Mogul Hopes to Arouse Interest in Israel, David Graham, Newsweek, September 23, 2009.
  18. ^ First-Ever All-Israeli Gay Porn Movie, DNA magazine, May 9, 2009.
  19. ^ Contributors, Advocate (March 9, 2010). "Michael Lucas Wants to Take You To Israel". Advocate.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  20. ^ Brian Schaefer (July 10, 2013). "Culture Fop / Don't worry, Israel, the king of gay porn is behind you". Haaretz (in English). 
  21. ^ "Gay Porn's Neocon Kingpin". CBS. September 22, 2009. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  22. ^ a b c Model profile at www.lucasentertainment.com, retrieved from www.lucasentertainment.com on September 5, 2006
  23. ^ "Michael Lucas: The Gay Porn Blog Interview". gaypornblog. June 19, 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  24. ^ Michael Lucas New York's Hardcore Porn Director From Russia Eats Ass in Private, Gert Jonkers, Butt Magazine
  25. ^ a b c d Oswoski, Kevin (April 22, 2005), "Adult film producer fleshes out his 'fantasy' at tea" at the Wayback Machine (archived December 17, 2007), Yale Daily News, retrieved from www.yaledailynews.com on August 31, 2006.
  26. ^ a b c Gay Porn Impresario Michael Lucas, Married, Gawker.com, October 15, 2008.
  27. ^ Dunn, Rick (April 27, 2005), "Down and Dirty With Michael Lucas", retrieved from www.edgeboston.com on January 16, 2007
  28. ^ List of videos at the Falcon Studio at the Wayback Machine (archived September 28, 2007) online store with Michel Lucas in the cast. Adult images. Retrieved from www.falconstudios.com on September 3, 2006
  29. ^ Lawrence, Doug, editor (1998). Adam Gay Video 1999 Directory. Los Angeles, California: Knight Publishing Corp. 
  30. ^ "X Biz Award Winners". Xbizawards.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  31. ^ Review of Lucas Entertainment, The Banana Guide, June 2009.
  32. ^ Mao, Tien (June 21, 2006),Michael Lucas, CEO Lucas Entertainment, retrieved December 18, 2006 from www.gothamist.com
  33. ^ a b Israel, Robert (February 26, 2007). "Michael Lucas' ’La Dolce Vita' Sets GAYVN Record". Edgeboston.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  34. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0834930/plotsummary
  35. ^ List of credits at the tlavideo online video store, retrieved from www.tlavideo.com January 9, 2007
  36. ^ "Copy of Complaint". Online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents. February 15, 2007. 
  37. ^ "Transcript of judge's ruling". Online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents. April 27, 2007. 
  38. ^ Rubinkam, Michael (April 19, 2010). "Edge Boston April 2010 article about lawsuit". Edgeboston.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  39. ^ a b The Naked Truth about Michael Lucas, Michael Musto, The Village Voice, April 21, 2009
  40. ^ It Takes a Coulter, Michael Lucas, The Advocate, August 24, 2010; accessed July 18, 2011
  41. ^ Michael Lucas vs. Ann Coulter, Michael Musto, The Village Voice; September 28, 2010; accessed July 18, 2011
  42. ^ Michael Lucas (April 20, 2007). "When gays don't attack". New York Blade. Archived from the original on October 26, 2007. 
  43. ^ Queers for Palestine?, Michael Lucas, The Advocate, October 5, 2009.
  44. ^ Europe's Trouble with Israel, Michael Lucas, The Advocate
  45. ^ Lucas, Michael (May 30, 2010). "Russia's Struggle to Demonstrate Pride". Advocate.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  46. ^ The Monument to Muslim Terrorism.
  47. ^ Faisal Alam (June 1, 2007). "Fanning Flames of Fear, Hatred Against Muslims". New York Blade. Archived from the original on June 4, 2007. 
  48. ^ Michael Lucas (August 3, 2007). "Burn the Koran? It's Gay Artwork" (– Scholar search). New York Blade. Archived from the original on May 4, 2008. 
  49. ^ Michael Lucas (August 3, 2007). "Religion, Sexuality, and Art". World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews. 
  50. ^ Should We Be Defending Islam, Despite Its Homophobia?, Joseph Erbentraut, Edge Boston, October 5, 2010; accessed July 27, 2011
  51. ^ The Monument to Muslim Terrorism, Michael Lucas, The Advocate, August 9, 2010; accessed July 27, 2011
  52. ^ Democracy in Egypt a Myth?, Michael Lucas, The Advocate, January 31, 2011; accessed July 27, 2011
  53. ^ "GAYalies". Web.archive.org. February 2, 2009. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  54. ^ Lucas, Michael (Spring 2006). "On Gay Porn". Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 18 (p. 299). 
  55. ^ Coming Out in the Developing World: Exploring Eastern Europe’s Hidden Closets, New School press release, April 19, 2011.
  56. ^ 'Men of Israel': The new box-office stud?, Los Angeles Times blog, July 27, 2009.
  57. ^ Bunder, Leslie (August 19, 2006), "Entertaining gay Israeli troops": "Talkbacks", retrieved from www.ynetnews.com on September 5, 2006.
  58. ^ Bunder, Leslie (August 24, 2006), "Lucas responds", retrieved from www.somethingjewish.co.uk on September 3, 2006.
  59. ^ Lucas, Michael (August 23, 2006), "Dear friends and fellow Jews" at the Wayback Machine (archived November 7, 2006), retrieved from www.lucasblog.com on September 5, 2006
  60. ^ Michael Lucas (June 6, 2007). "Trouble With Ultra-Orthodox" (– Scholar search). New York Blade. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. 
  61. ^ a b Michael Lucas Says LGBT Center Pressed Jewish Group to Move Meeting, Duncan Osbourne, Gay.com news, February 2011
  62. ^ a b LGBT Center Cancels Israel Apartheid Event, The Advocate, February 22, 2011.
  63. ^ a b 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.
  64. ^ Don’t Mess With Jewish Porn King Michael Lucas, Michael Kaminer, The Jewish Daily Forward, February 23, 2011.
  65. ^ a b New York LGBT Center Takes Side of Anti-Semites, Michael Lucas press release, PR Newswire via The Sacramento Bee, March 26, 2011; accessed March 26, 2011
  66. ^ a b N.Y. gay center rapped for renting space to anti-Israel group, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 26, 2011; accessed May 26, 2011
  67. ^ Weinthal, Benjamin. "New York LGBT center ejects Queers Against Israel Apartheid". Jpost.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  68. ^ Greenfield-Sanders, Timothy, photographer (2005). XXX 30 Porn-Star Portraits. New York City: Bulfinch Press. ISBN 0-8212-7754-5. 
  69. ^ Greenfield-Sanders, Timothy, director (2004). Thinking XXX (TV Documentary). HBO. 
  70. ^ Corey Taylor (2007). Naked: The Life and Pornography of Michael Lucas. Kensington Books. ISBN 978-0-7582-1750-9. 
  71. ^ Lucas, Michael (May 2007), "About That Book" at the Wayback Machine (archived June 2, 2007) retrieved from www.lucasblog.com on May 2007
  72. ^ a b XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, February 2011
  73. ^ "Lucas Entertainment". Lucas Entertainment. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 

External links[edit]