Porn company flouts threat of municipal fines by hosting 'casting party' at Quebec bar
Quebec City officials condemned event that invited bar patrons to commit sex acts with actresses
Disregarding Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume's threat of fines, an adult film producer hosted a "casting party" in a bar's parking lot Saturday evening — inviting patrons to have sex with adult film stars on camera.
AD4X Videos parked a limousine with tinted windows outside the Bar St-Josef as the event got underway around 8 p.m. While there was a variety of R-rated entertainment inside the watering hole, the X-rated activities were sequestered to the vehicle.
The Montreal-based company has hosted 20 such events over the last five years in a variety of municipalities across Quebec without consequence, says director and producer Mathieu Paré.
"Whenever there is controversy, it's in a city where you go for the first time," he told Radio-Canada.
"It's closed. We see nothing. We hear nothing," he said, describing it as a legal activity. "We see the world go about its business outside, but, what's going on inside, nobody sees anything."
This is not the first time AD4X has stirred up controversy. Organizers of Montebello Rockfest in Western Quebec were outraged to learn pornographic movies were filmed by the company on its grounds in June 2014.
He predicted some 200 patrons would show up, but only about 40 made an appearance.
City couldn't stop event
"Several porn stars on site," the company wrote on a Facebook page aimed at inviting participants to the casting party. There was a $20 cover charge and guests were required to be 18 or older.
The bar and AD4X could face fines of up to $2,000 each for contravening zoning by-laws, but that's the maximum civil penalty Quebec City can deliver.
The owner of a nearby daycare and several residents spoke out against the party in the weeks leading up to Saturday's event, but the city was unable to stop it from taking place.
In a press conference last week, the mayor said, from a legal and criminal standpoint, nothing can be done.
"Preventing the event would be complicated," Labeaume said.
Quebec City police vowed to patrol the area and monitor for infractions but without signs of criminal activity, such as paying for sexual services or public disorder, officers would not intervene.
Last week, Quebec City's executive committee universally passed a resolution condemning the company's plans to host the casting party.
Activists condemn event
Quebec activists have denounced the limo-based auditions.
"What I deplore, and what has been little discussed, is the violence related to the sexual exploitation that is behind it," said Rose Sullivan Laplante, co-founder of Collectif d'aide aux femmes exploitées sexuellement.
Calling it a marketing ploy, she said AD4X's event trivializes the sex industry while promoting "rape culture."
Laplante said there is no difference between pornography and prostitution.
"There are laws that exist that prohibit prostitution, at least the purchase of priced sexual services, which seem to be ignored because there is a camera filming."
With files from Radio-Canada's David Rémillard