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July 27, 2016

TEXXXAS Expo to Change Venues Again as Holiday Inn Backs Out

HOUSTON—The inaugural TEXXXAS fan expo, scheduled for Aug. 17-20, is looking for its second new venue in less than a week after the Holiday Inn Southwest cancelled its agreement to host the event. John Gray, organizer and president of TEXXXAS The Show, told AVN Wednesday he is considering several options for the new venue and assured the show will go on as planned. "When it's all said and done it’ll be fine," Gray said. "We have all kinds of venues we can talk to." Gray said the decision to drop his show came from the Holiday Inn's parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and the president of the Holiday Inn Southwest has been in regular communication with him about the matter.  "It was out of his control," Gray said. "He's been trying to help me the best he can." The IHG corporate office had no comment on the situation Wednesday. The TEXXXAS show was moved to the Holiday Inn Southwest late last week after the original host hotel, Hilton Houston Galleria, pulled out of its contract to host without warning. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) was quick to praise the Hilton's decision to cancel, releasing a statement commending the hotel "for its commitment to protecting human dignity and preventing sexual exploitation." Today it released a similar statement: “InterContinental Hotels Group and the independently owned and operated Holiday Inn Southwest hotel took an important stand against sexual exploitation by refusing to host this pornography expo,” said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of NCOSE. “After we heard that the TEXXXAS event had been cancelled by Hilton, we reached out to remind IHG executives of the potential harms such an event could have on the local community and of IHG’s own policy on pornography. In a clear display of corporate and social responsibility, IHG took immediate action to address the situation. Earlier in 2016, IHG committed to enforcing its existing brand-wide policy prohibiting the sale of on-demand pornography in guest rooms.” The statement continued, “Hotels do not permit guests to smoke in their facilities, in part, because of the damaging second-hand effects. Similarly, we know that pornography expos have devastating second-hand harms that extend not only to the attendees, but to the whole community as well. "Pornography events act as glowing welcome signs to any pimp or sex trafficker in the area, who knows there will be increased demand for commercial sex in the area. Further, pornography use is linked to increases in viewing women as sex objects, acceptance of rape myths, and sexual violence. By declining to host the TEXXXAS pornography expo, IHG has affirmed its commitment to providing its guests with a safe and family-friendly environment, and to doing its part to create a world free from sexual exploitation.” The three-day event, officially called TEXXXAS The Show, will feature more than 30 adult film stars.   Two more stars committed to appearing at the show this week, according to Gray, who produced three adult-themed Lonestar Pornutopia events in the late 2000s—the most recent in 2009—without incident. "I didnt expect this at all," Gray said. "We’ve had three events without a hitch. We have a lot of other options we’re working on exploring. The event's not going to cancel and we're staying in Houston."

 
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