Since Montana Fishburne’s ignoble entry into public consciousness, many have publically chastised Laurence Fishburne’s teenage daughter for lack of sense, sanity and unblemished behind. I am less interested in casting stones and more interested in the trauma behind the tragedy and without a doubt her porn debut is tragic. Remember her in the CarltonJordan.com video footage as she sat silent, smirking next to the swollen and cubic zirconia laden physique of porn performer Brian Pumper. After he concluded his shifty eyed spiel on his newest “girl”, she chimed in with a nervous response to a vague and rambling question by an interviewer from the web site. Makeup free, her curly hair haphazardly pulled back, the eighteen year old looked like a college student catching a harried breakfast in the school cafeteria before a morning class. Casual attire notwithstanding, she sounded desperate to impress, “I have a lot of at home experience,” she said of her porn debut. She was going for old hand. I understand the impulse, not wanting to feel like a novice. She was declaring her graduation from the kid’s table all miniature proportions and juvenile conversation. ” Her hands flush against her décolletage, eyebrows raised, smizing (© Tyra), she boasted, “I mean, I know what I do and I do it well.” Ok, Montana. “Was this a goal for you?” The interviewer then asked. She replied, “I mean it wasn’t a goal but it’s a step—in a direction.” A direction she had clearly yet to charter. And when the interviewer’s “That’s what up” comment, a seal of approval, elicited a bright, beaming smile from her, I knew she was walking the wrong way.
Bewilderment is what Montana broadcasts underneath the posturing and vacillation. With reports that she was arrested for prostitution, with allegations her high school “boyfriend” Jerome “J-Pipes” Greene is a pimp and news of charges brought against her for assaulting the “ex-girlfriend” of her pimp, I wonder why so many in the blogosphere and twitverse, spend inordinate amounts of time speculating the source of her butt blemishes (cigarette burns, herpes scars). I am not at all interested in the “black girl lost” meme favored by so many concept poor rappers and lazy commentators. They are but invidious indictments to distract from any thoughtful internal reflection by Black men and defenders of their privilege. I am invested in Black women’s health and safety both of which are clearly in peril in the case of Montana Fishburne. I like to laugh but her misadventures do not tickle my funny bone, they curdle my stomach.
Montana summarized a conversation with her mother after news of her porn debut broke for TMZ with two short and telling sentences. ”She loves me and is concerned and worried about me. She wants me to be ok and wants whatever is best for me.” Concerned and worried are the operative words and the appropriate responses. Although Montana has tried to spin her porn entrance with sex positive rhetoric about exploring her sexuality, the space that the manipulative tandem of Pumper and Pipes have allowed for that is governed by exploitation. No way is this healthy sexual expression and no way is this Black Hollywood scion well. Worse still, as many observers have noted, is that there is no coming back from these types of sexual indiscretions for Black girls and women. White AND Black America have no sympathy or patience for those who they portray as jezebels. None.
Montana told TMZ that her famous father Laurence Fishburne told her, “I’m not going to speak with you ’till you turn your life around” and “You used your last name. No one uses their real name in porn.” The full extent of their conversation and the background are beyond my scope of knowledge but I would hope that we as kin and concerned folk of young Black girls in need would offer more to them than shame blame and admonitions to get right. Indeed this sister may not want to be well but the love of community, the warm words are family are what encourages, heals, changes. Without them Montana will remain under the spell of the slick talk of plastic pimp porn stars cum rappers like Brian Pumper and scrawny scumbags like Jerome “J Pipes” Greene.