How do you solve a problem like Montana?

17 Aug

Montana Fishburne in 2006

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 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.

4 Responses to “How do you solve a problem like Montana?”

  1. Carolyn August 19, 2010 at 5:32 AM #

    Thank you for not casting stones and actually caring about this young woman’s well-being. I applaud that you insist on supporting black women and encourage the “warm words of family”. I, too, am awfully curious about the source of Montana Fishbourne’s decision to participate in porn. What contributed to her utter lack of belief in her own special talents and gifts? I realize that young adult women tend to lack the self-confidence that is learned and nurtured by experience and an unconditional love and acceptance of oneself, but this particular action is extreme. This article achieved what you set out to promote: support without judgement. Well done.

  2. taeh August 19, 2010 at 3:41 PM #

    i’m not sure this is a problem that we can ever solve, i mean i hope one day we’ll understand what would cause a young girl to feel that the best way for her to explore her sexuality and make money is to do pornography, in an interview she said that her doing porn is not about becoming famous, it’s about becoming successful. I guess it all goes back to how homegirl justified her actions in Players Club, “you got to use what you got to get what you want”. It’s sad to say but for most young women, what they “got” becomes confused with the most easily accessible thing for them to use, what they percieve to be the most desired thing in their posession, not their beautiful minds but what they got between their legs…..hell

  3. Micha September 9, 2010 at 1:17 PM #

    What Ms. Fishburne dosen’t realize is that filming yourself exploring your sexuality and putting it out there for a million people to see you doing that on film/digital video CDs are two entirely different things. What I see is a young woman who’s not really mature enough yet to have really sat down and explored/really thought about the long term ramifications of getting into the porn business full-time. Just because she’s of legal age to this dosen’t mean she’s making a good decision to begin with. Also, everybody that goes into porn dosen’t become an instant star. Frankly, she needs to read this book, THE MONEY SHOT:THE WILD DAYS AND NIGHTS INSIDE THE BLACK PORN INDUSTRY, which tells you the real deal what the business is really like for black performers in particular, how racist it can be toward performers of color, and really think hard and long about whether she really wants to do this or not. It’s definitely not as glamourous as it’s made out to be. Plus what ever she does on film is going to be out there forever, and she dosen’t sound like she’s even ready to deal with that just yet—just my two cents.

    Basically, like some typical teenager, she acts as if it’s just a lark she’ll do for right now–and I don’t know why she named Kim Kardishian as a role model, especially since she isn’t even a porn actress or something. She just seeS Kim getting paid and figured that’s something she could do,too. I seriously hope she gets a grip before its too late.

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