Ex-Porn Actor Michael Verdugo Loses Appeal to Return to Force, and the Media Drop the Ball(s)

Categories: LGBT News
Michael Verdugo won't work in Hollywood again. The 35-year-old police officer was fired from the Hollywood PD last year after it was revealed he had appeared in a 15-minute pornographic film when he was 22. Verdugo lost his battle this week for reinstatement when a judge decided the Police Department acted rightly in the firing.

And for some reason, the media can't properly report the story.

To date, media reports on the decision -- such as those here, here, and here -- have given the impression that
it was prudery on the part of the Police Department that led to the firing and that the judge ruled against Verdugo out of some personal aversion to gay porn.

What they haven't mentioned is this webpage, where the Hollywood PD lays it on the line: You will be disqualified from becoming a Hollywood police officer if you fail to disclose previous employers on your application. Verdugo's whole appeal for reinstatement was predicated on the idea that his porn appearance wasn't "employment" but rather a matter of personal sexual gratification. And while it may have been that too -- the creation of porn is, after all, greatly assisted by the attainment of some sexual gratification -- it's hard to deny that porn is a business, first and foremost.

It has also apparently escaped our fellow media outlets' attention that Verdugo was clashing with the Hollywood PD long before anyone learned of his porny past. Verdugo's firing came after a protracted falling-out with the department, chronicled by New Times way back in 2007. What began years ago as some apparently good-natured (if idiotic) joshing from one of Verdugo's coworkers blossomed into a full-fledged scandal, with Verdugo dubiously positioned as a gay-rights crusader and the Hollywood PD forced to play villain. No wonder it fired the guy when handed an opportunity. It was the easiest way to make a problem disappear. 

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