Porn Star Max Konnor Alleges Racist Treatment At NYC Leather Shop

Adult performer and GayVN Award nominee Max Konnor has accused New York City leather store, The Leather Man, of discriminatory behavior while he was in the store.

Konnor took to his Twitter account on Saturday, December 8, writing: "Guys, I just experienced racism full force. The owner of @LeatherManNYC  just kicked me out after coming in trying to get an outfit made for the @GayVN awards.  Please let them know that this behavior will not stand.  Do not support this company.  Send them a message.”

 

Konnor is nominated for three awards at the 2019 GayVN’s including ‘Performer of the Year.’

After being told the design he’d hoped to have made for the awards ceremony wouldn’t be possible, Konnor and his designer, Maxfield Haynes, continued to browse the store and pulled out their phones to call for a car.

At that point, Konnor says the owner approached him saying, “We really don’t have time to watch people that aren’t going to buy anything.”

Konnor says he told the shop keeper he didn’t need to be “watched.” The owner then allegedly raised his voice telling the men to “Get out of my store.”

The duo exited the store and the front door was apparently locked after their departure. Haynes says there were still 10 other people in the store.

Store employee Scott Jordan told OUT that the issue was the owner, Chuck Mueller, doesn’t like phones used in the store.

“When they came upstairs he asked them not to use their phones because people come in and take photos and stuff and never buy anything,” said Jordan. “They said something to him and that just set him off.”

“It wasn’t a matter of race,” Jordan added. “If they were white, he would have done the same thing; it’s his age.” 

Haynes and Konnor say no one asked them to put their phones away during their visit to the store.

Since Konnor went public with his allegations The Leather Man has issued a statement denying any racism via Instagram.

The statement denounces “rumors and misinformation” about the alleged incident.

“The Leather Man has a long history of employing women, people of color, and transgendered individuals in both sales and management positions,” according to the statement. “Throughout the worst of the AIDS epidemic, many HIV positive individuals found both employment and a safe home at The Leather Man when confronted by fear and discrimination elsewhere.”

“We are deeply saddened that the specific interaction in question was, in any fashion, construed to have any racial overtones,” the post continues.

Here’s the full statement:

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

A number of rumors and misinformation about a supposedly racist incident taking place in our shop have been making the rounds on social media. They are, of course, untrue. The Leather Man was founded in 1965, a period in American history where the Civil Rights Movement was just gaining traction and the Gay Rights Movement was barely in its infancy. In this pre-Stonewall era, being gay, let alone being a Leather Man could result in arrest, persecution, and discrimination. Civil liberties and the right to openly be who you are have been principles The Leather Man has upheld throughout the decades. The Leather Man has a long history of employing women, people of color, and transgendered individuals in both sales and management positions. Throughout the worst of the AIDS epidemic, many HIV positive individuals found both employment and a safe home at The Leather Man when confronted by fear and discrimination elsewhere. As an institution, we take our role in the wider community very seriously. We are deeply saddened that the specific interaction in question was, in any fashion, construed to have any racial overtones. This was a matter of implementing a shop policy with regard to custom work and alterations, and the disagreement was in no way based on the individuals being men of color. We do utilize a buzzer system during busy times to allow our sales staff to adequately serve our customers individual needs, and it was not the case that any specific customers were ever locked out of the premises. We regret that any customer would leave the store with such feelings but we hope that our five decades of commitment to progressive social values represents The Leather Man’s commitment to being a welcoming place for all. #leathercommunity #gayfetish #bdsm #kinkcommunity #brotherhood #love #saynotracism #everyonewelcome

A post shared by 111 Christopher St, NYC (@theleathermannyc) on

However, one fan chimed in on Konnor’s Twitter account saying they saw the alleged behavior:

And another adult performer added this:

(h/t OUT)

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