April 03, 2015 06:12pm
AHF's Hidden Agenda
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland
Recently the Legislative Analyst's Office in Sacramento reviewed the California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act (Amendment #1-S). It is Michael Weinstein's referendum for the 2016 election.
As the adult industry prepares to fight the proposal, here are some things to consider.
First, the required number of signatures (365,800) to get the referendum on the ballot is doable and without a public campaign against the bill, it is likely to become law for reasons I will cover in a later article.
The initiative requires condoms for filming, but they can be digitally removed in the final product. However, that is a prohibitive expense for most producers. Nevertheless, studios must verify condom use so unedited film must be preserved.
The bill says nothing about on-site inspections. Presumably, that is yet to be determined and would be part of the annual "few million dollars" the analyst’s office predicts would be needed for enforcement.
Third party lawsuits generated by statute violations is a costly reality for producers, agents, and distributors. Also, other penalties and charges are possible as well as class action lawsuits. A particularly onerous provision allows anyone to report an on-set violation.
To legally shoot, producers are required to obtain a two-year license from Cal/OSHA. The fees are used for administrative purposes, so enforcement is assumed to be a taxpayer burden. Should performer testing continue to be an industry protocol, the cost belongs to the producer, further driving up expenses.
Incidentally, financially crippling producers has the same intent of the Rico laws decades ago that put some pornographers out of business by seizing their content.
The report states that existing Cal/OSHA regulations require "adult film producers to use condoms or other protective devices during intercourse." In other words, the condom provision is already in place, leaving enforcement the key issue. Incidentally, the report notes ongoing talks "With interested parties" may change current regulations. It does not identify these parties.
Los Angeles and San Francisco are identified as the centers of adult film. Thousands are employed, though a specific figure is not mentioned. Dollar value on the industry is placed at "hundreds of millions" to "A few billions" annually. Because the industry is made up of "independent contractors, sole-proprietorships, and privately held firms," exact totals are guesswork.
Outdated health statistics and the ongoing litigation surrounding Measure B are referenced. Important to note is this. Federal appellate court has indicated that challenges to Measure B’s First Amendment free speech violations are "unlikely to succeed." Simply put, performer foot stomping about their constitutional right to not use condoms should be reconsidered in any push against the referendum. At present, such outcries are falling on deaf ears from the courts and the public.
The report points out that not all adult film falls under the law. Only "recorded, streamed, or real-time broadcasts of sexual intercourse" are covered. This leaves in question all-girl productions and all-oral shoots like blow bangs. However, Cal/OSHA regulations guard against bodily fluid exposure to skin, mouth, and eyes, so that raises a red flag. The report acknowledges that an industry testing protocol currently exists but says nothing about its effectiveness.
The analyst's office remarks that some producers have already moved out of state. If the law is enacted, more will likely follow and some will go underground, the report predicts, resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs. From the financial perspective, the implementation and enforcement expenses not off-set by fees and penalties belong to the taxpayers.
The report's final comment should be addressed in any campaign against the proposal. Because some producers would relocate and condom use is assumed by those who remain, the report suggests the law may result in "fewer STD infections" and lower costs to the public as a result.
There it is. What the report implies is undeniable. Once the disease-ridden morally bankrupt adult industry is under control or out of business, it will stop spreading its infections to everyone else.
That, of course, is the great untruth and Michael Weinstein's hidden agenda.