April 06, 2015 06:30pm
Adult's Achilles Heel
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland
Michael Weinstein's 2016 referendum push will likely gather the required 365,800 signatures to get on the ballot. Considering the millions of voters in the state, less than 400,000 is miniscule. Canvas shopping centers and malls here and there, feign concern about STD infected performers as a public health problem, and the total is easily acquired.
In the last election cycle, Measure B in LA County passed with 56% of the vote. Accounting for communities where the porn industry is not a next door neighbor, the statewide margin will be higher.
Weinstein's current aggravation is with the government's reluctance to pay for enforcement, a cost that could reach into the millions. Nevertheless, he presses on. Finding money to fund his personal vendetta is not his concern.
For the industry, a move to Nevada is a negligible solution because it is referendum territory where Weinstein's strategy is easily repeated. Moreover, Nevada's brothels are condom regulated; to expect pornographers to get a pass is naÔve. The Vegas crowd would love the influx of porn money, but the state is going to establish the rules.
South Florida has been floated as a possible relocation candidate. Not likely either because Weinstein will lobby the State Legislature. True, South Florida is adult friendly, but travel up the coast and Bible-Belters are everywhere. With a Republican governor stepping onto the national stage in a presidential election, the Sunshine State is not a haven for more porn than it already has.
By the way, every state is subject to OSHA regulations. Weinstein's agitation comes out a winner no matter how the wheel is spun.
The referendum fight has to be won in California. If not, Michael Weinstein may very well push his agenda across the country, propagandizing his campaign under the old tropes of protecting the children and ending violence against women. Remember the 1980s and the Meese Commission?
All the while, Weinstein sidles onto the national scene as America's porn czar, enriches the AIDS Health Foundation, and extends the charade of restoring American virtue with the simple application of a condom.
What to do? At present, there are three possibilities.
First, do nothing and hope to pull out a constitutional buzzer beater. Obviously, that takes money. Incidentally, a word to performers concerned about their freedom of expression, it has already been muffled by the appellate court, so put that aside.
On the other hand, an organized campaign to inform the public of the financial consequences of Weinstein's agenda would help. But that requires planning now by the FSC, APAC, and any other interested party; there are only 18 months left.
Second is to follow the advice of Axel Braun and cave to condoms. As reported by XBIZ, the Weinstein proposal is not about performers or condoms, Braun says, "Itís about politics." Agreed. Though the fit is uncomfortable, sheathing may be the only solution.
Of course, there is the final avenue. Go underground and revert to the 1970s and 1980s when the police tracked down shoots, made arrests, used Rico provisions to seize content with possible jail time creeping into the conversation.
Everyone's back is getting closer to the wall. Will filmed pornography go away? No. But the business will change dramatically if hand sitting continues.
Michael Weinstein has discovered the industry's Achilles heel, its own intransigence. He is doing what the government obscenity cases have generally failed to do, attack adult film where recalcitrance is the strongest.
Worse yet, he sees himself as a history maker for future generations... A powerful incentive.
It's time to mobilize stakeholders and get a plan of action. Thankfully, today's industry is more corporate than renegade and that's the first key to success.