Porn Actors and Producers Form PAC To Combat Ballot Initiative To Require Use Of Condoms

Actors and producers from the pornography industry based in Los Angeles, California have announced on Wednesday that they have formed a political action committee, or PAC, to fight a ballot initiative to require the use of condoms when shooting explicit sex scenes, reports Reuters.

The move by Free Speech Coalition, an industry association representing the state’s busy porn actors and filmmakers, is the latest episode in their long-running skirmish with public health advocates over how best to protect performers of pornography from sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. The shutdown of the $4 billion porn industry in California could not only cost the state tens of millions in tax revenues but also cause 20,000 people lose their jobs.

Eric Paul Leue, the newly appointed executive director of Free Speech Coalition, said condoms aren’t the best way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases while making porn films. Leue said the association supports worker safety and sexual health, but he believes forcing condoms on sets would only encourage enforcement that in the end will harass performers, generate lawsuits against producers, and force the industry out of California.

“Most people look at the state ballot initiative and say this is about worker safety. The problem is it’s not about worker safety. It’s not about sexual health. It is not about protecting people from something. This is completely about harassing workers.”

Leue stressed that pushing an industry that is “legal and safe” out of this state has to be stopped.

“We’re launching a PAC, and we’re going to oppose this. Harassing workers, no matter if we agree with the job or not, is never the right thing.”

San Fernando Valley area in Los Angeles has historically been considered the porn capital of the world. As Daily Mail reported, in 2014 only, the city’s adult film industry was shut down on three occasions after porn performers’ HIV tests came back positive, shaking the industry and local health officials. Around a dozen performers were infected with the HIV virus between 2004 and 2014, according to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which is backing the ballot initiative.

A performer who goes by the name Cameron Bay made national headlines in 2013 when she tested positive for HIV followed by her adult film actor boyfriend.

The AHF’s measure, which will appear on the November ballot, would require the use of condoms and lubricants while shooting porn film. It also requires producers to provide the condoms and to offer free vaccinations and tests for sexually transmitted diseases to all performers.

The move also would permit porn actors or other individuals living in California to ask for a state investigation into whether a particular porn film or video was made using condoms. In case the state declines to investigate, that individual can sue.

Porn actors and producers have problem mainly with this section of the ballot initiative, arguing it would lead to the harassment of actors. Mike Stabile, a spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition, said such rule would lead to extortion and harassment of performers.

“It opens up the door to extortion and harassment of a predominantly female performer base and small business owners by those outside the industry.”

Performers in Los Angeles county have been legally required to wear condoms since 2012. Filming in the porn capital has plummeted since the enactment of the law. The number of permits issued for X-rated productions plummeted about 90 percent to just 40 permits in 2013 compared with 2012, according to Los Angeles Times.

The decline follows the passage in late 2012 of a county law mandating condom use by performers.

The new PAC formed by porn actors and producers, dubbed Californians Against Worker Harassment, is going to start raising funds. State records, however, show that no contributions have yet been reported for its cause.

[Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images]