New rules being drafted by officials in California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) may do away with the condom-free adult film industry through out the entire state of California.
The Associated Press is reporting that California workplace safety officials on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 fined Larry Flynt’s Hustler Video for not using condoms on set to protect sex performers from exposure to disease. Hustler faces $14,175 in fines for three violations, including failure to provide condoms or other protective equipment.
Flynt has said in the past that audiences don’t want to watch porn in which actors use condoms.
Hustler was also fined for failing to maintain a written injury and illness policies and for failing to provide workers with vaccines for hepatitis C.
Cal/OSHA Senior Safety Engineer Deborah Gold said the state continually investigates the porn industry, though job sites can be difficult to find, and has cited a handful of producers for violations in recent years.
“Clearly if an employee is having unprotected sexual contact with another person then there needs to be either engineering control, like simulation, or people need to use a condom or other barrier,” Cal/OSHA Senior Safety Engineer Deborah Gold
Officials for Cal/OSHA announced that new safety amendments to the state’s Bloodborne Pathogens Statute are being drafted, specifically targeting the use of condoms in adult films. The exact wording of the new rules are expected to be presented at a Cal/OSHA advisory meeting in June.
The straight porn industry currently requires performers to be tested regularly and to submit their HIV test results to the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation; however, this is not a requirement in gay porn, which has seen a significant resurgence of condom-free films being released by studios in recent years. According to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, workers in the adult film industry are ten times more likely to be infected with a sexually transmitted disease than the general public. Up to 25 cases of HIV are said to have been found in adult film actors since 2004; high-profile gay porn star seroconversions in the last few years include 24-year-old Derrick Burts and 26-year-old Mason Wyler.
Michael Weinstein, the President of AHF, expressed gratitude that Cal/OSHA is bringing adult film workplace safety to public awareness:
“This is the first time the public has heard of Cal/OSHA’s plans to draft and introduce what AHF sees are much-needed safety amendments to California’s Bloodborne Pathogens Statute in order to better protect workers and performers in the adult film industry. As a global HIV and STD medical care provider, we’ve seen it as our duty to pursue action on this issue of safety in the workplace—in these instances, unprotected sex acts taking place in albeit non-traditional workplaces—the porn sets located in the San Fernando Valley and throughout California. We heartily thank [Cal/OSHA Senior Safety Engineer] Deborah Gold for her tireless work on this issue and for speaking out publicly on Cal/OSHA’s behalf last week about these proposed new safety amendments.” – Michael Weinstein
While some in the adult film industry — including the Free Speech Coalition, the industry’s trade organization — have praised Cal/OSHA’s attention towards adult film actors, many leaders in adult entertainment have responded negatively to the proposed rules. Vivid Entertainment head Steven Hirsch asserts that the adult film industry would likely leave California if the use of condoms in films became mandatory. Some officials in California aren’t sold on the idea, either: Los Angeles County public health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding claims that regulating condom use on porn sets is nearly impossible, noting that porn shoots are often clandestine affairs that require little more than a camera. So, if the Cal/OSHA rules do pass — don’t be surprised if you see more bareback films set on California/Nevada border.
Since 2004, Cal/OSHA has issued dozens of workplace safety citations and fines to numerous adult film producers and distributors including Next Phase Distribution, Inc. (2006); Evasive Angles and TTB Productions (2006); La Touraine, Inc. [Naughty America] (Jan. 15 2009); Anthony Gladdney d/b/a MVP Entertainment Co. (Mar. 26, 2010); Hot Desert Knights, Inc. (Mar. 24, 2009); Discount Video [Sin City] (Feb. 18, 2009); Hot House Entertainment (June 27, 2008); HDK Distribution (Oct. 3, 2008); and Media Products, Inc. [Devil’s Films] June 9, 2010; Treasure Island Media [TIM] December 6, 2010.