OP/ED By Michael Whiteacre
As most of you know, tomorrow, in downtown Los Angeles, a Cal-OSHA Advisory Subcommittee is scheduled to address the issue of condom and other “health and safety” regulations on adult production sets. I am writing to strongly encourage ALL members of the adult production industry to attend, but especially adult performers.
The pool of active adult performers has not been heard from by Cal-OSHA since the early meetings. Instead, in testimony, the talent pool has been routinely insulted, demonized, degraded and mocked by Shelley Lubben of Pink Cross Foundation. If there is any one reason why you should show up and make your presence felt, and your voices heard, it might be to forcefully rebut the outrageous, disgusting claims made by this sick woman.
At the last OSHA hearing, in March, Lubben described many current performers as victims, “young, dumb females who couldn’t read a contract,” and who “can’t even understand words like ‘litigation’ or ‘arbitration.’” She waived a copy of the standard industry model release as an example! She also characterized adult performers (as a group) as “trained seals”, claiming the reason performers don’t show up to these hearings to tell “the truth” is “because they’re frightened.”
“Why is it for the past year when we’ve been having these meetings, only maybe a few female adult performers or even non-performers come?” she asked. “They’re afraid for their lives, they’re afraid they’ll lose their jobs. Right here in Van Nuys, I’ve personally invited the porn industry to come face this meeting, and where’s the female porn actresses to speak on their behalf? They’re not here because they know that they’re going to be threatened, and they’re going to be blacklisted for telling the truth about what’s really going on….”
Dear performers, if that is how you see yourselves, and your industry; if that is how you wish to be perceived by the world; and if preserving your job and your rights and your freedom is unimportant to you, then by all means, brush this meeting off.
But if you are offended by these charges; if you consider yourself a competent consenting adult with the right to do with your body as you see fit; if you think that the government has NO RIGHT to force the entertainment industry to produce safer sex ads instead of escapist entertainment, and if you support your right to chose condoms or not THEN YOU NEED TO ATTEND THIS MEETING, for it just might be your last chance.
But this is about more than stereotypes, hurt feelings, and the public’s impression of adult performers. This is about your livelihood.
Whether or not you support condom use, you should come to this meeting, for this process is not about condoms, as the OSHA proposal makes perfectly clear. This is about killing adult movie production in California. Period.
There has been NO attempt to actually promulgate reasonable, industry-appropriate regulations. As Lily Cade wrote today, in the wake of a thorough and frank discussion of the OSHA proposal last night, “It doesn’t make us safer on the job to regulate our jobs out of existence. We’re not just talking about condoms here, but about barriers to prevent ALL contact with body fluids. ‘Condoms, gloves and eye protection are specifically mentioned. That’s right, it’s time for the facial, break out your face shield.” This is not a joke, and it is not fantasy. This is the Brave New World that the megalomaniacal sexophobe Michael Weinstein would wreak.
This entire crusade for “safety” has represented an attempt to railroad the adult industry by Michael Weinstein’s AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its willing accomplices at UCLA, LA County Dept of Public Health, and last, and certainly least, Pink Cross. This is a cabal of self-interested parties who are out to generate as much money, power and publicity off of the porn industry as they can. They are opportunistic hypocrites, excoriating porn while they profit off it. They think you are all children and poor little victims, incapable of knowing what is in your own best interest.
Do not wait until your opportunity has passed. For like this opportunity, your jobs, your personal freedoms and your way of life may soon be like the snows of yesteryear — gone, never to return.
I know that many in this industry have little faith in the industry trade organization, Free Speech Coalition. Performers rarely join, and may feel that the organization is out of touch with their interests. The reality is complicated — but I’d ask you to consider this: it is only Free Speech Coalition that has ACTUALLY STEPPED UP to address the crises in the adult industry. It is a very small organization, dwarfed by AHF, yet it is fighting this fight daily, and assembling plans to keep the industry going, and to keep performers safe in the wake of AIM Healthcare being run out of business by lawsuits and aggressive governmental action (most of it instigated by AHF). Before you throw stones at FSC ask yourself, what have I done to help protect my industry, my job, my livelihood? Now is the time for your voice to be heard. It’s the bottom of the ninth, and this industry has to make it count.
Danny Wylde notes, “I’m going to assume you’ve become a performer to make money — and to make the most money possible … Even if some of the production companies stick it out and try this condom-mandated means of production, how many companies have to leave before you;re losing out on one, two, three, four, or five thousand dollars a month? … We all take a risk going to work every day. In my opinion, it’s a managed risk. And it’s something I choose to participate in so that I can get a paycheck at the end of my day. So when I feel that someone else who doesn’t really understand our industry is coming in to take away that paycheck, I get kind of pissed about it. And I’d like to have a say in the matter.”
Do you want a say in the matter?
Life’s great question is “Where do you stand?” Lily Cade writes, “Porn performers, the ‘workers’ that Cal/OSHA says it’s trying to protect, do not want these regulations. We want to be able to work.”
If that is where YOU stand, then you need to attend this meeting tomorrow morning. If not for your industry, then for your self and for those who may count on you for financial support.
The meeting will he held tomorrow, June 7, 2011 at 10 am
100 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
I say the adult industry should pack that motherfucker and makes its voice heard. Where do you stand?