Thursday, June 21, 2012

Porn Panic 2012, The Series Rolls On: Shy Love Proves She Has Some Nukes, Too: Dissolves ATMLA, Rejoins LATATA, Who Then Gives APHSS The Boot

It just got real.  Again.

Yesterday, Shoe #1 dropped when Shy Love announced that she was dissolving her porn talent agency group, Adult Talent Management-Los Angeles (ATM), and rejoining the larger collective of talent agencies, The Licensed Adult Talent Agents Trade Association (LATATA), which comprises the majority of adult trade agencies.

I had initially wondered what that was all about, since Love was the leader of the sternest critics of the moves of the Free Speech Coalition and Manwin, the conglomerate of porn production companies, to consolidate performer testing through their Adult Performer Health and Safety Services (APHSS), and in particular Cutting Edge Testing (CET), the company which was formed by former associates of Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Foundation after the latter was driven out of business by attacks by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in pursuit of their goal of imposing mandatory condom usage by porn performers.

Love and her agency had previously favored a rival testing org, Talent Testing Services (TTS), which had became the go-to agency for testing in the breach between the closing of AIM and the founding of CET.

Problem was, CET had not only the backing of FSC/APHSS, but then got some serious reinforcement when Manwin announced their plans to strengthen and redefine testing protocols across the board...and promptly threw their weight behind CET not only by instituting the APHSS protocols, but endorsing CET as the exclusive source of testing for their shoots.

This is because the APHSS protocols do not currently allow TTS as an APHSS-certified agency, due to some disputes over testing procedures between FSC and TTS...and some other past .

Mostly, over the "outbreak" of last year, in which a performer was originally first tested positive for HIV, then later cleared when the original test turned out to be a false positive due to supplemental testing done by FSC/APHSS. It turned out that the initial testing was done by another agency, but TTS was involved in the follow up that resulted in some confusion over the exact status of the performer...and it wasn't until APHSS intervened with their own tests that the matter was cleared up.

In the minds of FSC/APHSS, this proved that only consolidation of testing to one company with stringent standards across the board would prevent future clusterfucks..and that probably explains why they supported the development of Cutting Edge as the gold standard of testing.

Problem is on that, though?? Many performers and agents were quite happy with Talent Testing, and they feared that FSC/APHSS was attempting to reestablish an monopoly on testing and limit competition and testing..and the actions of Manwin only deepened their fears.

And apparently, Shy's won the rest of the agents over to her view, too...because cue The Other Shoe Dropping...or maybe it should be, The Other Boot Kicking (via AdultFYI):


LATATA Withdraws Support from APHSS Over TTS Issue
Los Angeles, CA– The Licensed Adult Talent Agents Trade Association (LATATA) announces its formal withdrawal of support from APHSS, the subsidiary organization set up by the FSC - (Free Speech Coalition).

APHSS was initiated after the closure of AIM, as a mechanism through which to administrate testing for performers in the adult industry. LATATA believes APHSS position in refusing to allow Talent Testing Service (TTS) to become a member of APHSS to be a grievously wrong one.

LATATA's position is that TTS has provided the industry with reliable and good service for many years and LATATA's hope is that may continue. Many in the industry will recall that during the time that AIM Health Care was providing testing services to the industry, Talent Testing Service was providing this service concurrently alongside them. Performers enjoyed their ability to choose which facility they wished to have provide them the industries required medical testing.

At the time of AIM’s forced closure, after pressure and interference from AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF), TTS was, for a period of time, the only available testing facility to the adult industry, and the industry was immensely grateful to have TTS available as an alternate for AIM at that time. Without them, one can only wonder where performers would have turned for their testing requirements.

LATATA firmly believes that it is imperative that the industry never again, allow itself to be in such a position where its testing needs are serviced and provided by only one testing facility, and therefore, inclusion of both testing facilities that currently service the industry - Talent Testing Service (TTS) and Cutting Edge Testing (CET) - are necessary in any program that purports to provide assistance and or a framework for performers’ testing needs and related matters.

Despite formidable effort from members of LATATA to bridge the gaps and mediate differences between APHSS and TTS, such efforts have not been successful. Absent APHSS admitting TTS to the organization, it is LATATA’s position that it can no longer support APHSS itself, and announces its withdrawal of support and participation in APHSS. LATATA continues to support TTS’ continued service to the industry and the performers within it.

LATATA also wishes to make clear that withdrawing its support for and participation in, the APHSS program, in no way alters or changes its continued support and gratitude for The Free Speech Coalition itself and the work that it does to benefit all within the adult entertainment industry.

As of June 2012, LATATA members are comprised of the following agencies: LA Direct Models, Spiegler Girls, Foxxx Modeling, Type 9 Models and ATMLA.
There have been two reasons given by APHSS as to why TTS wasn't originally allowed into the APHSS orbit: 1) The lack of an accredited doctor at their testing facilities to verify the validity and accuracy of their tests; and 2) the fear that TTS would report any initial "reactive" or "positive" HIV test to the LA County Department of Public Health, which is required by law, before actually verifying the test with followup testing....which would, in FSC/APHSS's mind, cause not only a protracted shutdown of production, but would also give more fuel to AHF and their condom mandate campaign. AHF already has passed a mandate law in the city of Los Angeles (not being enforced currently pending the LA City Council approving guidelines on enforcement, as well as inevitable lawsuits); and an initiative for instituting the mandate across Los Angeles County is now on the ballot for September.  That fear was reinforced due to the 2009 "panic" involving a positive HIV test of a performer that turned out not to have been infected while shooting; because AIM had been summoned by LACDPH to release to them private records of performers as part of the latter's investigation. A local judge ultimately squashed that effort, citing the federal HIPPA act protecting medical records privacy.

TTS's response has been that the requirement for a doctor can be fulfilled through the performer's private doctor or other authority verifying the test, and that they are bound by California state law to reveal positive/"reactive" tests anyway. They have also questioned the security of the database that is used by APHSS, fearing that someone could breach it and reveal performer's private information, just as was done to Desi Foxx during the bad old days of the original Porn Wikileaks. Mostly, though, they see the alliance of Manwin and FSC/APHSS/CET as not-so-thinly-veiled pressure to crowd out TTS and reimpose a one-company monopoly on testing..and they also fear Manwin's history of buying every porn outlet in sight and also promoting free filesharing -- what others see as a perilous permissiveness towards "piracy" that is draining legitimate performers dry.

You could say that this announcement by the now reunited LATATA is their way of saying to Manwin/FSC/APHSS: "Not. So. Fucking. FAST. Buddies. You may have the bank, but we have some tricks ourselves...let's resolve this, and in a hurry."

There is going to be a grand meeting of agents, performers, and other bigwigs coming up this weekend rehashing the entire brohaha over performer testing. After today, it just got just a bit more interesting. As in...a lot.

UPDATE:..XBiz.com now has a story up at their site on the bustout of LATATA from APHSS, and also adds this initial statement of reaction from FSC:

"The Free Speech Coalition welcomes the opportunity to have Talent Testing Services (TTS) as part of our APHSS program. FSC and TTS have come together on some issues but differ on the necessity of initial physician involvement in ordering the test and the provision of results. In the unfortunate case that a performer may test positive for Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, FSC believes that it is important for a performer to be able to get immediate treatment when he or she receives his or her test results. And if a performer tests positive for HIV, FSC believes it is crucial to get that information from a physician.

"FSC supports having a broad range of providers. To date, APHSS participants include 1 clinic (St James) in San Francisco, 2 clinics (Vegas STD Testing) in Las Vegas, 1 clinic (Cutting Edge Testing) in Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Advanced Medical Testing Center (AMTC) with physicians in every state and 4,000 locations nationwide.

"We encourage a continued dialogue with TTS and believe that ultimately, the health and well-being of our performers is everyone’s priority."
Initial attempts at getting TTS into the system were rebuffed by TTS over those very issues. Let's see if this latest sortie of bombs clears heads enough to settle this.

i[Now crossposted over at The Real Porn Wikileaks]

1 comment:

  1. Michael Whiteacre just posted this comment to the xposted version over at TRPWL:

    Anthony, Manwin is a red herring in this saga. This isn’t agents vs. Manwin — it’s an attempt by certain agents to control testing and — even more disturbingly — the generational testing, and quarantine/moratorium protocols in the event of an incident of performer HIV infection.

    Why? Because, simply put, it’s in the agents’ interest to have the shortest possible work stoppages. This motive was made horrifyingly clear in past incidents and outbreaks. In last year’s Patient Zero false alarm, several (but not all) agents were furious that FSC had called a production moratorium. This is a natural state of affairs in business — competing motives and incentives — but it highlights the need for responsible leadership.



    One of the ironies of Michael's comment is that one of the primary objections of APHSS was that TTS had said that they would immediately report any positive/infected test result straight to the LA County Department of Public Health, which would, in the present climate, most likely assure a major shutdown of the industry long before any voluntary moratorium is established. I'm guessing that APHSS would prefer that the patient get the news and have the tests varified by a physician in house and then first- and second-generation testing be established before releasing such information out there.

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