Friday, August 29, 2014

Ahhhhh....OOPS!! (And Hallelujah!!!) Latest Performer Test Was False Positive; Moratorium Lifted

For those of you who were just itching to write more of your panic screeds about the latest HIV panic in porn due to a initial "reactive" test of a performer last Wednesday? Fire up your shredders, please.

The confirmatory tests came in today for the affected performer....and it all turned out to be...a false positive.

The original sample that produced the tainted results was retested; as well as a fresh sample. Both came up negative for HIV (and I suppose, the rest of the panel).

Also, all the 1st generation contacts of the performer who were tested came up negative as well.

With that, FSCPASS has closed the book on this "scare", and lifted the moratorium on production imposed on Wednesday.

Here's FSC's full announement:

Yesterday’s potentially positive HIV test by adult performer was a false positive. The performer does not have HIV.  Additionally, the first generation performers who were tested proactively have also come back negative. Production on adult film can resume safely.
We understand that a moratorium is nerve-wracking for performers and difficult for producers. However, it’s essential that when it comes to performer safety, we err on the side of caution. We thank the producers, performers, agents and doctors who worked together during this difficult time for maintaining the moratorium, and for quickly helping establish a list of first generation contacts. While this was a false positive, it is always essential that we remain vigilant in concern to performer health.

The moratorium and testing system has enabled us to prevent any transmission of HIV on an adult film set for over ten years. While opponents of the industry often use our periodic moratoriums as evidence that adult sets are not safe, quite the opposite is true. Moratoriums have and continue to enable us to prevent HIV from being transmitted between adult performers.

Again, we thank everyone who worked so diligently and concertedly to protect performers during this current moratorium.
 So, once again, the FSCPASS system is proven to work. And, once again, certain town criers hoping for another crisis to push their agenda are wiping the egg off their face. AGAIN.

Either way, we can now exhale and celebrate.

And Away We Go Again: Another Potential HIV Scare, Another Moratorium...Another Nail In The Coffin For Condomless Porn??

Here. We. Go. AGAIN.
(August 28, 2014) – Free Speech Coalition (FSC), the adult industry trade association, called for a production moratorium today after one of the testing facilities in its PASS testing system reported a possible positive HIV test for an adult performer.

“There was a positive test at one of our testing centers. Confirmatory tests are not yet back but we are taking every precaution to protect performers and to determine if there’s been any threat to the performer pool,” said FSC CEO Diane Duke.

“We take the health of our performers very seriously and felt that it was better to err on the side of caution while we determine whether anyone else may have been exposed.”
The next steps will be to perform additional tests, determine a timeline, and identify any first generation partners.

“We want to make sure all performers are protected. The performers’ health and safety is the most important thing,” Duke added.

As of this notice, FSC calls for all production to halt immediately, until further notice.
As this only broke yesterday afternoon, speculation is running rife about the identity of the affected performer, how or if she got infected (or whether or not this may be a false positive), and whether or not the impact of this new moratorium will be enough to undercut performer solidarity in favor of mandatory condoms. However, the following is known information, based on actual verifiable sources (and documented over at The Real Porn Wikileaks blog):

1) The initial reactive test results were preliminary; confirmatory testing has been done on the affected performer and all her 1st-generation on-screen partners, with results due to be released later today at the earliest.

2) At least four major performers have been verified to be part of the 1st gen quarantine list, and have been tested. That does NOT mean that they are indeed infected, just that they have engaged with the performer most directly isolated. Since 2004, it should be noted, there has not been one case of any performer getting infected with HIV on set.

3) According to Michael Whiteacre over at TRPWL, the affected performer is in her 30's, has performed for around a year in adult, has maintained a regular two-week testing regimen with FSCPASS (including a full panel of testing at the beginning of the month), and is romanticaly involved with another performer.

(Per BPPA policy, we do not and will NOT ever reveal the name of any potentially infected performer or 1st gen partner without direct permission or until they themselves feel fit to reveal themselves publically. Any attempt to reveal such info via comments or linkage on this blog will be immediately deleted and/or redacted.)

Not surprisingly, all the usual peanut gallery rogues are at their loudest squawking tones about how this latest "infection" proves once and for all that only condoms can protect performers from HIV; and that the FSCPASS protocols are an abject failure for HIV prevention. Then again, they were pitching the same BS for the last two or three "outbreaks", and they were proven so wrong.

At least this time, there are sane voices out there calling for calm and solidarity.....the newly formed performers' group Adult Performers' Advocacy Committee (APAC) released a timely and well structured statement on the latest scare that deserves reprinting in its entirity for its depth of common sense and reason in the face of the fear and psycho terror that must be affecting a lot of LA performers.

APAC is requesting that all adult performers honor PASS’s call for a moratorium and treat each other with compassion and respect during this time.
When an industry moratorium, especially one related to HIV, occurs, performers are often concerned about their health, the health of their co-workers, their financial security, and public perception of the porn industry. Fear and mistrust are understandable reactions. Desire for facts and belief in rumors when no facts are available are also understandable reactions.

The only facts available at this time are that a positive HIV result has been reported to the FSC and that a call has been made to stop all production while a confirmatory test is done.

The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee’s mission is to support the safety, happiness, and well-being of individual performers, and our community. Therefore we stand against blaming specific performers for contracting HIV, and we encourage them to take steps to ensure HIV- negative scene partners are not exposed. We also firmly stand against any homophobia (ie blaming “crossover” performers or gay studios) in a time of industry moratorium.

APAC is asking all performers to refrain from exchanging body fluids during this moratorium. This includes girl-girl only performers, trans performers, “gay” performers, queer performers, and “straight” performers, and includes performers based out of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, and anywhere else adult productions are shot in the United States or with performers who have recently been here. This also includes trade shoots and recreational activities.

The blending of gay and straight performers; transgender and cisgender performers; queer, homo- and heterosexual sexualities; is an increasing reality in our industry. There is no “gay” or straight” industry, even if there are straight and gay audiences.

HIV is not transmitted by gay people to straight people, it is transmitted from a positive partner to a negative partner by very specific sexual acts that are not specific to sexual orientation.

This request to honor the current moratorium is made for the safety of our community as a whole and for your safety. Regardless of your feelings towards the FSC or any other entity in the adult film industry, we believe this is the right thing to do.

APAC is also asking fellow performers to show compassion towards each other and to our unnamed peer who is currently waiting for the results of their confirmatory test. Their entire life has just been turned upside down and shaken. Any one of us could be in that person’s shoes. Think about what it might be like to be in those shoes before you point fingers, throw accusations around, or tweet about who you might guess they are.

As performers, it is our responsibility to understand how HIV is transmitted and to show care for other performers. At APAC, we offer resources on HIV and STI education and a private, performer only platform for performers to support and discuss concerns about moratoriums with each other.

Moratoriums are an opportunity for performers to be a voice of reason and stability about sexual health, to educate ourselves, and to show care for each other.

When moratorium-related concerns turn into anxious blame or trying to figure out whose “fault” it is, performers are pitted against one another.

When these concerns are instead played out as care for one another, our industry and the community of performers becomes stronger.

APAC encourages performers to reach out to their existing support systems, and to remember we’re all in this together and should be able to lean on each other.
Personally, I think that this is the direct effect of laws like Measure B coming back to bite some asses hard by driving performers underground into less safe ventures. A part of me that's more into conspiracies might see the hand of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in all this, paying and supporting "moles" to infect performers "off-the-clock", or introduce HIV+ "crossover" performers into the adult performer pool in order to poison it, and use the insuing panic and terror based on the fear of an outbreak and the loss of livelihood during the moratoria period to push their "condoms only" agenda. (That's solely MY opinion, not reflective of anybody else here at BPPA.)

But, that's not important right now. The real thing at the moment is to remain calm and await the results of the testing, and then act accordingly as to what the legitimate level of threat really is. This could be bigger than what took place in 2004 with Darren James; it could also be a false positive. Or, it could be just like many of the other "outbreaks" we've seen these last two years: an isolated off-the-clock event that was caught before anyone else got harmed.  What we will see, we will see.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

AHF's Latest Diversionary Bedazzle of BS: Attack Oral/Toy Shoot In Nevada For....What Now???

Let's just say that you are a national organization of health care, and that you have had a pretty bad week. Your org is now under attack by its own doctors and professionals for unionization due to overwork and under paying conditions. You just got stoned in your attempt to build another thrift store in San Francisco. You are presented a big-ass bill for overcharging yet another major city off their public health rolls (namely, Los Angeles County). And, your major political effort to impose condoms in porn just got shot down for the second year in a row.

What do you do? What do you do??

If you happen to be the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, you get off the floor, shake yourself off....and fire a dozen press releases rewriting defeat as victory...and then you fire off your lawyers for diversionary tactics to hide the pain of getting your asses kicked.

Early this week, in the wake of the defeat of AB 1576 in the California State Senate, AHF announced that they would be filing a complaint with the Nevada state branch of the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA-NV) regarding a porn shoot done in that state by the site The complaint, according to AHF's press release, states that allegedly violated the Nevada and federal OSHA standards for "bloodborne pathogen" protection by not requiring condoms in the filming of one of their particular, the video Vegas Road Trip (misreferenced in the AHF filing with the title Hoghtied Whores, which featured performers Krissy Lynn and Skin Diamond, and was shot for the Kink-registered site

A screen cap of the letter AHF (through their latest propagandist.....errrrr, "public health consultant" Adam Cohen, follows (h/t The Real Porn Wikileaks):

Let us ignore all the beddazle of the continuous hot streaming crap about how the industry "violates OSHA health and safety laws" by not mandating condoms, and get to the basic fact that the all of the scenes in Hogtied Whores are either oral or solo with sex toys wrapped with condoms. No anal or vaginal here. In fact, the scenes would have been fully compliant with all of the protocols required by Measure B, the ordinance that mandates condom usage for most of Los Angeles County, as well as AB 1576, had that measure been effective in Nevada.

So, where's the beef??

The answer to that lies in the current attempt in California to rewrite the "barrier protection" codes to apply to adult filming, and impose condoms through legal regs rather than legislation.

The current revision to CCR 5193, which regulates "bloodborne pathogen/other potentially infectious materials" barrier methods for general purpose exposure in hospitals and other high-risk exposure occupations, is CalOSHA's attempt (with the full collusion of AHF, of course) to apply that law to the adult realm.

As noted previously here, that revision would severly impact porn shoots not only by mandating condoms for all penetrative sexual acts -- not just anal and vaginal, but also even oral; there is a brief exemption for oral sex provided that participants are subjected to vaccinations and clearances by an approved physician before hand, but that expires on January of 2018) -- but would even prohibit any potential exposure of "OPIM" to any oral area. Meaning: facials, pop shots in the vicinity of the vagina or anal area, and "creampie" ejaculations would also be banished as well.

The problem for AHF is that that process won't be resolved for another 1-2 years, since regulations have to go through a process of review and public comment; and CCR 5193.1 hasn't even gotten to the draft stages as of yet. To cover the time until then, AHF is essentially suggesting that the current rule 5193, normally applying only to hospitals, should also apply with equal strength to porn shoots, and that California's "interpretation" of the health and safety codes should be adopted by OSHA-NV in going after (and any other porn producers shooting in Nevada without condoms). There is also the debate about whether porn performers should be considered to be "employees" of the companies paying them or "independent contractors"; the latter would remove them legally from OSHA jurisdiction.

You will also note how Cohen attaches the meme that condom usage is mandated in Nevada's legal brothels....ignoring the fact that the condoms are imposed on the clients/buyers of sexual services, not the sellers; and that porn is treated much differently legally as a form of adult entertainment, not as a direct sale of sex.

But, the biggest presumptive lie of all this is what Cohen implies about the four performers (Krissy Lynn, Skin Diamond, James Mogul, and Maestro).....which parallels all the implied assumptions projected by AHF on the shoot that Cameron Bay participated in. Notice a gradual shift in emphasis away from the charge that deliberately caused an HIV outbreak (proven false, of course), to the charge that merely increases the risk of STI's. Never mind that all four participants were more than likely tested and found to be STI free, and therefore couldn't infect anyone, even if they went full on with an active gang bang. That seriously fracks up AHF's propaganda, so they have to now move to the "higher risk" card to keep the deception of "protecting the industry" going.

Of course, as CEO Peter Acworth noted, this could just be scattershot to mask the real goal of AHF: to essentially nationalize their crusade to ban all bareback porn from the face of the earth, and to ultimately regulate individual sexual activity so that the only non-procreative sexual activity left to be legal would be condomized sex. And, to rake in the $$$$ off condom/dental dam placement ad deals.

Thanks to their power over CalOSHA's adjucative procedings, AHF has actually convinced some judges to rule in their favor in filings of OSHA complaints in California. Let's see if Nevada falls as equally hard for this fakery.

Because Porn Women Are People Too...BPPA Supports Christy Mack

This blog would not even exist were it not for the labor and beauty of its female performers.

Yes, the male performers have more than just a bit to do with the success of porn, too....but it's the females who are out there, naked in more ways than you can imagine, taking all the risks to sell the belief that sex isn't a horrible thing after all.

The fundamental principle that BPPA was founded on from the very beginning up to today is that performers who do explicit adult sexual entertainment are as human as anyone else in any other profession, worthy of equal rights and responsibilities and respect for what they offer.

 Christy Mack, posing for her Inked Magazine cover (via her Twitter page)

It is in that fundamental principle that we rise in support of performer Christy Mack in the wake of the absolutely horrific violent assault and battery and even attempted murder she suffered recently at the alleged hands of her former boyfriend Johnathan Koppenhaver, aka MMA fighter "War Machine".

I could go off for paragraphs on what this says about the misplaced hyperaggression of violent sports, or on how the media and sex-negative culture tends to dismiss violence against sexually assertive women or women involved in one form of another of sex work/sexual entertainment because "sluts/whores/tramps get what they deserve"...but that's not really important right now.

The most important thing is that Christy get the chance to fully recover and heal from both the physical and psychological injuries to both her body and her soul. Her own personal strength will do a lot to get her through, but it's not so bad to give her some boost through our own.

A fundraising drive is currently ongoing for Christy's mounting medical bills through (which, hopefully, has learned their lesson from the Eden Alexander debacle not to dismiss porn women so lightly). I've added a special widget/gadget (please, Blogger, get with the program!!!) in the blog sidebar for those who want to donate generously.

You don't have to sell your house, or your car, or anything drastic...just collect some pennies or dimes or quarters and help an awesome porn woman heal, recover, and reload.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Too Close For Comfort, But #BAHLOCKED Again!!! For Realz, Too!!! Condom Mandate Bill AB 1576 Finally Whacked By California Senate For 2014 Year

It may have gone on a bit longer for some people's comfort, but the battle over #AB 1576, Isadore Hall's proposed condom mandate/testing/documentation for porn bill finally ended last Wednesday, when the California State Senate Appropriations Committee tabled the bill without a vote, or even bringing it up.

Last week, after testimonials both for and against the bill, which would have mandated both condom usage and testing for all shoots performed within 14 days, that committee placed the bill "in suspense" without a vote, essentially preparing the bill for ultimate closure.

The main sticking point was more than likely that the bill would have violated the fiscal threshhold limit of $150,000 for costs of enforcement, which is the standard used for rendering a bill fiscally responsible enough. However, the fact that the industry rallied hard, and was able to actually turn some favorite press with some powerful mainstream institutions (including this powerful editorial from the Los Angeles Times), combined with the universal opposition ofporn production companies including, and  performers, led admirably by Lorelei Lee, to name just one of many, was as much a factor as any.

Considering the pessimism that existed when AB 1576 was able to pass the California Assembly generally with little discussion or debate, the quick turnaround was indeed surprising, yet most certainly welcomed, in the midst of this bad lawmaking.

Both Assemblyman Hall (who will be term-limited out of his seat after this year, but is comtemplating a run for the Cali Senate), and his backers at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, issued the usual press releases expressing such sorrow that the Senate decided to place "profit" over "worker protection", and AHF announced that they would try again next year with similar legislation.

So...that's one less stumbing block for the LA- and California-based adult entertainment industry to endure. There's still the ongoing court cases over both Measure B (the original referendum which imposed the condom mandate on most of Los Angeles County), as well as the original ordinance passed in the City of Los Angeles. Plus, there is the continuing attempt by CalOSHA, assisted by AHF, to rewrite the workplace codes to impose mandatory "barrier" protection for adult performers, via proposed CCR 5193.1, and expand that nationally through the federal branch of OSHA.

But, at least for now, the threat to porn production in California is significantly less than it was even one week ago. Props to the good guys for winning one, and may this be only the end of the beginning.

More info via TRPWL,, and AVN.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

AVN's Mark Kernes Chases The #AB1576 "Crapnado"; Survives To Tell The Story

Thanks to Mark Kernes at AVN, we now have a full reading of that hearing last Monday at the California Senate Appropriations Committee on AB1576, Isadore Hall's condom mandate/"testing documentation" bill that had already passed the Cali Assembly last month. And, it was every bit worth its weight, both from the mountain of bullshit spewed by the proponents of the bill and the spirited efforts of the opposition.

For those of you not following, AB1576 was ultimately placed "in suspense" without a vote on passage following spirited testimony at that hearing; which pretty much dooms its passage unless Izzy Hall can convince four committee members to reserrect the bill and pass it before all the "in suspense" bills get dumped next week.

But, that's next week's issue....what took place last Monday, upon further review, deserves a much detailed analysis. Fortunately, Mr. Kernes was there first hand, and he delivers as usual a full accounting of all the hijinks. All references will be to his AVN article, which can be found here.

First...we have to live once again through the virtual Crapnado of Izzy Hall's sorry-ass arguments in favor of his jacked up to even higher fever pitches of stank.
"AB 1576 is a workplace safety measure that would require employer-paid mandatory STD testing on adult film actors at least every 14 days and documentation that a condom or other personal protective equipment was use in all adult films produced in California," [Hall] began, adding that three policy committees—the Assembly Arts & Entertainment and Appropriations Committees, as well as the Senate Labor Committee—had already had "extensive public debate on this bill" and "received bipartisan support."
Right...."extensive public debate", I suppose, meaning biased hearings where he was able to control the microphone and weed out any real facts; and "received bipartisan support" meaning that his benefactors over at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation were able to grease the wheels of local politicians with some of that $2 million in lobbying funds.
Hall went on to state that "Existing state and federal OSHA laws already require the use of condoms in adult films, period. In fact, existing federal OSHA law requires the use of condoms in adult films produced anywhere in the nation"—which of course begs the question of why AB 1576 is even needed.
 Yeah, really. Never mind that Hall could never produce any law anywhere other than Measure B in Los Angeles County and the ordinance in the city of Los Angeles that specifically mandates condom usage for performers. And, forget about the fact that CalOSHA is currently in the process of revamping their "bloodborne pathogen"/"barrier protection" standards in order to cover adult porn production....something that probably would not be needed if it was already the law. Existing law is currently designed strictly for occupations where direct exposure to bloodborne pathogens or internal body fluids is most likely (re: hospitals, morgues, meat processors, etc.). The CalOSHA rewrite for adult production (proposed as CCR 5193.1) is currently in the preliminary draft stages, with a draft form scheduled for release sometime this fall.
Hall also claimed that the bill has "negligible general fund impact," ignoring the fact that CalOSHA or some other state agency would need to hire several additional inspectors to make sure adult movie and internet content producers are complying with the law. However, Hall sidestepped that fact by claiming that not passing the bill would cost the state even more—over $600,000 per person, he said—for treatment of performers who contracted HIV and other STDs, further claiming that most performers don't have health insurance, even though the Affordable Care Act requires them to obtain it.
This is critical, folks, because the Cali Appropriations Committee has an iron clad threshold of $150,000 for the acceptable cost of enforcing legislation...and AB1576 is in serious danger of reaching or exceeding that threshold, even before the costs of legal action against the state and the costs of hiring enough inspectors to enforce this law. I suppose that Hall thinks that AHF will step in with the funds to hire their own "inspection" force??

On that "$600,000 per person" expense that condoms are supposed to protect the taxpayers of Cali from: you mean, Izzy, that the expense per person of people already striken with HIV/AIDS in your own district isn't nearly as much a financial drain? Especially considering that the actual expense to the state of California for HIV treatment of porn performers is....well...ZERO, since there hasn't been a single case of a straight performer contracting HIV on set since 2004, as compared to the new cases of HIV cropping up every day in LA?? And no, Izzy, contracting HIV off the set through off-the-clock private sex or IV drug needle sharing, or getting infected in a condom only shoot, does not count.

Finally, to the fact that many performers do not have effective health care insurance to cover for tragedies as such? My two word response to that: Single. Payer.
"Many California studios require condoms on the set today, and are still extremely successful and profitable," [Hall] further claimed. "In fact, as recently as May 9 of this year, one adult film director made the switch to condoms and testing after acknowledging that the only reason he didn't require condoms before was because he put profit before worker safety."

Nice try, Izzy...but, WRONG....
That director was Axel Braun, and what Braun actually said was, "Maybe the last one [HIV-positive performer] hit too close to home, since patient zero was booked on my set the day he was diagnosed, or maybe my integrity is becoming more important than my bottom line, but I have finally come to believe that our system is broken, and I’m simply trying to do what I can to fix it on my end.” Braun also adopted a policy of only allowing actors with tests less that one week old, and required that actors be at least 21 years old.
It should also be noted that Braun is also a fervent public opponent of AB1576, and stated that he was only acting for his company, not for others.

Gee...I wonder why Hall didn't also cite Tristan Taormino and Dan Leal, two producers who have also decided to go condom only + tests? Too worked up in spewing his BS??

Next up was Rand Martin representing AHF, with the usual swill:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Rand Martin followed Hall, claiming that "The bill does two things: Number one, it requires documentation that protective barriers were used when it was necessary to do so; number two, that an STD test was taken no more than 14 days before a scene was filmed. That is all the bill does." He also claimed that since he had worked with CalOSHA to "align the bill" with the agency's existing regulations, that no additional costs would be incurred—except, of course, for the additional inspectors, which Martin did not mention.
And then the stank really hit the eyewall...
Cameron Bay and her boyfriend Rod Daily also spoke, with the former actress dropping her claim that she had contracted her HIV on an adult set, but claimed today that "Adult producers know ... that they could take advantage of workers like myself. They know the high turnover rate for workers like me and they know that they're breaking the law when they deny a worker like me the cheapest workplace barrier protection in existence, which is a condom. And they do all that because they don't have to pay for the treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. You, the citizens of California, have to pay. While the producers laugh their way to the bank, you're left with the bill: over half a million dollars in medication just for a single HIV infection like myself."
That's kind of interesting, mean that you weren't given the option after you bit too hard into Xander Corvus' schlong to wear a condom to finish? In a scene where no one else was infected, and has tested negative since? And, that those "4 cent" condoms really are more effective than stingent testing? And, that the people of California (and by extension, the USA) shouldn't have to pay one red cent to treat HIV+ people? And, how exactly do you "break the law", Ms. Bay, by having bareback sex where no one is infected??? If condoms are that effective, shouldn't they be mandated for everyone engaging in sex, not just people making porn??

Oh, wait..this isn't about prevention; it;s about "mentoring" and selling the beauty of "safer sex". And.....well placed condom ads that could make AHF more $$$$. Never mind....
But while Bay claimed that "AB 1576 insures women like me are protected from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections," her boyfriend Rod Daily began his testimony by saying, "During my time as a performer, I only wore condoms in all of my scenes. Because of these, I was protected from STDs on set." So either Daily didn't contract his disease on an adult set, or the condoms didn't protect him—neither of which argues for the passage of AB 1576.
Or...I guess he must have meant "my time as a gay performer", where condoms are mandatory due to direct potential interaction with HIV+ performers, and the lack of the kind of stringent testing the "straight" porn industry maintains. So, I guess mandating condoms in porn doesn't protect you very well off-the-clock.

The only other proponent of note was Adam Cohen of the UCLA Reproductive Health Interest Group, who has been one of the main colluding groups between CalOSHA and AHF in the condom mandate campaign. Michael Whiteacre has already debunked his nonsense here.

As bad as that portion of the testimony was, it didn't compare to the good that was the opponents' response. To put it bluntly, they were armed, locked, and loaded....and their arguments did much to disenfect the air.

First up, performer Lorelei Lee, who happened to be the third performer in that Cameron Bay/Xander Corvus scene at (and whom is also HIV-, and always has been).

When de Leon asked for speakers in opposition to the bill, Lorelei Lee stepped forward, bringing with her a petition signed by "over 650 adult performers" opposing the bill, out of the 1,000 to 1,200 active performers in the industry, "so there can be no quesiton that the majority of performers oppose this bill." She also noted that the committee had received letters from members of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, the industry's only all-talent group, which also oppose the bill.
"I want to make clear that the author of this bill does not speak for performers," Lee said. "The sponsors of this bill do not speak for performers. They have not worked with us, they have not reached to us, and no one cares more than we do about our health and safety."
"This bill would seriously degrade the health and safety protocols that we already have in place and that we have been working to improve over the last decade," she added. "I want to emphasize that we would not work in this industry if we did not believe that our protocols have kept us safe. Under our current protocols, we have not had a single on-set transmission of HIV in over a decadel. ... Performers who have tested positive in the last decade have done so after an exposure in their private lives and our mandatory test-and-stop protocols have prevented any on-set transmissions from occurring."
She also expressed concern about performers' medical information being shared with CalOSHA, noting that "Forced consent is not consent. This is a privacy violation and we do not consent to it."
She observed that "legislative condom mandates do not lead to more condom use in adult films," noting that after Measure B was passed, many productions moved out of the jurisdiction, "taking thousands of California jobs with them," including not only performers but the myriad technicians that work behind the scenes. She also noted that many productions that can't afford to move have gone underground.
"When our jobs become illegal, our employers have even less accountability, and both the stigmas and the on-set dangers that we face rise exponentially," she concluded. "Our voice and our concerns should be more important than bills that a politician is simply trying to pass a bill."
Next industry attorney Karen Tynan:
Attorney Karen Tynan next took the microphone, claiming that, "Let me be clear: AB 1576 is costly to the state, far beyond the suspense threshhold. It undermines efforts to implement a complete and effective worker safety plan." She added that the industry had spent years working with medical professionals and experts to devise the industry's current testing protocols, which she said are "more comprehensive than AB 1576, and we have the support of the workers, the performers themselves."
She reminded the committee that CalOSHA is working on its own set of regulations, and called AB 1576 "an assault on that process."
"We believe this bill will also cost money with the California Department of Public Health," she stated. "The recommendations will require the development of a list of recommended HIV tests and it's impossible to believe that this will not require additional costs to the state. This would have to be a public and inclusive process so that the Department of Public Health can understand the nuances of this industry and could listen to performers and primary care physicians," noting that such costs would require Public Health to "divert resources from more pressing matters."
She concluded by noting that six Bay Area production companies had already moved to Nevada, as well as a "San Fernando-based adult film company with $30 million in revenue transferred their entire operations out of state."
And, as if that wasn't enough to convince the legislators, a new witness emerged with a decisive new argument against the bill:
The final speaker in opposition to the bill was a new one: Aaron Fox of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, who noted that his organization was one of the ones that had sent an opposition letter to the committee last week, with the other two being Project Inform of San Francisco and AIDS Project Los Angeles (which de Leon made sure to note was a different organization from the bill's sponsor, AIDS Healthcare Foundation).

"Mandatory state-mandated HIV testing has never been something that this legislature has been in favor of except one time in its history, which was in 1996, when a boxer tested positive for HIV and the legislature passed a law that professional boxers and martial artists must be tested for HIV before they can compete in the ring," he stated. "We believe that any way of expanding state-mandated HIV testing violates privacy rights, stigmatizes people with HIV and is not something that's in congruence with all of the HIV testing laws in California that not only require consent but also require people to have the right to decline an HIV test. There's nothing in this legislation that allows people the right to decline an HIV test and that has been something the California legislature has always supported throughout its history."
Keep in mind that the protocols used by PASS are enforced through peer pressure and the honor system of production companies not hiring performers who test positive for HIV or other STI's, not through any government intervention. Since AB1576 would require documentation for testing for HIV or condom usage by a public board, it would effectively violate both antidiscrimination laws against HIV+ persons in employment, AND direct consent for mandatory HIV testing. If that segment is rendered unconstitutional by a later court action, and all that remains is the condom requirement, then the risks to performers would be elevated to a magnitude, since there would be no effective means in which a performer could know if her on-screen partner was infected prior to that scene. And, if the condom broke....

The backup support was there in droves as well, too:
At that point, de Leon called for those in the audience who oppose the bill to step forward and state their opposition—and more than 30 did, including performers Anna Cherry, Mia Coleman, Veruca James (who's also the recently elected treasurer of APAC), Jiz Lee, Mick Blue, Anikka Albrite, Aiden Starr, Ariel X, Lea Lexis, Maitresse Madeline, Owen Gray and Mickey Mod, as well as FSC CEO Diane Duke and Michael Chate of MindGeek.
Based on all that, you'd think that Izzy Hall would reel in the rhetoric in his final push for his bill before the committee. You would be wrong.

None of the committee members had questions or comments, but de Leon gave Hall the last word, though, and he didn't disappoint.
"I know this is not a sexy bill," he began. "We're talking about protecting the lives of those without a voice," apparently ignoring the "voice" of the 650-plus petitions presented to the committee earlier.

"These individuals who have come forward today deserve a badge of honor for the courage that they have to come back and forth to Sacramento for the last several months testifying in front of members of the legislature both on Senate and the Assembly side, talking about how they were impacted on their places of employment," he stated, apparently referring to Bay and Daily rather than the dozens of other performers who have attended those same hearings, "where they contracted a disease that will affect their lives for the rest of their lives," Hall added, implying that Bay and Daily contracted their HIV on-set, which implication has been shown to be untrue.
"For the record, Mr. Chair, this bill does not mandate testing," Hall lied. "This bill mandates documentation of testing, and there is a big difference. This bill does not mandate testing; this bill mandates the documentation of testing, and the question as I close is, Mr. Chair and members, is how many lives must be taken for profit? How many people must come up here each and every week or every other week and talk about how their lives and families' lives and many others are drastically impacted by going to work, performing a job, not receiving a reasonable level of protection afforded other employees, and as a result, now their lives have been turned upside down, their families and all of their associates?"
The answer to that question appears to be just Cameron Bay and Rod Daily, neither of whom caught their HIV on an adult set, while more than 650 other performers signed petitions and wrote letters against the bill's passage.
So, to review and condense Isadore Hall's case: Two performers with questionable histories are more truthful than over 650 performers with solid records of protecting themselves without his or AHF's help; we absolutely must save those performers who can't save themselves with protections from HIV and STI's, and only 4-cent condoms are the proven means to do that; only an organization with well over $250 million in revenue is capable of fighting against the Evil Porn Profiteers who infect their "employees" with impunity, then go on to infect the general population; and, requiring documentation of testing is not the same as actually requiring testing...even though if you don't test, you get punished just the same. Hurry up and pass this bill before our opportunity to make money off condom placement ads goes past.....errrrrrr, before another performer gets killed by AIDS!!

I guess that we will all see by next week, if not by August 15th, whether his lunacy and AHF's money tree are able to overcome actual logic and truth. At least, for this year.

Monday, August 4, 2014

"Curses....BAHLOCKED AGAIN!!!" AB 1576 (AHF/Isadore Hall Sponsored Condom Mandate Bill) Placed "In Suspense" By California Senate Committee (BREAKING STORY) seems like it took a bit longer than comfort allowed, but it appears that common sense and reality will prevail again.

The California Senate Appropriations Committee, after hearing testimony on both sides about Assemblyman Isadore Hall's bill (AB 1576) which would have mandated condom usage and testing for all porn shoots in that state, has placed the bill "in suspense", effectively killing it for the session.

Hall was there to testify for the bill, along with both Cameron Bay and Rod Daily, the two principals of last year's HIV scare. Representing the forces against the bill in testimony were performer Lorelei Lee (backed by a petition signed by nearly 650 performers in opposition), and adult attorney Karen Tynan repping the Free Speech Coalition, among other dignitaries.

Obviously, this is a breaking story, and reaction is coming fast and furious. I'll add more details and update this post as events warrant and more information is revealed.

For now, please go over to The Real Porn Wikileaks for Michael Whiteacre's live posting of the hearing, and reactions thereof to the decision to effectively table AB 1576 for the session.

See also's writeup on the hearing here.  XBiz did note that the committee is scheduled to reconvene on August 15 for what could be a final resolution of AB 1576. Four "aye" votes would be needed for passage on to the full California Senate. There was no vote today, because the committee chair made the decision to place the bill "in suspense". 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Presente, Christian Mann: A Decent Man In A Dirty World Passes On (Updated By Michael Whiteacre)

[I might not be an insider to the porn world, but I was nevertheless shaken by the announcement on Wednesday night that long time Video Team owner/producer Christian Mann had lost his earthly battle with cancer. Before his more recent activism against the condom mandate and his refuting of the "arguments" of Peanut Factory criers like Mike South, Mann was first known by me as one of the first porn producers to attempt to humanize Black men through consensual interracial porn. He was also one of the first producers/distributors to face the full wrath of the government's attempts to criminalize sexual speech, having even faced jail for tweaking the noses of racists and prudes everywhere. 

I probably am not qualified to post a worthy tribute to Mr. Mann's legacy...but thankfully, someone far more worthy than me has. My friend Michael Whiteacre just posted over at The Real Porn Wikileaks a touching eulogy to properly celebrate Christian's life and work....and he and Sean Tompkins has allowed me permission to repost their tribute in full here.

All I will say is that it is criminal that warriors like Christian Mann are taken from us before their time.


Link to the original TRPWL post is embedded in the title.

Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World

“He was the best of us.” ~ From James Dickey’s Deliverance, 1972

With love and respect from Michael Whiteacre –

photo 2 1 Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World

Christian Mann was a friend, mentor, and inspiration to me. He was a decent man in a dirty world. I won’t even attempt describing the anguish I feel today…

In 1996, I started covering the adult business after answering an ad posted by an international news syndication company looking for someone familiar and comfortable with the world of adult. They needed someone to cover the Video Software Dealers association (VSDA) show in Las Vegas, and since I was already heading out there to cover the mainstream side of the event, I got the job. By chance, one of the first people I met at VSDA was Christian Mann.

As my friend Gram Ponante writes this morning, Christian “was one of those people you meet in this business who reaffirms your need to believe that it’s OK, that there are good people here, that you’re not going to Hell.”

I knew him back then as the owner of Video Team, a highly successful “boutique” operation that, as Jules Jordan recalls, “was like the ethnic company. It really brought the ethnic genres to a more mainstream light.”

Because Christian was friendly and eloquent, whenever I needed a quote — any quote — while covering an adult event, I sought him out. Looking back, I don’t think I ended up printing very much of what we talked about — Christian possessed a massive “bank” of knowledge on so many subjects, from music to American presidential elections, and it was easy for the two of us to go off on tangents completely unrelated to the event at hand. I guess that’s how our friendship began.

photo 3 Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World
Christian in the 1980s

Back then, as Christian would tell me years later, “the [adult] business was mostly good guys, and we all got along.” What Christian, and the other giants I met back in “the old days”, managed to instill in me was a sense of history regarding the adult business, as well as an appreciation of legacy.

As Christian later recalled to AVN:
I officially started in the business in the summer of 1979 when I was 18 years old. My job was packing magazines in my dad’s warehouse and delivering them to our local customers in the beat-up company van. Seven months into my job, on Valentine’s Day 1980, I was delivering a van full of How to Enlarge Your Penis magazines to CPLC in Central L.A. As I turned the corner, I saw the entire block swarming with news media trucks … and the CPLC parking lot was filled with big guys wearing FBI windbreakers. I knew enough to not stop and instead made my way to the nearest phone booth to call my dad who had been worried because he knew raids were going down all over the country … and he couldn’t reach me in the days before cell phones. This wasn’t my first day on the job, but it remains one of my earliest and most vivid memories from my freshman year in our business.
One of my main takeaways from knowing Christian was that attacks on free speech and sexual freedom are a bipartisan affair. That Valentine’s Day raid occurred under a Democratic president, while in 1989, when Christian was brought up on federal obscenity charges in Texas (and prevailed in his trial there), the political winds were blowing from another direction.

Although we had done some business together during the 8 years I was a content distributor to TV and hotels, we didn’t really socialize. I would sometimes run into him — usually with Steven Hirsch — at various concerts around town. Elvis Costello at the Wiltern stands out in my mind.

Christian ran Video Team for 12 years. Out of conscience, Christian and many other producers went all-condom in the wake of the 2004 Darren James HIV infections. The market did not want all-condom titles, however, and those companies either folded or dropped the condom requirement. Video Team took a hard hit, and Christian eventually sold the library to Metro in 2006.

Christian and John Amsterdam 2010 450x334 Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World
Christian and John Stagliano – Amsterdam, 2010

After Video Team folded, the next time I saw him was November 2009, about a year into his position of general manager at Evil Angel. Larry Flynt, John Stagliano, and others were to be honored at an FSC-sponsored gala at the Skirball Center in L.A., and I was asked to put together Flynt’s video tribute. I ended up directing the evening’s presentation, which involved running down all the various cues between the speakers and presenters on stage, and the audio-video team behind the board. Christian was set to introduce Stagliano, and he was worried about being “left hanging there” onstage if there was a flub. I remember us bonding all over again as we worked out his cues with great precision — and it came off perfectly.
christian mann 450x314 Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World
Christian at the Nov 2009 FSC gala

In 2011, he surprised me by coming up to me at an expo in Los Angeles, and singing my praises in front of a group of adult industry “players”.

“Here’s a guy who is out there every day making the case for us,” he said as he patted me on the back. I was amazed, as I had no idea Christian was even reading my stuff. He was, he assured me, and I later learned that he would share my work with many in the adult business, particularly during the campaign against Measure B during the fall of 2012.

Our friend Glenn King recalls,
On December 30, 2012, Christian canceled our golf outing because of a stomach ache. I laughed at him and said “Seriously? A tummy ache? Be a man and play golf, ya pussy”. We agreed to play the next day instead. On December 31, he said his stomach ache had gotten worse and he was going to go to the emergency room. I told him he was being a baby. I said “You have heartburn because of all the terrible crap you eat. They are going to give you some Prilosec and send you home”. He said “My family has a history of cancer.  That might be what it is”. I laughed and said “You are a hypochondriac. You don’t have cancer. You have an ulcer maybe, but most likely you ate something bad”. To my credit, the doctors gave him an antacid and sent him home. They referred him to a specialist. A few days later, he found out he had pancreatic cancer, one of the worst kinds. The doctors estimated he had 5 months to live.
Christian wrote about his cancer diagnosis in a January 2013 open letter, which was published in AVN.  He also created a blog where he wrote updates about his medical condition at Christian made it very clear that he was not simply going to curl up into a ball. The outpouring of love he received from the adult community was both immense and mutual.

During this time, Christian wed his beautiful wife Melissa. Theirs is a pure and genuine love story, the details of which I will leave to Melissa to share. She has called Christian the love of her life, and Christian left absolutely no doubt with me that he felt the same about her.

Group seated 450x259 Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World
Melissa and Christian Mann helping me celebrate my birthday, with director Anna Arrowsmith (right)

Siri Melissa Christian 450x315 Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World
Siri (left) with Melissa, Christian, and his ubiquitous cell phone –September 2013

By the late summer of 2013, Christian was convinced he had beaten the cancer. Lunch or dinner at Hop Louie’s in Chinatown became our thing, and those were wonderful times that I will cherish forever.

photo 1 1 350x261 Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World

His level of wisdom and candor was breathtaking. He was an intellectual with a tremendous sense of humor, and could easily summon the perfect anecdote or analogy to illustrate his point. Christian was a great person to go to for advice because never lectured; he was direct — often “ruthlessly honest”, in John Stagliano’s words — but he helped you reach your own conclusions. And then he’d offer to help.

As our mutual friend Glenn King notes, “Christian was never satisfied with being the best he could be. He wanted to help others improve their lives. He was always willing to take others’ burdens upon himself. That’s the kind of guy he was.”

Christian worked hard as point man for the Free Speech Coalition’s PASS testing/test verification system for adult performers —  a system he vigorously defended, as in this 2013 letter which we were proud to post on TRPWL.

He wrote, in part:
I have devoted a lot of time and effort as the FSC Board Member chairing the PASS initiative. I have received no recompense and I have no ulterior motive other than to be of service to my industry. The scores of performers and agents who have encountered me over the last thirty years would likely vouch for my integrity and genuine care for them as people and as a vital component of the business. I’ve never viewed the performers in an “us and them” paradigm. A simple collective “us” has always been my approach.
As John Stagliano reminded me today, “Christian was a unique, very intelligent, very morally aware executive in the porn business. He cared about the talent, he cared about all his employees.” 

Christian was an extremely rational diplomat with a well-deserved reputation for being a peacemaker — “he was so good at getting people to come together,” as director Kevin Moore says. Christian once described himself to me as a very political man; just as he valued human decency, he understood the importance of allies in this business. He didn’t suffer fools lightly (as that 2013 letter also demonstrates), but he always had tact and grace.

If Christian liked someone, and trusted them, he helped get ahead. He was great at matching people up, and lobbying for them, ether behind the scenes or in their presence. Steve Javors credits Christian with getting him his job at AVN: “He called me on Paul [Fishbein]‘s behalf to see if I was interested, and set up a meeting of the three of us.” He would later make similar introductions for me, usually over lunch in the Valley.

3 Julia Christian 450x310 Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World
Julia Ann with Christian at the 2013 Vivid Holiday party

In March of this year, when I received word of Jake Malone’s passing, I rang Christian. He wanted me to do justice to his friend’s story, and provided some moving reminiscences. I was struck by his insight and eloquence under stress, but what I remember most was the way his voice cracked as he spoke of his departed friend. I’ll never forget the sound of it.

“Up until March of this year he thought he was going to beat this whole thing,” says Stagliano, but by May, Christian’s cancer had returned with a vengeance, and had gotten to his spine. Melissa never left his side, day and night. When I visited, I learned that Christian was no longer able to hold food down. The chemo had become too much for his body to take, and he and Melissa opted to suspend treatment. On July 7, he was started on comfort medications to ease his pain, but no artificial IV hydration or nutrition.

photo 5 350x344 Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World

In these last few weeks, it fell to Melissa, and a few others such as Christian’s old friend Luc Wylder, to keep people informed of Christian’s status via social media. On July 10, Melissa reported:
The most beautiful part of this transition has been the opportunity to surround Christian, day and night, with the love of friends and family. Since he was awake this afternoon, we read him a few of the hundreds of messages about him that have been left on Facebook. We love you, they say. You’ve made the world a better place, and we’ll miss you. So much love and support from so many friends. He lay back on the pillows with a smile on his face. “Do they know I’m not dead yet?”

The nurse offered him disposable briefs this morning. He didn’t even hesitate. “Well, it depends…”
“As the second week of hospice begins,” Melissa shared on July 14, “I’m reminded of the physician’s remark that we are not in control of this process.”

Christian was a tenacious fighter, as is reflected in the cartoon Melissa texted me on July 21:

photo6 450x606 Presente Christian Mann: The Passing Of A Decent Man In A Dirty World

Our dear Christian could not let go until last night, July 30.

I love you brother. I’ll see you again.

Read tributes to Christian from those who knew and loved him here


[ AVN's official eulogy to Christian Mann here, updated as tributes roll in.]

[UPDATE 8-2-14: Michael Whiteacre has updated the original post over at TRPWL to reflect his personal tribute to Christian Mann; and this repost has thusly been updated as a reflection.]