BURBANK, Calif. — The No on Government Waste Committee held a press conference on Thursday to announce a partnership with the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA), against Measure B, the “Safer Sex” initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot that would mandate condom usage in all adult films.
Held at Manwin’s Burbank offices, the conference featured a panel of speakers that included VICA Chair David Adelman, VICA President Stuart Waldman, attorney and Free Speech Coalition Chair Jeffrey Douglas and adult performers James Deen, Stoya and Tanya Tate.
Adelman addressed the room by first stating VICA’s mission statement: “Our mission is to advocate the economic vitality of the greater San Fernando Valley and to advocate for a better way of life in a better business climate,” he said.
Adelman explained that VICA, a Southern California business advocacy group with more than 400 San Fernando businesses among its constituents, identified Measure B as “bad business in the Valley.”
“A thriving entertainment industry is one of the most essential components to the economic vitality of this region,” Adelman said. “The adult entertainment industry is an important part of that matrix and should be acknowledged for all the contributions it has made to the Valley over the years by providing thousands of jobs to people and providing business to the hundreds of companies that support it.”
Waldman echoed Adelman’s comments, adding that “the jobs that this industry creates are not just the actors’; it’s the electricians, transportation companies, web services, food services. It is a lot of people.”
Adelman said, “This is a Los Angeles County ordinance. What would prevent companies from moving to another county to produce films — Ventura County, San Bernardino County? What would keep them from following their brethren to Nevada, Florida or wherever else production companies are doing business? Some states would provide economic incentives for the industry to relocate. We have to look at the issues that face the businesses in California and really address them; not overburden them with regulations that have no purpose.”
Douglas added that creating a new bureaucracy for porn would not only be a burden to those in adult, but the government itself. “The government doesn’t want to do it,” he said. “It’s being forced on them. They recognize it’s a waste of time and energy.”
Douglas also noted the adult industry’s stringent testing practices and its willingness to shut down production at the mere hint of an STD outbreak. “The risk that the adult industry presents to itself and the community is extremely low, far lower than any other form of entertainment,” he said. “The performers are knowledgeable of the risk they’re taking; they are adults in the true sense of the word.”
Performers Deen, Stoya and Tate all expressed outrage over Measure B, which they uniformly found to be “insulting.”
“The idea of restricting our ability to make choices of our own is insulting, it is rude and frankly, it’s unconstitutional,” Deen said. “We’ve had zero HIV transmissions in over eight years. There’s no other community in the entire world where you can find that. Adult industry sex is as safe as you can possibly get.
You have a group of people, all tested regularly, all engaging in sexual activity with one another.”
Deen, who starred in Manwin’s “Get Rubber” safe-sex PSA campaign, said he fully endorsed the use of condoms for people outside of the adult industry who do not get tested every 14 or 28 days, and believed that a better measure would serve to teach young people in school about “sexual awareness and sexual safety training.”
“We’re hearing from the performers, we’re hearing from attorneys who work in the industry, we’re hearing from the head of the Free Speech Coalition that there is no health problem here,” Adelman noted. “VICA as a business organization detests government regulation where there is no problem to regulate. From our standpoint — a business standpoint — why impose regulations when there is no problem, when they will have a far reaching detrimental impact on our economy?”
In addition to VICA, the No on Government Waste Committee reports that other business organizations in opposition to Measure B include San Gabriel Valley Legislative Chambers of Commerce, Regional Chamber Alliance and Legislative Forum, and the La Mirada Chambers of Commerce.