LOS ANGELES — A debate taking on the hot-button issues of Measure B aired on The Huffington Post this afternoon, sparking heated dialogue between representatives of the adult biz and a proponent of the L.A. County voter-approved law from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Recent news that L.A. County has issued only two porn production permits this year — a severe decline from years past — was the debate's initial focus. In November, voters approved Measure B, which requires barriers between performers in porn shoots.
The live-streamed video conference included panelists Diane Duke, CEO of Free Speech Coalition; adult performers Danny Wylde and Steven St. Croix; Michael Fattorosi, an adult entertainment attorney; and Mark McGrath, policy and research analyst of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
McGrath, who helped the AHF spearhead Measure B, began the debate with a highly contentious claim: “We believe that Measure B is the minimum standard,” he said. “Animals in Hollywood mainstream production are treated better than performers in adult film.”
Wylde, the performer, responded: “Do you think it is safe for me to be unemployed or live in poverty?”
Other topics covered in the debate included the rates of HIV infection among adult performers, the impending effect of the loss of a billion-dollar industry on L.A.’s economy and the 1st Amendment rights of the adult entertainment industry.
Wylde and St. Croix highlighted the salient issue adult performers now fear – the potential relocation of the adult industry outside of L.A. County.
According to Wylde, his work commute increased to over two hours with his latest acting performance making him drive to Mesa, Calif., near San Diego.
According to Duke, Measure B and its proposed and existing legislative facsimiles that are surfacing in neighboring cities and counties amount to a loss of free speech for the adult industry and an act of judicial bullying.
“L.A. County itself put out a report — a 152-page report — talking about the risk factors of HIV in L.A. County. The adult industry was not even mentioned.” Duke said. “It’s interesting because this is a wonderful opportunity for people to have a platform to just beat up an industry that doesn’t have people standing up for them. When you start looking at adult entertainment and you start limiting it so that it can’t be produced, we’re talking censorship.”