SAN FRANCISCO — One day after the quiet passage of AB 1576 by the California State Assembly, Kink.com CEO Peter Acworth has once again taken up the pen to address one of the bill’s most prominent proponents, AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein.
Acworth addressed Weinstein earlier this month in an open letter with the intention of spurring open dialogue. Weinstein has yet to reply.
In his second open letter to Weinstein published today, titled “Dear Mr. Weinstein: You’re Lying,” Acworth writes, “Given the lack of ongoing dialog, it is clear that my attempts to open a channel of communication with you are unlikely to succeed. I am left with no alternative but to air my concerns publicly.
“You and I both care about the well-being of performers in the adult industry. However, as I listened to the ongoing testimony over AB1576 and read your statements in the press, I am dismayed. Until now, I looked at our disagreement over condoms in adult film as disagreement in principle. I no longer think of you as someone with whom I have an intellectual disagreement: I think of you as someone who willfully misrepresents facts to justify a political position.”
Accusing Weinstein of blatant obfuscation, he cites three major talking points hammered by Weinstein and his supporters at recent AB 1576 hearings that he believes are erroneous — and that Weinstein knows as much.
Discussed in more detail in the letter, Acworth points out that Weinstein uses off-set HIV infections as evidence of on-set danger, references STI research that has been soundly discredited, and says that porn is illegal outside of California (and New Hampshire), which has been disputed by attorneys and adult producers alike.
“Frankly, I think that disagreement is good and that we should always be talking with performers about how to make the system safer and more responsive to their needs,” Acworth wrote. “I also think that you do genuinely believe that what you’re doing is for the greater good. However, the ends do not justify the means. I ask that you listen to the performers who are so angry about this bill. I ask that you use facts that will help performers understand how to better protect themselves. To knowingly misrepresent facts only hurts performers, because it clouds meaningful discussions we could be having about STIs.”
He concludes, “So, please, Mr. Weinstein, stop misrepresenting the facts in this desperate manner to push your condom agenda through. Please retract statements you know to be untrue. Please let’s come back to the table with honest, accurate dialog.”