AHF Plans L.A. Protest Tomorrow Over Porn Shoot Regs

AHF Plans L.A. Protest Tomorrow Over Porn Shoot Regs
Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — In a move to bully state officials to overhaul porn production safety regulations, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has planned a noon protest tomorrow in front of downtown Los Angeles' Cal/OSHA office.

AHF, in a release this afternoon, said it will be targeting Cal/OSHA "five-year bureaucratic delay and inaction updating the state’s bloodborne pathogens standards to better protect adult film workers and strengthen and clarify regulations on condom use in porn productions."

AHF's president Michael Weinstein said that several members of its entourage will deliver two letters to Cal/OSHA officials in Los Angeles on the sixth floor — a petition delivered to the agency in December 2009 that has not been acted on and a letter demanding accountability and action on the petition.

A similar noon protest is planned on Wednesday at Cal/OSHA's Oakland office.

In Los Angeles, the usual crew of former porn stars who attend such protests and conferences will be on hand, including Cameron Bay, Rod Daily, Derrick Burts and Darren James — who are all HIV-positive. Another former star, Hayden Winters, also will be on hand.

Peter Acworth, founder of Kink.com and an often target of Weinstein and the AHF, said the protest "represents part of Michael Weinstein’s ongoing war with the adult film community."

"He is wasting Cal/OSHA time and money," Acworth told XBIZ. "Draft regulations are expected in February and we look forward to working with performers, medical professionals and Cal-OSHA on a regulation that will protect everyone on an adult film set.

"Self-imposed industry testing protocols have prevented  transmission of HIV over the last decade."

Acworth also noted that none of the performers who are slated to be on hand at the protest would have been protected by "the mandatory condom and medical surveillance approach Michael Weinstein and AHF have been pushing for."

Acworth said Bay and Daily contracted HIV in their private lives and not while working; Burts said he contracted HIV during oral sex in a gay scene without testing; and James became infected with HIV while performing unprotected in Brazil and not in the US.

"Ironically enough, many of these HIV-positive performers would have been protected had they been using PrEP, a regimen Weinstein calls a 'party drug," Acworth said.

AHF's proposal in its December 2009 petition with Cal/OSHA was to amend California Code of Regulations Title 8 § 5193, which was accepted unanimously by the agency's standards board. Since then, however, OSHA has delayed most hearings..

The AHF, which sponsored porn-condom legislation including the current Measure B ordinance in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and the stalled AB 1576, has kept the idea of regulating adult entertainment for 10 years now.

Weinstein told XBIZ several months ago that if he doesn't get his way with Cal/OSHA's standards board over the draft proposal, he'll try to get a statewide ballot box initiative passed in 2016.

He also said he wants AB 1576 to be reintroduced in California's Legislature in the current term.

Porn-condom bill AB 1576, sponsored by Assemblyman Isadore Hall of Compton, Calif., was tabled — placed in the "suspense file" — by the Senate Appropriations Committee last summer.

The Free Speech Coalition has all along said that the AHF is diverting valuable state resources away from serious incidents to condom-audit an industry that hasn’t had case of HIV transmitted on set nationally in over 10 years.

If AHF really cared about workplace safety, it would stop wasting Cal/OSHA’s time, the organization has said in the past.

Acworth concurred with the FSC over the AHF's waste of taxpayer money.

"Cal/OSHA does not have unlimited taxpayer dollars to spend anytime AHF throws a press conference/Michael Weinstein finds a microphone," Acworth said. "Cal/OSHA had its budget increased this fiscal year to address work-related injuries and fatalities in the state. However, the adult industry has not experienced a work-related HIV transmission in over a decade. 

"AHF, which doesn't pay taxes, is using scare tactics to try to force the state government to divert taxpayer dollars from investigating work-related injuries and death to spend on the adult industry without work-related incidents.  

Acworth said Weinstein "should stop chasing the spotlight and let our government do its job."