LOS ANGELES — James Deen has filed a Cal/OSHA complaint of bloodborne pathogen violations under section 5193 of the California Code of Regulations against Bellator MMA and its owner Viacom, Inc.
This development comes after Deen was cited and fined under the same section violation due to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filing a complaint against the adult actor. By filing these complaints, Deen hopes that Cal/OSHA will shift the focus of their work to creating safer, valid regulations that can be better applied to the citizens they work to protect instead of reinforcing political agendas such as that of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Currently, adult entertainment is being held to a specific standard and regulation, which Deen believes was never designed for entertainment of any kind. These same Cal/OSHA regulations are applicable to all entertainment such as professional fighting, wrestling, football, basketball, hockey and any other form of entertainment with the possibility of blood or Other Potentially Infectious Material (OPIM) exposure. In light of this reasoning, Deen said, “You can't pick and choose how to enforce the law. Cal/OSHA knows that section 5193 is not designed to protect entertainment workers. If the government is choosing to say that 5193 applies to the adult entertainment industry, then they are also saying that it must apply to all sports and entertainment.”
Deen has been vocal about the unfair persecution of the adult industry and he thinks this is an unexpected and important step forward in the fight towards equal treatment of sex workers everywhere. While both the adult film and professional fighting industries require their performers to undergo testing for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and the like, only the adult industry is being fined and reprimanded under section 5193.
When asked, Deen was adamant that the adult entertainment industry does not want to be exempt from regulations. His comments echo that of many in the adult industry from the February 2016 Cal/OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board meeting where Cal/OSHA’s own standards board decided to vote against adopting a vertical regulation that would make section 5193 more specific to the adult entertainment industry.
“I’m not saying I want our industry to have zero regulations," he explained. "The workers in the adult entertainment industry have never said that. However, we are saying that we want to see proper regulations that actually benefit and protect us as entertainment workers."
Michael Weinstein, founder of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, is well-known for being anti-pornography. Weinstein tried to pass numerous condom laws under the guise of safety, which have been opposed by not only the majority of active adult entertainment workers, but both Cal/OSHA and the Los Angeles County Health Department. Weinstein is also attempting to become the tax-funded chief enforcer of these laws.
If his proposed initiative passes on the ballot in November of this year, Weinstein will not only be able to use millions of dollars of taxpayer money, but also continue to use Cal/OSHA as a personal enforcement agency to further his anti-porn agenda. The adult star points out that evidence of Weinstein’s motives are shown clearly through his statement after he brought forth complaints against Deen. Weinstein previously stated, “We want to thank Cal/OSHA for acting so swiftly on our workplace safety complaint against James Deen Productions and Third Rock by citing and fining Deen, one of the industry’s most well-known producers and adult performers — and the one who is the most vocal critic and prominent public face of the industry in its opposition to condom use."
Deen reiterates that none of the performers on his sets have had issues that mirror those of the complaints. He reports that all performers on his sets have tested negative for all sexually transmitted diseases and infections and continue to do so. James Deen Productions says it works to ensure a safe work environment for all those involved.
Deen added, “The adult industry is being wrongfully persecuted solely because they have chosen to work in an industry that is still considered taboo. Sex workers should not be held to different standards under the same regulations as their mainstream counterparts. I would like to see how someone with more power and deeper pockets is able to influence the enforcement and regulation committees in this state.”