Porn Weighs Unionization; Another Actor Tests HIV-Positive

Porn Weighs Unionization; Another Actor Tests HIV-Positive
Rhett Pardon
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. – A proposed union of the San Fernando Valley-based porn industry moved forward this week as a third actor tested positive for the AIDS virus.

The union would be called Adult Entertainment Workers. It is the third attempt in recent years to unionize adult film actors.

The Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation told XBiz Thursday that an actress who had worked with actor Darren James has been found to be have contracted HIV. She has been identified as 26-year-old Jessica Dee, who has worked in the business for five years.

On Tuesday adult actors gathered to create a list of demands and bill of rights for workers in the industry who have been stung by the voluntary “quarantine.”

Some of the proposals include banning certain types of sexual behavior in film, establishing precautions for tattooing and body piercing and instituting a 60-day quarantine for foreign and new performers.

The actors also are weighing better compensation packages and overtime work for longer shoots, as well as health benefits.

More than 200 adult content actors, producers and directors attended a closed-door forum at Hustler Studios Wednesday night to continue the dialogue on industry business.

Adult Video News’ Tim Connelly, who moderated the event, told XBiz that the estimated 1,200 adult actors would see better production safety and health benefits if a union would be created.

“As much as I’d like to see it, there would be much work to do to get it done,” Connelly said.

Journalist Duke Floored, who has covered the adult industry for years, said that unionization of the industry would be unlikely.

“The odds of porn stars successfully forming a union are low,” said Floored, formerly of Adultbeat.com. “These are not people used to discipline."

Other industry figures, as well, are skeptical.

“It’s like trying to live in L.A. and avoid an earthquake,” said Dick Nasty of adult agency Nasty Modeling, who also is Dee's agent. “You can't control what people do in their private lives.”

Much of the adult content business this month was put to a halt after the HIV outbreak. More than four dozen actors who subsequently either worked with infected actors James, Dee and Laura Roxx and the men and women they had sex with have been quarantined. The hiatus remains for at least 60 days while testing continues, but could extend beyond June 8, AIM said.