LOS ANGELES — The AIDS Healthcare Foundation over the weekend launched a new billboard campaign in the Los Angeles area.
This time, the AHF is taking the popular online hookup apps Tinder and Grindr to task — suggesting that users are more susceptible to STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
One billboard was placed near Tinder's West Hollywood, Calif., office, and its corporate ownership is not pleased.
Tinder officials sent a cease-and-desist letter demanding the billboards be taken down, claiming “these unprovoked and wholly unsubstantiated accusations are made to irreparably damage Tinder's reputation in an attempt to encourage others to take an HIV test offered by your organization."
Diane Duke, the CEO of the adult entertainment industry trade group Free Speech Coalition, blasted the AHF’s move to give the straight and gay hookup sites two sets of black eyes. She vented her anger at the organization’s president, Michael Weinstein.
A nemesis for many in the adult entertainment industry, Weinstein for nearly a dozen years has lobbied for mandatory condoms on the porn set. He and the AHF were successful in Los Angeles County after voters approved Measure B, the mandatory condom ordinance. Now, he is leading a drive for a state law with similar language.
“This shows just how radical Mike Weinstein is,” Duke told XBIZ. “Not only does he want to control how everyone has sex, but now apparently also with whom.
“With adult film production, his over-zealous desire to control, led to him pay millions of dollars of AHF's money to put an initiative on the ballot that creates a new private right of action allowing any California resident — who is not exposed to any direct harm — to file a lawsuit against the producer, distributor or performer of an adult film if a condom is not visible in any scene of an adult production,” Duke said.
“Weinstein is over the top in his radical, fear-based positions,” she noted.
Publicist and adult industry advocate Mike Stabile said that Weinstein is becoming the “Carrie Nation of the bedroom.” (Carrie Nation was a U.S. woman who was a radical member of the temperance movement, which opposed alcohol before the advent of Prohibition.)
“He seems deeply uncomfortable with non-monogamous sex, whether its articulated through mobile apps, HIV-blocking medications like Truvada, or on adult film sets,” Stabile told XBIZ. “Unfortunately, as we've seen with performers, it makes for terrible health policy.”
Pictured: AHF billboard on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood, Calif.