L.A. Adult Film Permits Dip to 26 in 2015

L.A. Adult Film Permits Dip to 26 in 2015
Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — There were only 26 permits issued in 2015 for Los Angeles-area adult entertainment filming, according to FilmL.A., the local authority that processes film production permits.

Permits issued for porn productions have declined stunningly since November 2012, when Los Angeles county voters approved Measure B, which requires performers to wear condoms during sex scenes.

On the books but currently unenforceable, the Measure B ordinance also forces porn producers to pay an annual fee to the county's Department of Public Health. In addition, all performers and workers on the set also are required to undergo bloodborne pathogen training.

In 2012, adult filmmakers filed 480 permits, according to a FilmL.A. estimate. But those numbers swooned in 2013 to 40 permits and 36 in 2014.

The 26 permits issued in 2015 are the lowest numbers reported for Los Angeles-area porn productions since the numbers were tallied.

FilmLA spokeswoman Danielle Walker told XBIZ that up until 2013 FilmL.A. didn’t maintain stats for “adult film production.” It later, however, added “non-simulated sex” to a checklist of proposed filming activity, which is currently used to estimate adult film permit numbers.   

Walker said that the 26 film permits issued in 2015 each included a generic condition in the application that the permittee “must abide by applicable workplace health/safety regulations including California Code of Regulations Title 8 § 5193 mandating barrier protection, including condoms, to shield performers from contact with blood/other potentially infectious material during film production.”

Eric Paul Leue, who leads the Free Speech Coalition as executive director, told XBIZ that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation-sponsored Measure B ordinance has impacted the Porn Valley adult filmmaking community and has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue from the reduction of permits that weren't applied for.

“Four years ago, the Los Angeles adult film industry was being praised by public health advocates and even the New York Times, as a model of HIV prevention,” Leue said. “In the four years since, thanks to relentless morals campaigns by AHF and others, a safe legal taxpaying industry is moving to cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami.

“These permits tell a story of an industry that is a leader in performer health, being harassed and chased out of state because of one man's personal crusade,” said Leue, referring to Michael Weinstein, who is the AHF's president.

“We want to stay in California, but the endless harassment campaigns against performers and producers are taking a toll, and the taxpayers are footing the bill,” Leue said. “Just look at the proposed state ballot initiative where Weinstein wants performers to get sued, their private identity and home address revealed.

“This is unacceptable. FSC is fighting this nonsense, and together, united as one industry,” he said. “We will win.”