L.A. County: Public Need for Intervention in Porn Biz ‘Minimal’

Aug 25, 2009 1:15 PM PST
LOS ANGELES — The L.A. County Department of Public Health has plainly stated in response to a lawsuit filed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation that it doesn’t see a compelling public interest to require the use of condoms in adult movie production.

The county filed a demurrer in response to a lawsuit brought against it from the AHF filed July 16, that demands the Department of Public Health step in and require condoms and to take other “reasonable steps” to regulate the spread of sexually transmitted diseases on adult film sets.

The county responded on Aug. 18, that because the AHF only requests that stricter rules be enforced against such a small population of the county — less than .01 percent of county residents perform in adult films — that the greater public need to step in and enforce regulations is negligible.

“In its petition, AHF is requesting that the County take action within the adult film industry only,” said Andrea Ross, the L.A. County Department of Public Health’s senior deputy counsel. “As set forth in the petition, the adult film industry employs approximately 1,200 adult film performers at any given time. The population of Los Angeles County is approximately 9.85 million. Thus, AHF is seeking that the County be compelled to take certain actions in regard to less that .01 percent of the population. Plainly, the public need here is minimal.”

AHF has called the county’s attention to this matter “strikingly blasé” and alleges that the county has a “complete disregard” for those performing in adult films.

“We knew that Los Angeles County didn't care about young people who appear in porn, we just didn't think they were actually stupid enough to say so in print, as they did in their legal response to our petition for a writ of mandate to require the County’s Department of Public Health to enforce condom use in the production of porn,” AHF President Michael Weinstein said. “The county should be ashamed of its actions — and the attitude represented in its legal response — to the industry-specific and general public health concerns raised in our legal petition.”

Its lawsuit seeking a writ of mandate by the L.A. Superior Court to enforce condom use is not the only legal arrow in AHF’s quiver. Last week the group filed formal complaints against 16 adult entertainment companies with Cal-OSHA over the lack of condom use in 56 randomly selected adult films.

The production companies named in the complaints are Anarchy Films, Backend Productions, Blue Pictures, Critical X, Hustler Video (an unnamed DVD title from LFP-distributed X-Play is cited), Heatwave Entertainment, Immoral Productions, Latin Media, Legend, Mayhem, Maverick Entertainment, Raw Flesh, Sin City, Top Dog/Magnus Productions, Vivid Entertainment and ClubJenna.

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