AHF Blasts XBIZ; Duke and Helmy Respond

Jul 30, 2010 5:30 PM PST
LOS ANGELES — The AIDS Healthcare Foundation publicly blasted XBIZ on Friday over the adult industry media company's decision to reject a paid advertisement espousing its ongoing campaign to require use of condoms in the production of all adult films.

The AHF, which disseminated a 1,200-word press release through Business Wire, said XBIZ has "clearly decided to take sides with the industry by shutting down AHF’s freedom of the press and our free expression" and that it is XBIZ's "desire to curry favor with those in the industry who may be angered by AHF's ad."

AHF's advertisement urges industry leaders "to begin the process of instituting the necessary changes to make the industry safe" with on-set condom use.

"AHF could be your best ally on the road to reasonable safety regulations," the ad reads.

Alec Helmy, XBIZ's president and publisher, responded to the AHF's charges, claiming the media company has aggressively covered the issues of adult performer worker-safety through the years and that it feels the AHF's attempt to regulate the adult industry is misguided.

"We feel that the solutions AHF has proposed are unrealistic and problematic," he said. "We have given equal weight to their argument in all of our online and print news coverage.

"Running an ad of this nature would cross the line in terms of our position, particularly since we are a supporting sponsor of the Free Speech Coalition."

The FSC on Friday evening lauded the media company over its stance and said the AHF and its leader, Michael Weinstein, are "grandstanding."

"I applaud XBIZ for its courage and commitment to the industry and its wisdom in not allowing AHF to use this industry publication as yet another avenue for disseminating its propaganda," FSC Executive Director Diane Duke told XBIZ."AHF has launched a number of attacks against the adult entertainment industry.

"They have filed countless, frivolous lawsuits and complaints against the industry, Cal/OSHA, Los Angeles County and AIM. Neither the industry nor its performers want anything to do with AHF or its sensationalistic grandstanding."

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