Times Says Porn Biz May 'Boogie Out' of L.A.

Feb 20, 2012 10:00 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Times, in a story on soon-to-be required rules that porn performers wear condoms while on location in the city of Los Angeles, says that the industry may "boogie out" over the new condom law.

Leaders say they are considering plans to fight back either in court or by moving filming out of town, the Times reports.

"For decades, the nation's pornographic film industry found a happy, largely accepting home in Los Angeles," said the story, which has been slated for Page 1 in tomorrow's Times.

But the biz, the Times says, has been suddenly shaken by sweeping health regulations that, starting March 5, will require porn performers to wear condoms while on location.

"It's a debate that pits the desire to protect the health of porn actors against the freedom to make films that audiences want to see," the paper says.

"It's certainly a fascinating conundrum," Jason E. Squire, a USC professor of cinematic arts, told the Times. "You want all performers, whatever they do, to be safe. That transcends content. I don't know what the proper solution is."

Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Diane Duke said performers should have the right to have sex as they wish. She compared the issue to boxers who fight for entertainment, even though they risk injury.

"The goal of that is to knock someone out — pound them in the head until you knock someone out," Duke said.

"This is the first step of government overreach into the way we make movies," Duke said. "It's clearly the government interfering where it really doesn't belong.… Because our industry deals with sex … we're vulnerable and easy to attack."

The story goes on to discuss the possible relocation of the industry to Nevada, but there also could be political resistance there.

"As its population has grown and gambling casinos have become parts of major Wall Street-traded entertainment and resort companies, the state has become more economically and socially conservative," the Times quotes Michael Green, professor of history at the College of Southern Nevada.

"Diversifying Nevada's economy by becoming the next Hollywood for porn strikes me as contradictory," Green said.

Vivid's Steven Hirsch said he considers the condom requirement "a nuisance more than anything else. We will continue shooting the movies, and if that means outside of the city of Los Angeles, so be it."

Hirsch said his company's performers are allowed to use condoms if they want — but most don't.

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