AHF Targets Kink.com in Cal/OSHA Complaint, Peter Acworth Responds
LOS ANGELES — AIDS Healthcare Foundation on Tuesday announced it has filed a formal Notice of Alleged Safety or Health Hazards complaint with Cal/OSHA against Kink Studios, LLC and Kink.com, Inc.
According to AHF, the filing is "over recent filming that may have exposed employees—adult film performers—to infectious disease by exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials."
In an announcement released by AHF, the organization stated, "Early last week, the industry halted production and declared a moratorium on filming after a female performer involved in the Kink filming disclosed that she was HIV-positive and had apparently sero-converted since her last HIV test in July."
"The landscape around adult film has changed dramatically in the last two weeks, to the point that action to protect adult film performers from disease is more urgent now than it has ever been," said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "We sadly now have this latest adult performer infected with HIV—the basis for our Cal/OSHA complaint—a previous case of hepatitis C found in another performer and a recent industry-wide syphilis scare.
"At the same time, a federal court recently ruled that requiring worker safety protections such as condoms in porn is constitutional. As such, we believe it is imperative that the California legislature act this year to enact real protections for adult film performers."
Peter Acworth, the founder of Kink.com, responded to the Cal-OSHA complaint in a statement to XBIZ:
"I would like to address the Cal-OSHA complaint filed by AHF. There is no indication of the transmission of any STI on a Kink.com set. Indeed quite the contrary. We take bloodborne pathogens and safety protocols very seriously at Kink.com, and we aim to cooperate 100 percent with Cal-OSHA.
"Cameron Bay did indeed perform at Kink.com on July 31st. Cameron tested negative on July 27th via the most sensitive HIV tests available, and was thus shown as cleared for work in the industry PASS (Performer Availability Screening Services) database, as were all those persons Cameron performed with.
"Additionally, those same people Cameron performed with on July 31st tested negative for HIV again after that shoot. It is my understanding that Dr. Miao of PASS has established the possible window of infection to have started after the Kink.com shoot of July 31st. Bloggers and uninformed pundits have assumed that because Cameron did not perform after July 31st, that Kink.com must somehow be responsible for a transmission of an STI. This is an irresponsible and slanderous accusation."
Acworth's statement continued, "It is thanks to the integrity of the PASS database that we are able to quickly respond to a positive test result, instigate a moratorium, and thus protect performers while everyone is re-tested. We currently await definitive information from [FSC CEO] Diane Duke, Dr. Miao, and the PASS system.
"I continue to be of the belief that what AHF appears to want at all costs—mandatory condoms
—would jeopardize the integrity of the PASS program by pushing productions overseas and/or underground to a point where testing protocols are no longer so vigorously followed. I believe performer safely would be compromised as a result."
AHF previously filed similar worker safety complaints with Cal/OSHA beginning in August 2009 against 16 California-based adult film companies, and in the years since, filed additional complaints.
The complaints targeting Kink.com and Kink Studios were submitted to officials at the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. AHF's Cal/OSHA complaint alleges that the film in question (shot on July 31, 2013) "demonstrates unsafe— potentially life-threatening—behavior in a California workplace, as the sexual acts filmed without participating performers using condoms depict the unprotected exchange of bodily fluids."
Last year, AHF was one of the primary sponsors of Measure B, the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, also known as the condoms in porn measure, which L.A. County voters approved in the November 2012 election.