Production Hold Update – Test Results False Positive

March 21, 2015

Minduka_AlertNEGATIVE

Confirmatory results from yesterday’s possible positive test for HIV by an adult performer have come back negative indicating a false positive. Production can resume immediately.

It’s important to remember that production holds are part of a functioning safety system. So long as performers have private lives, we can never eliminate their risk of contracting HIV. However, we can make sure that should a performer contract HIV, that we stop it before it is transmitted to other performers.

We understand that production holds are difficult, but they are necessary for the system to work. In the meantime, we thank everyone for observing the production hold.

For More Information:

Diane Duke

press@freespeechcoalition.com

Free Speech Coalition

(818) 348-9373


FSC Calls Immediate Production Hold

March 20, 2015

Red triangular other dangers warning sign on whiteThe Free Speech Coalition is calling for a precautionary production hold after a possible positive test for HIV by an adult performer using the PASS (Performer Availability Screening Service) system. The test has not yet been confirmed, and we will know if it is a true positive or false positive in the next day. If it is a false positive, we will lift the hold within the next few days. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of precaution, we will be retesting anyone who might have had contact with the performer within the testing window, and asking that producers stop filming until we know more.

The adult industry periodically calls for production holds when any possible positive tests surface.

Diane Duke
Chief Executive Officer
Free Speech Coalition
818-348-9373


Michael Weinstein’s adult film fantasy: To become California’s first porn czar

March 19, 2015

pornwire19n-1-webMichael Weinstein has proposed a dangerous ballot measure based in bias, fear and outdated morality. Rather than supporting adult performers, or promoting safer sex on sets in California, the new initiative will actually limit sexual health choices for performers on-set, and will augur the destruction of the testing and safety standards that have kept California adult film sets among the safest in the world.

With this measure, Michael Weinstein plans to divert millions of dollars that would otherwise go to HIV care and prevention to fund his personal obsession with the adult film industry.  According to the official financial summary, the initiative will cost taxpayers “tens of millions of dollars,” if not more, and push “thousands of jobs” out of California. Weinstein’s relentless campaign against the adult industry in California has already resulted in an exodus of adult businesses to other states, and the loss of countless jobs and tax revenue. It has not resulted in safer sets, nor have any of his efforts been supported by the performers themselves.

The initiative is not about forcing the adult entertainment industry to use condoms; it’s about Michael Weinstein gaining control over it.  If passed, Weinstein would be in charge of monitoring adult film, and would be able to personally file an unlimited number of lawsuits directly against adult film performers, producers and agents even if there was no apparent any harm or injury.

The initiative grants Weinstein the power of the California Attorney General;  paid for by taxpayers and subject to impeachment only by a vote of the entire California Legislature. We should all work to constantly improve set safety, but an unimpeachable, state-subsidized porn czar is that last thing California needs. We expect this measure, like his previous failed attempts, to face widespread opposition by performers, public health officials, free speech advocates and HIV outreach organizations.


Misguided ‘Adult Film Act’ Would Remove Performer Protections, Drive Industry Underground

January 13, 2015

Today, Michael Weinstein of AHF submitted the draft text of his controversial statewide ballot measure, which would force adult film performers to wear condoms, calling them a threat to public health.

The Act would result in an effective criminalization of the adult industry. Under AHF’s proposed Act, those involved in the manufacture of an adult film that did not comply would be personally liable for massive penalties for even minor infractions. The Act would require adult film producers to be issued licenses by the government in order to produce, and would require performers to submit their personal medical records for state inspection. Talent agents would be punished for representing adult performers.  And, perhaps most dramatically, and in an acknowledgement that Measure B succeeded in driving the industry out of state, the Act would effectively prohibit the sale and distribution of adult films produced without condoms inside California, even in private transactions. This is not regulation — this is Prohibition.

The Act would destroy the industry as we know it, drive the existing producers underground, and eliminate hard-fought performer protections. This process has already begun to happen in the wake of AHF”s misguided Measure B. Film permits dropped, productions moved out-of-state, and producers began shooting outside the industry’s widely praised testing system. That’s why, like AHF’s previous campaigns, we expect this will be vigorously opposed by performers.

Performers should always have the right to use a condom, but AHF’s conservative morality should not be forced on them under penalty of law. Performer should have control over their bodies, not the government and certainly not Michael Weinstein.


Measure B Decision will Hurt Performers

December 16, 2014
Policeman in Hazmat clothing with gieger counterThe 9th Circuit Court of California announced today that it would decline to issue an injunction to stop the Measure B, the 2012 ballot measure which seeks mandate condoms in adult film produced in Los Angeles County. This latest decision is not a ruling on the constitutionality of Measure B, but rather a decision declining to enjoin the rest of the statute at this time. Previous courts have struck down the enforcement component of the law; this latest ruling does not change that decision.

“While this intermediate decision allows that condoms may be mandated, it doesn’t meant they should be,” said Diane Duke, CEO of the Free Speech Coalition. “We have spent the last two years fighting for the right of adult performers to make their own decisions about their bodies, and against the stigma against adult film performers embodied in the statute. Rather than protect adult performers, a condom mandate pushes a legal industry underground where workers are less safe. This is terrible policy that has been defeated in other legislative venues.”

Los Angeles County has seen a 95% drop in permits since the passage of Measure B, as adult film production has moved into neighboring counties, and out of state, most notably to Las Vegas.

Under standards enforced by the industry, in order to work, adult film performers must test every fourteen-days for a full-slate of STIs, including HIV. There has not been a transmission of HIV on a regulated adult film set in over a decade.

“This decision will hurt performers,” said Duke. “That’s why a broad coalition that includes doctors, public health advocates, performers and performers rights groups came together to defeat similar legislation this summer.“

Plaintiffs in the case are considering all options for moving forward and will make a decision in the coming weeks.


Adult Industry Calls Weinstein Statewide Condom Bill “Misguided and Dangerous”

November 7, 2014

no-on-measure-b2Performers and producers oppose Michael Weinstein’s dangerous and ill-informed attacks on the adult industry. This morning, he will announce that he will place a statewide version of his disastrous Measure B legislation on the ballot. Measure B, a Los Angeles condom ordinance, resulted in a 95% drop in permits for adult production, and spurred an industry exodus to Las Vegas.

Diane Duke, head of the Free Speech Coalition, released this statement:

“Michael Weinstein is resorting to the ballot initiative process because he can’t get it done any other way. His campaign has failed multiple times in the legislature, it’s has been opposed by HIV outreach and LGBT groups, it’s been opposed by civil rights groups, it’s been opposed by newspaper editorial boards and, most importantly, it’s been opposed by performers. Why? Because the bill not only takes away performers’ control over their own bodies, it pushes the industry out of California and underground, making performers ultimately less safe.

Anyone who looks at the data around performer health sees that Weinstein’s campaign is more about his dislike for the adult industry than it is about workplace safety. Despite shooting hundreds of thousands of scenes, there hasn’t been a transmission of HIV on a regulated adult set since 2004 thanks to a rigorous protocol that requires performers to be tested every fourteen days for a full slate of STIs including HIV. Yet because it attracts donors to his organization and headlines for himself, Weinstein has manufactured a crisis.

In his one-man war against the adult industry, Weinstein routinely uses performers who contracted HIV in their personal lives, and were stopped from working by testing protocol, as evidence of danger. It’s cynical and shameful, and he’s been reprimanded repeatedly by public health authorities for making claims that don’t stand up to scrutiny.

As a result, Weinstein now uses confusing language, most notably “the performers contracted HIV while working in the adult industry” to imply that transmission happened on a set without making the claim directly. (It’s like saying “Magic Johnson contracted HIV while working as a basketball player”). Having failed at the legislative level, he’s now hoping that he can use such language to confuse voters.

Michael Weinstein’s controversial AIDS Healthcare Foundation has been under fire locally and nationally for using his taxpayer funded organization to enforce various versions of his conservative morality. His misguided morality campaign is not limited to adult sets — as part of his condom-only campaign, he has called for an end to HIV vaccine research, he opposed medication that can prevent HIV transmission, and he has sued the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles when they’ve opposed him.

Performer health is important. But performers, the most tested population on the planet, should have the ultimate right to control their bodies and their health. They don’t deserve to be shamed or treated as a public danger, or to have their rights trampled. Michael Weinstein is using taxpayer money to fund a campaign that is opposed by performers, public health experts, and civil rights groups, in hopes that he can use the ballot initiative to accomplish what has failed in every other venue. We, likewise, will oppose this.”


FSC Statement on AHF Protest of Cal-OSHA

November 5, 2014

Cal_OSHA_Sticker_weboptimizedMichael Weinstein and the controversial AIDS Healthcare Foundation have announced they will be protesting at Cal/OSHA offices in Los Angeles. While we’re not exactly sure what they’re protesting — Cal/OSHA is expected to release regulations early next year —we’ve put together a response statement to clarify some of the issues.

“Cal/OSHA is currently in the process of drafting regulations specific to the adult film industry. We expect a draft version of the regulations to be available in just a few months and that those regulations will take into account the input of the affected workers — in this case, adult film performers and performer groups — something Michael Weinstein and AHF have refused to do.

This is why performers, HIV outreach organizations, LGBT rights groups, public health departments, and civil rights organizations have consistently opposed Mr. Weinstein’s misguided attacks. We think that public policy should rest on science and data, rather than his personal moral objections to adult film.

For the record, adult film performers are tested for a full slate of STIs, including HIV, every two weeks, in a system that has successfully prevented any transmission of HIV on a regulated adult film set for over ten years. (Mr. Weinstein routinely employs performers who contracted the virus in their personal lives in his campaigns against the adult film industry.)

In generating a manufactured crisis, Mr. Weinstein not only wastes tax dollars, he wastes resources that should be used to educate and treat communities where HIV is a real issue. Railing against the adult industry brings Mr. Weinstein more press attention than opening clinics in poor, underserved communities, but from the standpoint of public health it’s cynical and shameful.

We understand that our industry is often misunderstood — something Mr. Weinstein capitalizes on time and again. For that reason, we’re happy to talk with anyone about the industry, its safety record and the rights of performers.”


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