US porn filmmakers contest forced condom use

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 08 2012 07:39 AM | Updated as of Feb 27 2018 10:42 AM

LOS ANGELES, California - US porn film producers vowed Wednesday to go to court to challenge a decision by Los Angeles County voters requiring actors in adult movies to wear condoms while performing on set.

The Free Speech Coalition, which describes itself as "the adult product and entertainment industry's trade association," said forcing actors to wear condoms would make porn filmmaking "untenable."

"Besides the obvious excessive costs of compliance, FSC and the industry have a number of concerns with the law itself," it said in a letter following a referendum measure approved by California voters Tuesday.

"We believe that the law is not only unconstitutional on the grounds of forced expression, but also falls within the jurisdiction of the state of California rather than local government.

"Therefore we will file suit and challenge this intolerable law in court," it said, adding: "The law, as passed, is untenable for adult production."

LA County voters backed the condom initiative Tuesday, after campaigners gathered over 360,000 signatures to force the issue onto the ballot the same day as White House and Congressional elections and over 170 state-wide polls.

The multi-million dollar US adult movie industry, which is largely based in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, has argued that fewer viewers would want to see porn films with actors using condoms.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, one of five groups which spearheaded the poll push, welcomed Tuesday's poll result, in which 55.9% of voters backed the condom-use proposal.

The decision was "a major referendum on the subject of safer sex," the Foundation's president, Michael Weinstein, told the LA Times newspaper.

Last year, California porn filmmakers were forced to suspend production temporarily, after an actor tested positive for HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, the latest such disruption to the industry.

Film L.A. Inc., which issues permits for film companies shooting in the West Coast city, said about 5% of the 45,500 permit days the agency issues per year are for pornographic film shoots.

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