Porn star joins valley business leaders in opposing condom requirement for adult film productions

The porn star who’s made a name for himself with his guy-next-door looks and role opposite Lindsay Lohan in an upcoming indie flick came out Thursday against a proposed initiative to require condoms on adult film sets in Los Angeles County.

At a news conference inside an adult entertainment company in Burbank, the porn actor, James Deen, likened the “Safer Sex” initiative -- Measure B on the Nov. 6 ballot -- to an infringement on the civil rights of him and other performers.

“The idea of restricting our ability to make choices of our own is insulting. It is frankly unconstitutional,” he said, adding that he has never contracted a sexually-transmitted disease.

Deen has appeared in more than 900 adult movies and co-stars in the upcoming indie film “The Canyons.”

He was flanked by representatives of the Valley Industry & Commerce Assn., who said Measure B would cost millions of dollars in revenues and thousands of jobs -- from film and DVD production to web development.

“When we saw Measure B come across our computer screens, it became immediately apparent to us that this was bad for business in the valley,” said David Adelman, chairman of the association, which represents businesses in San Fernando Valley.

Funded and placed on the ballot by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Measure B would require the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to license and permit adult movie productions and require performers to wear condoms.

It would also institute on-set inspections.

If the measure passes, opponents contend adult film production will move to other counties or states, such as Nevada and Florida, hurting the local entertainment industry.

“The adult entertainment industry is an important part of that matrix,” Adelman said.

The association joins the No on Government Waste Committee, a broad-based coalition of business organizations, chambers of commerce and entertainment companies that oppose Measure B.

Deen, who was joined by two female adult film performers on Thursday, also defended current safeguards by pointing out that porn actors must undergo testing for HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases every 14 to 28 days.

“It’s the personal choice of the performers,” he said. “If a performer desires a condom, then they use a condom.”

But the porn industry suffered a setback in August when it announced a voluntary moratorium on X-rated film production as public health officials investigated a cluster of syphilis cases among porn actors in L.A. County.

At the time, Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told the Los Angeles Times that the developments show adult film companies are incapable of policing themselves and that the group would use the outbreak to promote Measure B.

-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam


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