9 porn agencies to be targeted in labor complaints

By Shaya Tayefe Mohajer
Associated Press Writer / April 15, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • |
Text size +

LOS ANGELES—An AIDS advocacy group said Thursday it had filed labor complaints against nine porn talent agencies for promoting actors who are willing to have unprotected sex on camera.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein said the Los Angeles-area agencies were knowingly exposing the porn actors to sexually transmitted disease.

The agencies should abide by state labor codes that prevent their licensing if they endanger the health, safety or welfare of their artists, Weinstein said.

"If there were a construction employment agency, they couldn't say John Doe is available to dangle 100 feet over the ground without a harness," Weinstein said. "That would be shut down instantaneously."

The agencies named in the complaint sent Thursday to the Department of Industrial Relations are A List Talent, ATMLA, Gold Star Modeling, LA Direct Models, Lisa Ann's Talent Management, Metro Talent Management,, Type 9 Models Inc. and World Modeling, according to Weinstein.

A porn performer and owner of ATMLA who identified herself as Shy Love said the risks faced by porn actors are similar to those in sports entertainment, where fighters can be exposed to blood, sweat and mucus.

The advocacy group was unfairly targeting the adult industry, Love said.

"We know the risks going in, the same way a fireman or a policeman knows the risks," Love said. "We are adults, and it is up to us to choose what risks we face. It is not up to the government."

In February, Los Angeles County public health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding said regulating condom use on porn sets is nearly impossible, citing typically clandestine porn shoots that require little more than a bed and a camera.

The nonprofit foundation has been pushing for mandatory use of condoms in porn films since an HIV outbreak in 2004 spread panic through the industry and briefly shut down production at several studios.

Last month, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted to study a proposal requiring porn actors to wear condoms during sex scenes, which the foundation hailed as a minor victory in its ongoing campaign.

Three attempts by the foundation to move legislation requiring condoms in porn have failed because the advocacy group can't find a legislator willing to sponsor the bill.

A foundation lawsuit over the issue was dismissed in December.

Los Angeles County tracks new cases of sexually transmitted diseases, but it's unknown how many porn actors may have been infected through their work.

In June, county health officials reported that since the 2004 outbreak, 18 new cases of HIV had been found at the Adult Industry Medical Foundation, a San Fernando Valley-based clinic that serves the porn industry.

However, the clinic's director said it also serves non-performers, and county health officials conceded that they didn't know if the new cases were performers.

Free Speech Coalition, a trade group representing the adult film industry, issued a statement saying the planned complaint by the AIDS advocacy group was in line with its pattern of "frivolous lawsuits."

"Whatever AHF's motivation is for singling out the adult industry, it seems targeting the industry creates a lot of publicity for their organization," the statement said. "One could only imagine what could be accomplished if they put their efforts toward the prevention and treatment of HIV."