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article imageLos Angeles porn producers moving out because of regulations

By Karen Graham     Aug 7, 2014 in Entertainment
Los Angeles - California's Los Angeles county has a regulation that adult film stars wear condoms in all porn films, and it's threatening to spread statewide. This has caused the adult film industry to gather up their video cameras and get out of town.
Adult film production permits have dropped a staggering 90 percent since the law was enacted in 2012. Last year just 40 permits were issued, according to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.
Paul Audley, president of FilmLA, told the paper, “We’ve seen a dramatic drop in permits. It is a cause for concern that people who are manning the cameras, lights and other things on those sets are not working anymore.....It's not helpful to have another segment of the industry leave the region, its devastating to the economy."
The county is expected to lose even more revenues because only 20 permits have been issued so far this year. As many as 5,000 x-rated porn films were shot in Los Angeles in 2011, but only a total of 35 permits are expected to be taken out this year. The exodus is being dubbed a "runaway production" by analysts.
Audley, speaking with WABC News, points out the lose of jobs is going to be hard on a lot of people. "Adult film making might not be something everyone approves of, but the people who work in that industry are your neighbors. A cameraman may be working on this one day and a sitcom the next and a feature film in six months."
The decline comes at a time when Los Angeles is already facing high unemployment rates, and further adding to the overall problem is the flight of the mainstream movies and TV shows to other states and countries offering tax breaks and rebates. But for the porn industry, it all comes down to condoms.
In November of 2012, L.A. voters passed Measure B, a law requiring actors engaging in sex scenes to wear condoms. "The actors don't want to use condoms, the companies don't want them, the fans don't want to see condom movies necessarily," said Steven Hirsch, founder of Vivid Entertainment.
Hirsh said his company has not shot a single sex scene in L.A. county since Measure B passed. Before 2012, his company shot about 60 films a year in L.A. "We want to stay in L.A., but it has to be a level playing field," Hirsch said.
Valley Industry and Commerce Association president Stuart Waldman said the porn industry is responsible for 10,000 jobs in California. "We've estimated this is a $6 billion industry and by losing them, you are going to lose a lot. The performers and the caterers and the camera guys all live and work in the San Fernando Valley and when they start to leave, they're going to take all their money with them."
While some people are painting a dreary picture of a mass exodus and long lines at the unemployment office, others say it's the permits that aren't happening, not the filming. It has apparently gone back underground. Ged Kenslea, a spokesman for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation agrees with the assessment.
It was Kenslea's organization that sponsored Measure B in 2012. They are also sponsoring Assembly Bill 1576 in Sacramento that would require condoms to be used for all porn films shot in California. Kenslea pointed out that Cal-OSHA regulations already require condom use.
"The industry has been breaking the law by not using condoms, with or without Measure B. Now, they're breaking the law by not taking out the required permits" he said.
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