Vivid's Steven Hirsch Revives l.A. Condom measure fight, claiming new law puts the 'con' in condom
LOS ANGELES – (December 5, 2012) – Steven Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of leading adult studio Vivid Entertainment says Los Angeles voters were duped when they were urged to pass Measure B, which makes it mandatory for performers to wear condoms while shooting adult movies.
"In reality, the voters were conned and nobody's any safer; not the performers and certainly not the taxpayers," Mr. Hirsch says in a Huffington Post blog. "First of all, it's not just condoms that are now mandatory on adult sets. Actors may now be required to wear a virtual hazmat suit -- goggles, gloves, lab coats, dental dams and facial protective gear? Movie sets will look more like a hospital ER. This is sex, not surgery!"
Mr. Hirsch said the adult industry and the Free Speech Coalition are already preparing to challenge the new law in court, "and we are confident that we will win. But we could also lose; and if we do, the adult industry will most definitely leave the state. But win or lose, taxpayer money will be spent defending this lawsuit, and taxpayer money will also pay to prosecute the next suit... the one that will surely come from the measure's sponsor, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, if we win."
The studio chief said "the penalties for violators of the new law are hard to imagine – up to six months in prison for each infraction. If there's more than one infraction on one set, years of imprisonment could be levied over a single movie. As if this wasn't draconian enough, the new law also opens the door to harassing civil lawsuits by any industry opponent. This means that any self-appointed morality 'monitor' who feels that a studio has not lived up to the letter of Measure B can file suit and claim monetary damages.
"AHF, the sponsor of the bill, carefully hid everything but the condom part when arguing for passage of Measure B. And they misled voters when they argued that the cost of inspections would be paid for by permit fees charged to the studios before shooting a sex scene. Because adult films simply won't be shot in Los Angeles County anymore. Virtually every major adult studio is actively planning their out-of-town shooting strategy," he added.
Mr. Hirsch cited reports that Los Angeles taxpayers will have to pay an estimated $582,000 over a two year period to construct a plan for implementing the law. "That's right, not to actually implement it, but to figure out how to implement it. And as we plan our shoots outside the county, we can't help but feel for the estimated 10,000 professionals whose jobs will also leave the state, an unintended consequence well beyond the loss of fees, permits and income to L.A.
"And all of this for what purpose? The adult industry never had a sexually transmitted disease problem in the first place. In fact, our industry has an amazingly good health record -- far better than the general public -- because we test rigorously and frequently. Sometimes the best of intentions yield the worst of results. This will likely be the legacy of Measure B: a misguided case for condoms that deserves only condemnation."
About Vivid: Founded in 1984, Vivid has always placed heavy emphasis on high quality erotic film entertainment and has created wide brand-name awareness through its films, innovative marketing, and a licensing program that extends to advertising, apparel, book publishing and a range of other products. The VividTV division offers programming that includes the full range of offerings from the largest single adult studio archive. In addition to its Vivid-Celeb imprint famous for celebrity sex tapes, the company is known for its Vivid SuperXXXHeroes parodies. Mainstream television audiences got to know the company through two seven-part series on Showtime. Co-founder and CEO Steven Hirsch received the first AVN Visionary Award as a leader who "has propelled innovation and taken his company and the business as a whole to new heights." The company's website, www.vivid.com, has a loyal following of fans of Vivid movies. For more on Vivid visit Twitter.com/VividCorp or Facebook.com/vividgirls.