On January 30th, the California Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (Cal/OSHA) slapped adult film producer Kink.com with fines in excess of $78,000.
Kink.com released a statement that the fines, for the most part, are not serious, but are over the top. “The fines are excessive and, we believe, politically motivated,” says Peter Acworth, founder of Kink.com”
Kink further says that the inspection and subsequent fines were prompted not by an employee report, but by complaints made from outside groups motivated only by their opposition to porn (after two performers recently tested positive for HIV - something that has not occurred since 2004) . They maintain that they are a “leader in the adult film business, with a Performer’s Bill of Rights that explicitly outlines the right to use condoms. “
Under the public records act for the state of California, a copy of the report was obtained and Cal/OSHA confirms that the inspections performed in August and September of 2013 along with the most recent were prompted by a complaint. They did not, however, specify (as per law) who made the complaint or what exactly the complaint included.
With that said, the report did outline a handful of regulatory violations regarding loose electrical cords and the like which amounted to a total of $3,500 in fines. But the monetary bulk of violations were listed as “Serious”; three of which involving the safety necessary to prevent contact with blood borne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). Each of those three violations received a proposed fine of $25,000.
One may wonder exactly how an adult film producer can completely prevent contact between performers that would not result in some form of bodily fluid exchanges? That may be the crux of the problem as this isn’t the first time Kink or any of the other adult film industries in California have been subject to the impossibility of following a steadily changing range of regulations. The ongoing battle is due to one “Michael Weinstein of Los Angeles’ AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a longtime opponent of the industry. Earlier this year, the agency proposed new regulations that would not only require condoms for intercourse, but also require barriers for eyes and mouth, including protective glasses for adult performers.”
If adult film actors are effectively wrapped in plastic and latex barriers from head to foot, how can they accomplish intercourse?
On the flip side, adult film actors are educated in the risks they take when deciding to become a porn actor. (See the most recent educational video produced by Kink.com using established Kink stars – it’s so specific in describing the risks that many who wish to go down that road may well turn back).
So is it politically motivated? Is the porn industry the new abortion/birth control front – another government regulatory attack on personal bodily freedom (and in a heavily democratic state like California which is surprising)? Or is Cal/OSHA just doing their job and trying to protect both the actors on set and the people they may come into contact with off set?
The report indicates that Kink.com has until March 4, 2014 to either appeal these fines or pay them.
The spokesperson for Kink.com (name withheld at his request) says “Kink can appeal the decisions, and will be granted a hearing where Kink can state its case.”
Michele Gwynn is a freelance journalist and author living in San Antonio, Texas. All articles are under copyright and may not be reposted in part or whole without consent. Articles may only be referenced by title or subject matter with a direct link to original material otherwise. For permission to repost part or all of an article, please contact Ms. Gwynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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