Measure B, known as the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, has won with 56% support in Los Angeles County. The measure requires adult film producers to get a permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Health before shooting. This means producers must 1) prove completion of a blood-borne pathogen training course and submit an exposure control plan; and 2) use condoms for all acts of anal or vaginal sex during production of adult films. This measure exceeds a law signed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in January, 2012. It did not require a permit when shooting in studios. The new measure bars any production of adult films for commercial purposes without a valid health permit. The stated purpose of the ordinance is to minimize the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, within the porn industry and the wider community.
Adult productions are an American pastime and The Smoking Jacket reports it is a $13 billion industry, with pornos made in the U.S. every 30 minutes. According to Nick Allen, “Around 90 per cent of U.S. pornographic films are made in Los Angeles, almost all of them in the city’s San Fernando Valley, and the industry produces an estimated $8 billion (£5.2 billion) a year in revenue.” Porn filmmakers threatened to leave if the measure passed. “Movies with condoms simply don’t sell as well,” said Steven Hirsch of Vivid Entertainment in an excerpt from ReasonTV. Los Angeles County could take a major economic hit, if porn productions make good on their threat to move to less-regulated production sites.
While mainstream Hollywood hasn’t spoken up about the on-set condom regulations, the industry may be uncomfortable about the bounds of government regulation of movies, albeit for health concerns. Earlier there were rumblings of challenges to industry regulation on a First Amendment basis.