Performer Mr. Marcus hosted a meeting Monday night at which about 50 fellow performers expressed frustration at being out of work due to the industry’s HIV-scare production moratorium.
“I called the meeting in the hopes that everyone would step up,” Marcus told AVN.com. “People’s livelihoods are at stake. What I’ve been hearing is that people want to continue to work.”
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AVN Hall of Fame photographer Suze Randall, who attended the meeting at STR8-Up Up Studios in Northridge, said the performers, including Tony Tedeschi, Cytherea, Don Hollywood and newcomer Annie Body, said the work moratorium has caused them financial problems to the point where some are having trouble paying their bills.
Randall said the performers are frustrated that the industry does not have an emergency fund for such situations.
“It was just a bunch of people venting their frustrations and being upset from feeling that they were disposable people, you know, the talent, and that they weren’t loved because there’s no funds,” Randall said. “There’s no safety net. Like Tony Tedeschi was saying he can’t pay his rent.”
“And I was saying that Jenna [Jameson] is starting this fund and we just have to call up a lot of the big companies and I’m sure we can raise a lot of money,” Randall said.
Some of the talent also suggested establishing an industry-wide list of fellow performers they would be willing to work with, as a way of protecting their health.
“You know, people they feel comfortable working with,” Randall said. “It used to be that way. But this industry has grown so big and there are so many new people coming in and so many greedy shooters, it’s become a feeding frenzy.”
Marcus said perhaps setting up a database to track who has worked with who may help if any future HIV outbreaks occur.
“Every time this [HIV outbreaks] has happened, we have changed,” Marcus said. “We shortened the amount of time between tests, we created a better testing system. What I’m wondering about, and I’ve been wondering about this for a while, is a database, some kind of record of what people are doing and who is working for who so that when an outbreak happens we can react faster.”
Hollywood, meanwhile, said those in attendance were universally receptive to calls for the industry to go condom-only.
“Everyone was in favor of it,” Hollywood said.