LAS VEGAS, Nevada—Addressing California's current and proposed mandatory condoms laws for porn shoots, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published a warning of sorts today about porn laws that come with unintended consequences, though in this unintended consequence it turns out that, from the paper's perspective at least, "L.A.’s loss has been Las Vegas’ gain."
Referring to "the flight of the [adult] industry to other jurisdictions, either across the county line, state boundaries or even international borders," the somewhat bemused editorial board adds, "it was one of the most easily foreseeable consequences of Los Angeles County’s new ordinance requiring porn actors to wear condoms."
As far as what sort of reception the industry can expect to receive in Nevada, the paper acknowledges that, "As a matter of policy, elected officials want nothing to do with the adult entertainment industry; sexually explicit films are not eligible for Nevada’s film tax credits," but then adds immediately, "That said, the industry already has a significant presence in Southern Nevada."
We read that to mean, "Welcome home."
One caveat, notes the paper, is the now obvious fact that the main proponent of mandatory condoms for porn actors, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, has followed the industry to Nevada, where it recently filed a complaint with Nevada OSHA over a Kink.com shoot in Las Vegas.
"The AIDS Healthcare Foundation complains that video producer Cybernet Entertainment didn’t use condoms in the filming of 'Vegas Road Trip," noted the paper, adding almost surreally, "(There’s a reason for that: porn customers prefer to not see condom use in the films they buy.)"
But the paper then notes an even bigger problem with the AHF complaint. "Unlike L.A.," reads the editorial, "Nevada has no condom requirement for pornographic films. That’s undoubtedly why AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein cited a federal OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard in his complaint instead."
The editorial then quotes Kink.com's Peter Acworth as calling the complaint "baseless," and makes the further point, "The pornography industry regularly tests actors for HIV, similar to the way sex workers in Nevada’s legal brothels submit to regular health screenings.
"It’s not a perfect system," continues the editorial, adding, "When the AIDS Healthcare Foundation last tangled with Cybernet, a complaint that a performer allegedly exposed fellow actors to HIV resulted in a $78,710 fine for the company."
The editorial writers then segue into a paragraph-long discussion of the universal tendency of all industry to flee "places with hostile business environments for friendlier locales. Why would porn be any different? Even more adult film shoots could be headed to Nevada if the California Legislature passes a statewide pornography condom law now under consideration."
Indeed, the entire point of the editorial seems to be to simply remind Nevada's larger neighbor to the West, as well as AHF itself, that they should both be careful what they wish for, especially when it comes to putting mandates onto an industry which is anathema to what a majority of the industry's workers want, even when, as in this case, "The prevention of sexually transmitted diseases is a vital public health concern."
In the end, they further warn, "Porn producers say ordinances such as the one in Los Angeles County drive productions underground, which could prompt filmmakers to bypass the safety measures the industry has voluntarily undertaken to prevent the transmission of disease.
"A ban that won’t work as intended," they conclude. "Where have we heard that before?"
As stated, it's unclear from the editorial whether the paper is actually pleased with the fact that porn production is increasingly moving into the state, but nowhere in the piece do we sense that the Journal-Review is terribly concerned about it, and we even sense some attitude from the paper, a not-so-subtle pride in the fact that Nevada's libertarian ways are actually preferable to California's latent nanny state tendencies.