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Los Angeles Times
Condoms in porn: 'We will leave' county, Vivid Entertainment says
<p>Kate Mather and Rong-Gong Lin II</p>
November 7, 2012

As the adult film industry trade group announced its plans to fight a newly passed condom requirement in court, producers vowed they would go outside Los Angeles County should officials enforce Measure B.

Steven Hirsch, founder of the adult film company Vivid Entertainment Group, said the industry would fight the measure - which was approved by 55.9% of voters on Tuesday - "to the very end."

"We were hoping for a better result," Hirsch said. "But this is the first battle in a long war."

Measure B will require porn producers to purchase a public health permit, much like tattoo shops and massage parlors. Violators will be subject to fines and misdemeanor criminal charges, and porn producers will foot the cost of the law.

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Hirsch said his company would abide by any rules enforced by the county, but was prepared to move production outside of L.A. County if the measure was enacted. Other communities have already reached out to the industry offering opportunities, he said, and producers could go elsewhere in California or out of state if needed.

“That’s not what we really want to do. We would much rather stay here,” he said. “But left with no other choice, certainly we will leave.... We will no longer shoot in the County of Los Angeles. Period.”

The reason, Hirsch explained, was that consumers would not buy pornography where condoms were used.

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"There is no question that the public doesn't want to see movies with condoms," he said.

The passage of the measure almost immediately raised questions of execution. County officials have said porn stars should use condoms but have indicated no desire to enforce a law on the local level. In July, the county Department of Public Health suggested it would be difficult and costly to do so.

“But the truth of the matter is I’m not sure there will be a lot to enforce if no one is producing in the County of Los Angeles,” Hirsch said, saying supervisors would “spend a lot of time and a lot of money on how to figure out how to put something in place that ultimately won’t work.”

Hirsch said he thought voters assumed they were helping porn performers by passing the measure, but said that the testing already in place "works and works well." Performers are "extremely diligent" about protecting themselves and making sure the people they work with have been tested recently, he said.

Ultimately, he added, condom-free porn will still be made - even if it's outside L.A. County.

"Pornography has been around since the time of the caveman," Hirsch said. "We're not going anywhere."



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