Vegas porn shoot draws condom complaint

A Los Angeles-based health organization has filed a formal complaint with the State of Nevada, alleging a California porn company did not require its actors to use condoms during an adult film shoot in Las Vegas.

Filed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation with Nevada OSHA, the complaint targets Cybernet Entertainment LLC, which does business as Kink.com and related spin-offs.

The filing describes “Vegas Road Trip,” a Kink.com film that shows performers engaging in sexual activities that allegedly “are highly likely to spread blood-borne pathogens” and other potentially infectious materials, according to a statement released by the AHF.

“Owner Peter Acworth thinks he and his companies can simply ignore the Federal OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard with regard to required condom use in his adult film productions shot in Nevada,” Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said in a statement. “This new complaint in Nevada is based on the simple fact that they cannot hide from federal law there, or anywhere in the U.S.”

Nevada OSHA is currently reviewing the case. That investigation could prompt an inspection of the Kink.com’s local operations. Nevada has no condom law for adult films, suggesting the OSHA complaint is a way to seek federal enforcement akin to California’s law without legislative action in the Silver State.

OSHA officials in Nevada say a complaint regarding the porn industry is a rare one.

Kink.com owner Peter Acworth called the AHF’s complaint “baseless.”

“Current federal regulations make no mention of condoms, and uses standards that were developed in the 1990s for hospital labs, not porn sets,” Acworth said in a statement. “We will continue to work with performers, doctors and regulators to develop protocols that keep sets safe, and still respect performers’ rights.”

But this isn’t the first time the production company has come under fire. Nor is it the first time AHF has filed a complaint against Kink.com. The health advocacy group targeted the website last year with a formal complaint to California OSHA, alleging an adult actor exposed fellow performers to HIV. The complaint cost Kink.com a $78,710 fine, according to AHF.

The filing follows passage of an ordinance passed by Los Angeles County in 2012 requiring adult film performers to wear condoms while filming. But the move could spread statewide, as the California Legislature ponders a similar measure.

The new rule sparked a budding exodus of porn producers from the Los Angeles area to other states such as Nevada, where regulations are loose in comparison to California. Recent Las Vegas transplants include major porn magnates such as Brazzers, Bait & Tackle, Corbin Fisher, VCX Ltd. and Bluebird Film.

In Los Angeles, only 20 adult film permits have been requested this year, according to Film LA, which issues them. That’s about half as many permits as last year, compared to 485 in 2012, the year before the ordinance took effect.

It’s impossible to know how many adult films are shot in Southern Nevada. While permits are required for some locations, none are needed to film on private property — as long as crews keep the noise down after 10 p.m. and do not disturb neighbors. The rules f0r producing an adult movie in Nevada are the same as those for producing any action movie, and are the same in the city of Las Vegas or unincorporated Clark County.

Adult film insiders fear new condom legislation could force a collapse of the business, especially in Los Angeles, which has long been the capital of a domestic porn industry that reportedly generates about $6 billion in revenues while driving thousands of jobs.

In an open letter to Weinstein posted to his blog in May, Kink.com owner Acworth addressed California’s ongoing condom battle and its impact on the Los Angeles porn industry.

“If the current direction continues, I believe it to be inevitable that what remains of the adult video industry will leave the state,” Acworth wrote. “Additionally, I fear smaller production companies will shoot underground and that we will see a reduction in the safety on-set that the industry has worked very hard to build over the last decade.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Ed Komenda at 702-383-0270 or ekomenda@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ejkomenda.

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