Calif. Porn Company Slapped With $78K Fine For Condom Policy, Kink.com Says Suit Is ‘Moral Crusade’

 @ThisIsPRop.ross@ibtimes.com on February 01 2014 8:52 PM
san-fran-armory
The San Francisco Armory, home of porn production company Kink.com. Creative Commons

A Calif.-based porn company was slapped with a $78,000 fine after AIDS Healthcare Foundation, an advocacy group located in Los Angeles, filed suit against them. The lawsuit was over Kink.com’s lax condom policy. The company, which bills itself as a producer of BDSM (meaning bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism), allows its performers to choose whether or not to use a condom during filming.  

Kink.com’s studios are headquartered in San Francisco in the 200,00-square-foot early 20th-century San Francisco Armory. The production company, founded in 1997, has previously been lauded for revolutionizing the adult film industry.

Its parent company, Cybernet Entertainment, maintains that many of its actors prefer not to use condoms during scenes and believes the production company is a target of a campaign by those who oppose the adult porn industry.

"We're all for sensible regulation that protects performers," Mike Stabile, a spokesman for Kink.com, said in statement, according to WSVN. “But this essentially amounts to a moral crusade. It's a solution in search of a problem."

WSVN reports that California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or CalOSHA, received several complaints last year against Kink.com, including the one brought by AIDS Healthcare Foundation. CalOSHA cited Kink.com for a number of violations following last year’s investigation in August.

The majority of the fine, $75,000 of it, is directed at Cybernet’s policy of allowing its actors to shoot scenes without a condom should they choose to.

"The fines are excessive and, we believe, politically motivated," Cybernet founder Peter Acworth said in a statement. "The complaints which prompted the inspection were not made by actual employees, but by outside groups with a long history of opposition to adult film. We'll be appealing the decision."

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation said it brought the lawsuit against Kink.com after two of its actors tested positive for HIV in 2013. In August and September of last year, two of Kink’s performers, Cameron Boy and her then-boyfriend Rod Daily, came out as HIV positive. The Free Speech Coalition, which keeps a record of all adult film performers’’ STD statuses, immediately shuttered all porn production, but lifted the moratorium just six days later.

"I just don’t know how an industry stands here and says they care so much about their performers and, a week after someone tests positive, they're out there shooting without condoms," Daily said during an interview in September. "Ultimately, it’s a business, and their main concern is money and not their performers."

In 2012, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation successfully lobbied to make condoms mandatory for shooting porn films in Los Angeles and later in all of LA County. In 2013, California lawmakers shot down a bill that would have required adult film actors to use condoms during production.

This isn’t the first time Kink.com has made a stir in the news. In 2013, the company’s founder and CEO, Peter Acworth, was arrested for cocaine possession. All charges were later dropped. 

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