Law on Condoms Threatens Tie Between Sex Films and Their Home

March 8, 2012 12:00 am

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But the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which pushed for the Los Angeles condom law, is now collecting signatures for a November ballot initiative that would extend the requirement to more than 80 cities across Los Angeles County.

Mr. Hirsch said the industry would "fight back," potentially with legal challenges or by moving operations elsewhere, if voters approve the measure.

Ged Kenslea, a spokesman for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said that prospect was unrealistic.

"The industry is not going to pack up and move," Mr. Kenslea said. "They are too entrenched here. It would be very difficult to move a $13 billion industry out of the state."

But some city officials have taken that threat more seriously. Mitchell Englander, a Los Angeles city councilman who represents the San Fernando Valley, was the only member of the Council to vote against the condom requirement, citing fears that jobs would leave his district.

"My great concern is that most of the large studios have said that if there is a strict enforcement on this, they would leave," Mr. Englander said. "A lot of ancillary jobs are directly or indirectly related to this industry."

With the rise of the Internet and digital cameras, professionals and amateurs alike have already begun making pornographic movies all over the country, some permitted, others not. And industry executives insist that many cities would welcome the billions of dollars in revenue that the industry rakes in.

In particular, Las Vegas, which hosts the annual Adult Entertainment Expo, has emerged as a place where some film studios go. Clyde DeWitt, a lawyer who represents pornographic film companies in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas, said that filming already occurs at hotels during the convention, while at least one company he represented opened a studio in Las Vegas.

"Office space is cheaper. Industrial space is cheaper. Housing is cheaper. There is a good supply of labor. There is no state income tax," Mr. De Witt said. "If they wanted to come shoot here, it wouldn't be difficult."

If production companies do move their operations to Las Vegas or elsewhere, Mr. Kenslea promised the AIDS Healthcare Foundation would work to pass similar condom laws there as well.

"We will go where they go," he said.

First Published 2012-03-07 23:12:04

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