During an interview, adult performer Anna Cherry took the opportunity to speak up about Proposition 60, the controversial “condom law” in California.
Matt: I understand that down there in California, there’s a pretty scary proposition going around that people have been very vocal about. Would you like to speak about that at all?
Anna: You’re referring to Prop 60, which the entire adult industry in California has been extremely vocal against. We have the hashtag #NoProp60, we have avatars, rallies, and a variety of ways we’re trying to get the word out. So if you’re Californian, and if you’re registered to vote (the deadline was the 24th), please come out on November 8th and vote no on Prop 60. I’ll explain to you guys a little bit more about the prop, and the condom law that it’s trying to pass. Also, the reasons why we have condom only performers who oppose this prop.
It starts out with a warning sign that the group “Yes on Prop 60” has always spoken *for* performers, but not with us. We have requested multiple times to have a sit down conference with Weinstein, who is the spearhead of the prop’s movement. Multiple times, they’ve refused to talk to performers, to have a conference, or to actually find out what our opinion is and instead, they parade around saying “what a poor unfortunate performer who provably got HIV off set”. It really breaks my heart that she’s being dragged around these things and shown as almost a circus monkey, like “Look! This performer got HIV on set! Therefore porn bad!” even though there haven’t been a single transmission of HIV or AIDS in the past 10 years.
We have extensive testing, you’re required to get blood tests every 14 days. They don’t just test for commonly known STIs either, or even testing in common ways. They even go through RNA testing, MRNA testing, and a variety of other really sophisticated methods of testing every two weeks.
The condom law is basically going to require performers wearing condoms in all scenes, and what it will do is release some of the stringent requirements on other types of blood testing. So in fact, it will actually make workers in the porn industry less safe!
The other frustrating thing about this prop is that Weinstein is backed by the AIDS healthcare foundation, and he’s a representative of a very AIDS susceptible area in Los Angeles… And somehow it’s the fault of porn. I can’t even give you the astronomical numbers showing the difference in how many porn performers, current and past combined, have had HIV versus civilians. Civilians have a tremendous amount more STI and other infections like AIDS and HIV, because of our stringent requirements on testing.
The AIDS healthcare foundation has given Weinstein $4 million at this point, which is now diverted away from AIDS research, care, in favor of passing this law that nobody wants, and yet it’s being said that it’s for our protection.
Every condom only performer says no to Prop 60. Why? Why would we do that? Well, not only does it endanger performers, it can also endanger absolutely anyone who sends a naked picture of themselves to someone else in California.
The biggest issue with Prop 60 is the attachment of the “Condom law enforcement” by CalOcean. This law would provide ordinary citizens power they shouldn’t have… It’s the equivalent of suing a waitress because you don’t like her shoes. But in the porn industry, if this law passes, any single individual in the state that watches porn or any sort of camgirl, if they do not see a condom… Even if there’s one there? But they don’t think they see one? They can file a complaint with CalOcean, which will release the performers legal name, their address… And even if CalOcean doesn’t follow up on the investigation, or realize there’s no reason to call anyone in, the person who called them in will still have that private information, which is terrifying to a lot of us who have had problems with stalkers. Even those of us who haven’t, but it’s still horrifying, we still value our privacy.
On the other hand, Weinstein will give himself the power of district attorney for life. He’s creating a government position for himself as part of this law it’s all wrapped up in. On the surface, it says “It’s a condom law”, but underneath, there’s so many more things. The biggest one, besides showing the performers names and addresses and actually being rewarded $25,000 for doing this (so it incentivises individuals to go after porn actors), it will also make anyone who profits from pornography liable. This includes basically anyone who shares any kind of naked photo of themselves in any way they look to profit from it. This actually goes to hotel chains as well, since they sell porn pay per view. The curious thing about all that, is that Weinstein actually has a past of trying to take down porn in hotel rooms. There is some sort of personal vendetta between him and hotels, and himself and porn, and it has absolutely nothing to do with performer rights or safety as he’s saying it does.
We are basically facing something that will drive all the porn jobs out of California, and have a trickle down effect on the entire industry. At this point, what all the companies are doing to try and express to the average viewer how devastating this is, they’re actually geoblocking the entire state of California as a preventative measure and as a moment of teaching, to show people that this is what the internet will look like to you if you do not vote no.
It is open to general election, that’s why it’s very damaging. When we were in CalOcean hearings, the state capital talking to senators about this? The senators understood it was bullshit. Weinstein has slipped up many times, he’s come out against Prep E which is an AIDS helping thing. He would rather have condoms in porn than things that would actually help people with HIV. His bias is very clear to senators of California. This is a general election thing, this is something every single citizen will vote on. That’s something very scary when you title it as “Condoms in porn to make performers safe!” and nowhere does it say that the performers object to this.
It does say that it will be about $1.5m of yearly costs to the state to upkeep this law, because it makes certain requirements on porn producers. It makes them liable for testing and a variety of other services to provide to their performers, and what Weinstein and his camp say is that “This won’t affect the performers, the performers actually hate their producers! They’re just afraid to speak out. They actually want this law, they’re all just being told by their companies and producers to say no, but they truly want it!” There’s so much wrong with that.
What he misses, since he’s never talked to us performers, is that about 70% of performers are their own producers as well. Almost every mainstream porn star has their own website, Clips4Sale, Niteflirt and Snapchat… They do something where they benefit monetarily, where they benefit from their naked bodies. Anyone who benefits monetarily from naked bodies will be liable under this law, and can be sued by somebody who will get money from it, even if CalOcean doesn’t pursue it. Somebody who will get all of our personal information…
It’s an incredible mess. No performers want it. We all strongly urge everyone to vote no on Prop 60 if you care about us as human beings. If you care about the job that we have chosen for ourselves. If you believe that we have free will, freedom of choice, if you want us to pursue happiness and the American Dream – vote no on Prop 60. It’s as simple as that.