CANOGA PARK — The Free Speech Coalition condemns the AIDS Healthcare Foundation for using the Cal/OSHA inspection process to selectively punish performers and producers who oppose them politically. While the adult industry has long drawn a connection between speaking out against AHF and subsequent inspections, AHF finally acknowledged its political motives in a press statement yesterday:
“We want to thank Cal/OSHA for acting so swiftly on our workplace safety complaint against James Deen Productions and Third Rock by citing and fining Deen, one of the industry’s most well-known producers and adult performers—and the one who is the most vocal critic and prominent public face of the industry in its opposition to condom use,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
“AHF admits that they — not a performer nor anyone on set — called in the December Cal/OSHA complaint against Third Rock Enterprises, and they specifically cite owner James Deen’s political work against AHF’s condom mandate in their justification,” says Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of the Free Speech Foundation, the adult industry trade group. “These ‘complaints’ aren’t about workplace safety, they’re punishment and retribution for those who disagree with AHF politically. AHF is using state agencies to harass performers.”
Leue also slams the Cal/OSHA complaint for publishing Deen’s legal name, a major violation of privacy and a significant issue for adult performers, many of whom face stalkers, threats, and serial harassers. Violations of performers’ personal and medical privacy have been the most hotly contested aspects of AHF’s upcoming ballot initiative, which would encourage private citizens to sue adult performers.
“AHF’s entire campaign is about harassing performers,” says Leue. “For years, AHF has abused the Cal/OSHA system for selective enforcement, to silence those who speak out against them. It’s the porn equivalent of ‘swatting’ or calling in a fake bomb threat, and wastes hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars over nonsense complaints. As the general elections in November draw nearer, and more performers speak up, we should expect these types of complaints to ramp up.”
Cal/OSHA has an anonymous, complaint-based system, in which every complaint requires an investigation. While Cal/OSHA citations from such investigations are often dismissed or greatly reduced, the process can cost companies and performers tens of thousands in court costs, not to mention time and energy. Other adult companies, such as San Francisco’s Kink.com, have previously complained about the retributive and political nature of AHF’s complaints.