Porno Dan Hoist With His Own Petard After Announcing He Would Defy Production Moratorium

Saturday, one day after the instatement of a production moratorium due to a performer testing positive for HIV, producer/director Dan Leal of Immoral Productions, an adult production company that was forced to go condom-only by the passage of Measure B, made the following announcement on Twitter:

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Dan’s attorney, incidentally, is Michael Fattorosi, Esq.

To say that Dan’s tweet was met with near-universal revulsion would be an understatement.
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Dan had cited no specific medical basis for his decision, other than a subsequent tweet to the effect that he knew something the rest of us don’t. Regardless of any medical rationale, however, the political and perceptual problems caused by a public display of division on an issue of such magnitude would, as members of the adult community quickly noted, play right into the hands of those presently at war with the adult business.

Most industry veterans who spoke to TRPWL offered a simple theory to explain Dan’s move: the goal was to underscore and foster disunity, and to make the point that he and certain “others” opposed adult trade association Free Speech Coalition’s stewardship of industry matters.

In short, insiders viewed it as a purely contrarian move; an opportunistic volley in an industry power struggle. Few thought he’d actually go through with his promise to resume shooting.

Finally, after a bruising 18-hour online brawl, Dan returned to Twitter to indicate that his announcement had indeed been a kind of political gesture designed to rile up performers and producers, and that he would not be shooting in defiance of the moratorium.

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Essentially, Dan admitted that he used the attention being paid to a health crisis in the adult industry to garner buzz for his political position — that his announcement constituted a kind of political theater designed to to deepen and harvest an anti-FSC brand of disunity in advance of a press release…

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Without question, Porn Dan failed resoundingly and squandered whatever goodwill he had at the outset of the moratorium.

While the business was reasonably unified after FSC’s swift action on Friday, that unity began to galvanize after bottom-feeding bloggers outed the name of the HIV patient.

Porno Dan only strengthened this solidarity. In fact, it’s hard to recall a time in recent memory when the adult business was more unified than in the wake of Dan’s announcement.

As a longtime producer, Dan has obviously forged relationships with agents, but his invocation of them online raises some interesting questions.

Historically, press statements by the adult agents (made through their association, LATATA) have bemoaned their not receiving kid glove handling, while using their stated outrage at such slights as a pretext to take political pot shots at FSC and PASS. TRPWL explored the dynamics of this relationship in our report on the politics of LATATA’s testing fee proposal earlier this year.

Dan’s tweets on Sunday make the point that he and the “others” take issue not merely with FSC CEO Diane (not Diana) Duke, but with the very concept of central governance. That’s a legitimate position, and one that should be debated, but not, as Brad Armstrong pointed out, IN THE MIDDLE OF A HEALTH CRISIS WHEN THE WORLD IS WATCHING.

Dan specifically mentioned that he and the “others” are displeased that FSC instituted the production moratorium without consulting “the agents or TTS” (Talent Testing Service, which, as its name implies, tests blood and urine samples of drawn from adult performers).

The problem is, current industry protocols do not call for FSC/PASS to consult the agents first; it calls for them to get the word out to performers and producers as quickly as possible in the event of an infection and to notify the agents — which was done. When a performer comes up positive for HIV, AND PEOPLE ARE CURRENTLY SHOOTING, the goal is and must be to put all business interests and politics aside in the name of preventing any possible transmissions. This is common sense.

It’s one thing to criticize FSC/PASS if they fail to act quickly enough, it’s quite another to complain that an industry roundtable was not convened in the event of an urgent health crisis when protocols demand otherwise. Historically, it has NEVER been the decision of agents to call or withdraw a moratorium. In fact, agents — who obviously have a financial interest in keeping production flowing — have been known to oppose the instatement or continuation of moratoria. There are very good reasons why agents, and producers, should NOT be involved in these decisions — medical decisions currently in the hands of the FSC medical advisor and outlined in protocols created and agreed upon by doctors, attorneys and the PASS testing centers.

Furthermore, in the view of TRPWL, the agents lost the right to claim the moral high ground on health and safety after the Alex Gonz Hepatitis C affair.

As noted above, Dan’s tweets in the wake of his online bludgeoning specifically reference TTS — industry testing clinic Talent Testing Service, run by Dan’s pal Sixto Pacheco. TTS and FSC/PASS have had a very bumpy relationship (which people such as Christian Mann have long worked to smooth out), and the blame for this lies as much with Diane Duke as Pacheco.

Of course, Pacheco’s close relationship with former agent Shy Love, who is widely referred to as “untrustworthy” schemer and an “idiot” by industry leaders, did not help (it was Shy who famously wanted to wrest control of the production moratorium and generational testing from FSC during the 2011 HIV scare that turned out to be a false positive. Apparently, Shy thought her online degree as a tax preparer qualified her for the job). Shy has departed adult talent agency ATMLA, and is now little more than a memory, but the wounds she inflicted upon industry unity still run deep.

For the record, I’ve known Dan a very long time and I like him. I consider him a friend. He’s a member of the adult community and deserves to have this grievances heard. I believe the adult business should air all the issues which underlie this turf war, but I strongly disagree with his tactic of spurring a political sideshow in plain view of the media and the enemies of the adult business. This is not only because I believe it could have done damage to the adult community as a whole, but because, frankly, pissing off fellow producers and performers in this political climate is downright unwise — particularly when your facility is a sitting duck for LA County investigators, police and Cal/OSHA inspectors.

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Porno Dan

Immoral Productions has already been the object of inspections, and one producer/director told me that, in his opinion, “He may as well put a big red bullseye on his building. If he declares war on the industry he may get a lot more visits from OSHA and police from ‘anonymous tips.'” That would be bad for Dan, bad for the models and crew he employs, and bad for the adult business as a whole.

The online response to Dan’s action has truly been spectacular. In closing, we leave you with the evaluation of another A-list performer.
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