Today’s industry-only panel discussion concerning what the adult entertainment community plans to do to overturn or avoid Measure B, the law recently approved by L.A. County voters that renders production of adult content in the county untenable, was a remarkable event – and I say this as someone who has attended such gatherings for nearly 20 years. As the large meeting room at the FSC Summit in West Hollywood began to fill up, I marveled at the sight of people who had not been in the same room with each other in ten years or more seated side by side, row after row.
After the event started, a woman I didn’t recognize, quite dressed-up in a bright red business suit, seated herself directly behind me.
Later in the meeting, James Lee, the Communications Director for the industry’s campaign against Measure B, made his way over to the woman in red, and informed her that the meeting was only for RSVP’d members of the adult industry.
“I did RSVP,” the woman replied.
“Well, you’re not a member of the adult industry, so I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” Lee said firmly.
She got up, and Lee walked her out the door.
The woman, Lee later informed the crowd, was Samantha Granberry, Associate Director of Media for AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) – the proponent of Measure B. She had been sent as a spy to learn what the adult industry planned as its next move. According to FSC, Granberry snuck in using a fake name.
I was immediately reminded of an exchange included in a cache of leaked AHF emails published online last year. The emails in question were written not long after AIM Healthcare had shut its doors for good after years of relentless attack from AHF and its allies.
On April 26, 2011, Whitney Engeran-Cordova, AHF’s Senior Director of Public Health, sent his boss, Michael Weinstein, a news item he cut and pasted from Xbiz:
Free Speech Coalition is calling for industry members to meet this Friday to discuss current developments with workplace safety protocols and performer STD testing. The meetings will review the current status of workplace safety and performer testing, as well as what is on the horizon for adult film productions…
The meetings are for industry members only so RSVPs are necessary to attend.
Weinstein sent a one-sentence reply:
Who could we dress up to sneak in?
If Ms. Granberry wanted to know what the adult industry had planned, she could simply have asked -– we, as a community, intend to work together, and fight relentlessly, to build on the momentum of the No on Measure B campaign to crush any and all of Michael Weinstein’s attempts to use the industry as a punching bag for PR purposes.
We will do it in the courts, in earned media, in paid media, in the halls of government, and in the streets — and we will win this war.
Mr. Weinstein, you have awakened a sleeping giant.