After XBIZ ran the interview with AIDS Healthcare president Michael Weinstein, they gave the industry leaders a chance to respond.
Diane Duke got on the phone and said, “You need to give us a chance to respond. We need to respond.” Alec Helmy said, “OK. Do you have any industry leaders? Because we did an interview with the Big Kahuna himself. We didn’t talk to his underlings. You got the big players?” Diane Duke said, “Well, yes I do. I have me, Mark Randazza, Allan Gelbard and Peter Acworth.” To which Helmy replied, “Those aren’t industry leaders. Those are industry jackoffs.” Diane Duke said, “Well, those are the ones leading the charge.” Helmy groaned, “Oh God… All right Diane. We’ll let them respond.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the individuals who offered the rebuttal to Michael Weinstein are being touted as the leaders of the industry. It’s perplexing that these yahoos are allowed to speak.
Let’s start with Mark Randazza. He is an attorney who associates and does business with a pedophile, a man by the name of Kurt Treptow aka Kurt Brackob. Treptow was convicted and was incarcerated in Romania for having sex with children and running a child pornography ring. After his release from prison, he moved to Las Vegas. Las Vegas is where Mark Randazza is from and where he operates his law firm. Treptow became the treasurer of the Nevada Libertarian party. Mark Randazza is a supporter of the Libertarian Party and he and Treptow became acquainted and Treptow subsequently spoke on panels at XBIZ 360 and organized a panel discussion/luncheon on Vegas that involved Diane Duke, Julie Meadows and Randazza.
Randazza says in the XBIZ article that Weinstein is wrong about Nevada and they will not enforce OSHA laws and condom mandates because they do not want to drive business out of the state and that Nevada is “pretty libertarian.” As much as Randazza likes to downplay his association with Treptow, it’s pretty obvious he shares his libertarian views. Randazza’a assertion that Nevada is a libertarian state is pretty silly when you consider that the governor Brian Sandoval is a Republican, Harry Reid, who is the Senate leader is a Democrat and the other senator Dean Heller is a Republican. I don’t see a Libertarian in that mix. Mark Randazza doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp of politics in Nevada. Not to mention that Las Vegas is a town that is heavily influenced by unions which are traditionally Democratic.
Then there’s Allan Gelbard. Gelbard is described in XBIZ as a “First Amendment lawyer (who) has worked on numerous high-profile cases including the obscenity trials of adult director John Stagliano and J.M. Video.” They make it sound like he was the lead attorney when in fact he was one of the ancillary lawyers on the defense team. Let me explain what happens in an obscenity case. When you get indicted, you are charged personally, whoever else is involved in the “conspiracy” and whatever companies contributed to the offense. I had to get a lawyer for myself, my wife and for my company. I had Lou Sirkin, Jennifer Kinsley and Warner Mariani. When you’re not a high roller who can afford a dream team of lawyers like OJ had with Johhny Cochran, Robert Shapiro, Barry Scheck, F. Lee Bailey, Robert Kardashian, etc., you have one high profile attorney and a couple other jerkoffs. In the Stagliano case, Allan Gelbard was one of the jerkoffs. Paul Cambria and Lou Sirkin were the lead attorneys.
Allan Gelbard is one of those adult industry hanger ons. He drove the RV to the desert for Shane’s World and on one occasion got it stuck in the sand. He drove Shane’s World’s porn talent out to the desert so they could fuck each other in their assholes. He got his law degree from La Verne College of Law, which a step above the online legal classes you see advertised during The Jerry Springer Show and Maury. How many noted attorneys or Supreme Court justices have a law degree from La Verne? Thank you.
Allan Gelbard is the used car salesman of attorneys. That’s who is speaking as an industry leader. Not Paul Cambria, who is a real industry attorney. Not Lou Sirkin, who is a real industry attorney or Alan Isaacman who was portrayed in The People vs. Larry Flynt by Edward Norton and who is now the head of Larry Flynt’s broadcast division. Allan Gelbard is just a hanger on. JM Video? Lou Sirkin was the lead attorney on the JM case. I think Allan Gelbard carried his briefcase or something.
No real industry attorneys responded to the Michael Weinstein article. No Paul Cambria, no Lou Sirkin, no Alan Isaacman. Paul Cambria has spoken before Senate subcommittees. Lou Sirkin defended the gallery owner in the Robert Mapplethorpe case. Alan Isaacman argued Hustler Magazine vs. Falwell before The Supreme Court and won. Yet, Mark Randazza and Allan Gelbard is who we appoint to speak for the business in its most important case going on right now.
We’re all aware of Diane Duke’s incompetence. Duke is the Ryan Leaf of porn activists. For those of you who don’t know who Ryan Leaf is, look him up. He’s a quarterback who is the all time NFL draft bust who’s in prison right now on drug charges. Diane Duke is Brady Quinn. A bust.
Finally, there’s Peter Acworth. We all know about Peter Acworth and his history. Petey’s spouting off more bullshit. After Michael Weinstein ignores his letters and obviously has nothing to say to him, Petey asks even more questions and makes more ridiculous assertions.
The industry keeps spouting the mantra that there has been no on set transmission of HIV in 10 years. Michael Weinstein says that there has. The fact is they’re both wrong. The way the industry is and the way the testing system is set up there is absolutely no way to say with absolute certainty that there has or hasn’t been a transmission. A person tests positive, the people who that person says they worked with test negative and they assume that there was no transmission. But the reality is you don’t know.
The big issue with Duke and Co. is they have a credibility problem. Remember, you’re talking about a testing system that allowed Mr. Marcus to conceal his diagnosis and infect several people and allowed Alex Gonz to work for over three years with hepatitis C. Their track record for honesty and reliability isn’t very good.
The idea that the industry is completely safe because of our testing procedures defies logic. The fact that someone gets tested one day and then has sex with a pool of other tested people and knows with certainty that they aren’t infected with an STD until they get tested 30 days later is ridiculous, because no one will ever know with absolute certainty what people do off camera and no one will never know. It’s like the global warming argument. No one can say with absolute certainty that all of the climate changes that we’ve had the past few years aren’t the result of things that have been done by man. Even the most strident critic of global warming will admit that there is a chance that the funky weather events are man made. But our industry continues to say that there has been no on set transmission in 10 years as if it is a certifiable fact when it is not.
The business won’t concede that there is the possibility that testing isn’t flawless and continues to say it is safe and it shouldn’t be forced to use condoms. They say there has not been an on set transmission in 10 years, but if you ask if there has been HIV exposures they have to say yes, just no one has caught it yet on set. So it’s kinda like Russian Roulette and we want to add more bullets by not using condoms.
When someone comes up positive and everyone they worked with gets tested and those people test all of their partners and no one else comes up positive everybody goes, “Whew, we dodged a bullet. Our testing system works.” No, it doesn’t. The tests only show whether or not they acquired the disease that they were exposed to. It’s simply the luck of the draw that they didn’t get HIV. That’s not something that a normal rational person would regard as being safe.
A intelligent person is gonna look at what we do and see that it’s not safe. When a performer gets a test on the 1st that comes up positive and everybody that they worked with since their last negative test holds their collective breath and hopes that they don’t come up positive is not a safe system.
No other business operates with a safety system of “Whew! That was close!” If Martin Scorsese or Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino or whoever sat around on the last day of filming their movie and said, “Whew! Glad nobody died!” that wouldn’t be acceptable.
We had a chance to come up with reasonable solutions to some of these issues and we sent in people like Duke and Randazza and Gelbard and Acworth. We didn’t get Cambria and Sirkin and Isaacman. People with intelligence and records of accomplishments and no baggage. To send in these people now is futile. The damage has been done. The best we can do is minimize the damage and either comply and wear condoms, move out of state with AHF and OSHA on our tails or go underground and shoot under the radar like people do when they shoot without permits.
Either way, the industry is fucked and the people who did the fucking are the ones who we appointed as our representatives. The “industry leaders” who responded to Michael Weinstein in the XBIZ article.
Here’s the article that appeared in XBIZ Friday:
“Weinstein’s Crusade Misplaced, Adult Industry Leaders Say”
“Michael Weinstein’s decade-long attempt to make condoms mandatory in porn productions has, for the most part, enraged the adult entertainment industry.”
“Today’s XBIZ.com Q&A interview with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s leader may have elevated that rage, particularly as a bill spun up by the AHF that could make condoms mandatory in porn productions statewide wends its way to California’s Senate. (The next legislative hearing on AB 1576 was slated yesterday for June 25.)”
“In the XBIZ interview, Weinstein said that the AHF will become “involved if necessary” to make complaints against adult studios who flout AB 1576, if the piece of legislation is signed into law.”
“AHF’s president also noted in the piece that the Hollywood, Calif.-based organization already has filed complaints in Florida and have had meetings with state officials in Nevada about possible enforcement of OSHA regulations.”
“”The discussion within the industry speculating that condomless porn will be welcomed with open arms in Nevada is wishful thinking,” Weinstein told XBIZ in the Q&A. “Federal OSHA bloodborne pathogen laws apply nationwide.””
“But Las Vegas adult industry attorney Marc Randazza isn’t so sure about Weinstein’s message or inference on applying legislation like AB 1576 or the current Los Angeles County “Safer Sex” ordinance to Nevada.”
“Randazza, who operates the Randazza Law Group, recently traveled to California’s state Capitol to advocate against AB 1576 before an Assembly panel.”
“”Mr. Weinstein may have ‘had meetings,’ but I do not give good odds that they want to drive business and revenue out of the state,” Randazza told XBIZ. “Nevada is run by people with a lot more common sense than California. We’re pretty libertarian out here.””
“In the XBIZ Q&A, Weinstein defended the AHF’s 10-year advocacy against condomless porn, saying that the group is motivated to take a stand because it doesn’t regard anyone as disposable “including adult film performers.””
“But Diane Duke, the CEO of the Free Speech Coalition, told XBIZ that the real motivation behind Weinstein’s 10-year drive targeting the porn production community is simply money.”
“”I have been asked time and time again what Weinstein’s motivation is for going after the adult industry,” said Duke, pointing to a Los Angeles Times article that said “[Michael Weinstein] concedes that the campaign is a public-relations windfall: ‘We got more publicity for safer sex and condoms than we ever could have gotten any other way.’”
“”Perhaps this is why Weinstein continues to report faulty numbers,” she said. “In 2009, the L.A. County Health Department made it clear that there was no basis for the numbers that Weinstein was touting, so much so that they had to retract the statistics reported to the L.A. Times. “
“”Fast forward to 2014 and Weinstein is still misleading legislators, the media and the public about HIV and STI transmissions in the industry,” she said, pointing to a correction made in a Sacramento Business article that said its reporters were provided “misleading” information by state Assemblyman Isadore Hall, the sponsor of AB 1576, over conclusive links between HIV and adult film production.”
“Duke said that there hasn’t been an onset transmission of HIV in more than 10 years and “all Weinstein’s smoke and mirror politics can’t change the facts.””
““Weinstein has to use misinformation and mislead policymakers and the media because he knows that the real numbers will not support his crusade against the adult film community,” she said. “The facts show that the adult film community’s standards and protocols work.””
““The sad consequence of AHF putting so many resources to chase the non-issue of HIV in the adult film industry, is that real communities in need are going unserved. AHF doesn’t have a clinic in Hall’s district, yet Compton — from said district — has the highest HIV mortality rate in L.A. County. Perhaps they could use the AHF clinic in Beverly Hills.””
“Adult industry attorney Allan Gelbard agreed with Duke over Weinstein’s motives targeting the porn industry. Gelbard, an Encino, Calif., First Amendment lawyer has worked on numerous high-profile cases including the obscenity trials of adult director John Stagliano and J.M. Video.”
““Weinstein is using this campaign to raise money for his organization, pure and simple,” Gelbard told XBIZ. “If I were a donor to AHF, I’d have serious questions about how many people with HIV could have actually been provided better access to medical attention and prescription pharmaceuticals with all the money Weinstein has wasted — and now admits he intends to keep wasting — on attacking porn.””
“Gelbard said he thinks Weinstein’s antiporn crusade is “almost as misplaced as it is self-serving.””
““He clearly doesn’t give a damn about adult film performers or he wouldn’t have taken part in destroying AIM,” he said. “He wouldn’t be opposed to Truvada. He wouldn’t trot out people like Derek Burts — who he callously used as a throw-away prop — to falsely allege an HIV infection had occurred on an adult set. I would suggest Weinstein take a good look in the mirror before attacking Peter Acworth, a man I know and very much admire.”
““The simple reality is this: Weinstein wants porn to communicate a safe sex message. That may, in fact, be a laudable goal. But if he wants safe sex porn, he can always make it himself — for a lot less than he is spending on Measure B — and then compete in the marketplace of ideas.”
““But in this country, we are protected by the First Amendment which prevents Weinstein — through the use of his unnecessary and unconstitutional governmental takeover — from deciding what message a movie producer is obligated to include in his film.”
““He’s doing serious damage to the people he claims to be protecting. I remain confident that the 9th Circuit will rule that Measure B was unconstitutional and that Judge Pregerson erred in not striking it down in its entirety.””
“Acworth, the Kink.com owner and producer who was characterized by Weinstein as “among the worst offenders in the industry when it comes to putting performers at risk” in the XBIZ Q&A piece, called it “unfortunate” that Weinstein continues his campaign against adult producers.”
““I’d like to respond with some simple questions to Mr. Weinstein of my own,” Acworth said.
“Mr. Weinstein, please can you reference a single performer who you know to have contracted HIV as the result of a performance without condoms in the last decade?”
““Mr. Weinstein, of those performers who were unfortunate enough to contract HIV in their personal lives, how many could have been protected if they had been using PrEP/Truvada?”
““Mr. Weinstein, is it ethical for an AIDS organization to lobby against FDA approval of PrEP, and to stigmatize those who use it by calling it a ‘party drug,’ as you have?”
““Mr. Weinstein, it has cost your nonprofit millions of dollars to campaign for, pass and defend Measure B (and now AB1576), when even the L.A. Department of Public Health cannot attribute HIV infections to adult film production. How many patients could you have treated with that money? How do you justify that expense for the nonprofit?”
““Mr. Weinstein, what do you say to nearly 700 performers who have faxed, written letters and and signed petitions against AB 1576? Why are you so dismissive of their real concerns about this bill? Why do you continue to refuse to work with them?”
““Mr. Weinstein, why are you so interested in attacking the porn industry? Is this really about health or do you stand by your prior comments that this is a ‘PR windfall’ for you?”
““Mr. Weinstein, many people are calling for your resignation. Does your board of directors have confidence that you can lead this nonprofit during this important time in the fight against HIV? How do you react?””
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Is it any wonder that the industry is getting its ass kicked by Weinstein? As long as you have these “industry leaders” spouting this moronic garbage, you’re gonna get exactly what you deserve.
Follow Rob Black on Twitter @RealRobBlack Email: [email protected]