Final: A Performers’ Union is a Great Idea Says Amber Lynn; “The industry, my feeling, is that it’s dying from what I can see”

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At AdultFYI we don’t back peddle endorsements like you get on the Dogpatch website. Unlike Lil’ Abner, we came out unequivocally for Amber Lynn who’s running for a spot on the Free Speech Coaltion board. Amber was a guest on Rebecca Bardoux’s Internet show Friday night.

Stating that talent needed more representation on the board, Amber registered disappointment with the direction the industry is taking. When asked what she thought about a performers’ union she said, “It’s a great idea.”

Lynn said she was honored and privileged to have been nominated for a spot on the board.

“When they first contacted me and told me I was being nominated, I stopped for a minute and said this is terrific. It’s a great way for me to celebrate my 30th anniversary in the industry. [Her career began in 1983.]

“I thought with everything that’s going on in the industry, rapidly changing the way it is, I think the talent should have a seat on the board,” she feels.

Lynn went on to say it would benefit the industry greatly were talent to get more involved.

Lynn explained that with the sudden death of her brother Buck Adams in 2009 she took a break away from the industry.

“It was devastating to my family,” she said.

“It was necessary for me to take time with my family and to get them situated. I did that.”

During the time she’s been a performer, Lynn has seen a lot of changes in the business.

“We went through the Traci Lords-thing. When I first got into the industry, it wasn’t legal to shoot porn let alone worry about whether people were using barrier protection. We’ve been through a lot. And at every juncture they’ve said what you are about to take on is impossible. That’s my experience.”

Lynn, who was a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the FSC in 2005, said she’s gotten to know the organization better through working on the No on Measure B campaign.

“I didn’t really get to know Diane Duke until this time. I saw things begin to change very rapidly. Some of the things I had taken for granted up until then, we were now going to be stripped of completely. That is, the choice what we’re going to do in our scenes regarding condom usage – whether we want to, whether we don’t want to; whether we feel safe. That’s [the choice] is now being taken away from us. I feel that it infringes upon my freedom of speech; I really do.”

Lynn explained that in her career she’s used condoms depending on the circumstances in her life.

“In the latter years I was using condoms in my scenes; then with the thing with Measure B came up, it was time to really take a stand.”

Lynn also brought up the Syphilis scare involving Mr. Marcus.

“I remember waking up the morning I heard about it. I had not shot any thing as of the date. I thought, oh my God, what can I do to help? I drove down to the Cutting Edge Testing Facility. I said I want to know everything you know that you can help me be of service. What can I do to help?

“There was a whole roomful of talent, and I remember there were a couple of girls standing in the lobby in the waiting area. They were very young, and one of them was crying. She was crying because she didn’t know whether or not taking the penicillin shot was going to affect her.

“I think she said something to the effect that if I take the penicillin shot it’ll make me sterile and I won’t be able to have any children. I was like, oh honey. I put my arm around her and we started to talk. It was just one talent talking to another.

“She didn’t know the difference. She didn’t know if she was going to become sterile. She was terrified, and I knew the feeling. I thought to myself we need to be there for each other more.”

During the Measure B campaign, Lynn said she had begun to see an industry that was beginning to “show its cracks.”

“When I got into the industry it was a very small network of people. Everybody didn’t always get along but we always supported our common focus which was the industry.”

Lynn also said she’s noticed a change in the basic unity.

“I would like us to be able to do more of that.”

“How are we going to fix these cracks?” Bardoux asked.

“We need to get involved,” replied Lynn saying she was as guilty as the next person for not doing that.

“We can get out into the audience and get into the game. That’s basically what’s happening for me. I want to be part of the game. We can come together. We can talk about the things going on and what we’re going to do about it. We can take some ideas. We’ll kick ‘em around and start to work on some solutions together as an industry.

“We’ve got a lot of really smart educated people in this industry,” she continued.

“And the answers are within us. I really do believe that. But we need to come together to work on what those answers are, and form a game plan in the direction we’re going to go.”

Lynn, wisely, pointed out that those who could make a difference won’t even be seen in the same room together.

“For whatever reasons they’re not talking to each other today. We need to set those things aside now more than ever.”

“At some point you’ve got to leave your egos at the door,” Bardoux added.

Lynn said before she got on the air, Tera Patrick contacted her and asked what she could do to support Lynn’s efforts in her run.

“It’s that simple,” said Lynn.

“When we decide to pick up the phone and get involved with each other, I believe there’s enough power amongst us where we can really get some stuff done.”

“We have people from all aspects of the industry [on the board],” Lynn pointed out.

“But, personally, I think we need a talent, starting now, to hold a seat on the board, to represent the talent interest, to get the talent more involved in what’s going on in the industry, what’s going on with the FSC and to act as a conduit between the talent and the FSC in order to bring some solutions as to what’s going on.”

All that being said, Bardoux asked Lynn if she thought there was a need to have a union.

“This is another thing,” said Lynn.

“We’ve kicked around so many ideas and no action has been taken. That’s why I said we need a talent on the board. I’m going to volunteer. This is not a job. There’s no paycheck involved. I’m going to commit to doing this. As far as getting a union together? Yes, it’s a great idea. We talked about this I think back in 1989. They started The Pink Ladies. It went around for a little while then it dissipated. I think it’s a great idea but we need to take some of these plans now and put them into action.

“Yes, it would be great to have a union.”

Lynn also conceded that getting the industry together was like trying to “herd a bunch of wild cats into a box.”

“It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of patience. It takes a lot of time. But if we don’t start doing this now, the industry, my feeling, is that it’s dying from what I can see. There’s so much going on within the industry that it’s killing itself off internally.”

Bardoux observed that it was like gang wars within the industry. Lynn had to agree but felt that having rebellious personalities was a positive in order to carry on the fight.

“It’s the same type of character that’s going to make them fight each other,” she added.

“It’s a small town. And when you live in a small town you’re eventually going to butt heads with your neighbors. That’s well and good. That’s normal. That’s like being in a family. The industry is like a family to me. I might argue with my brother, God rest his soul, but if anybody would have tried to hurt my brother, I would have had his back in a second. That’s how I feel about the industry today.

“They’re trying to take us out- this industry.”

Lynn said whether she’s actively performing or not, she’ll always use her name and image to support the industry.

“If I’m granted a seat on the board, it may be my body sitting in the seat but it’s all of us that are there in spirit,” Lynn added.

“That’s what I commit to with all my integrity. I want the talent to come into the picture.”

According to Lynn, everything that she’s read that’s negative about the FSC board is that they don’t want to deal with the talent.

“They only deal with the talent from the aspect that it’s a necessary evil. Whether they don’t understand the talent or the talent has never stepped up and tried. I want to take that out of the equation. I want to be a talent that’s going to take my time to show up at the meetings, to listen to what they have to say; to voice on behalf of the talent what the talent has to say and to act as a conduit to bring the FSC and the talent together.

“Once you close that gap so much can happen. Solutions are going to happen for all of this industry. Not just with Measure B but a lot of the things that go on.”

Lynn’s of the belief that a lack of communication is the cause of it all.

Bardoux added that unless you’re in front of the camera you’ll never know understand a lot of things.

“There is a need for a performer there,” Bardoux emphasized.

Addressing the need for an insurance plan, Lynn said she’ll never forget John Holmes calling her near the end of his life telling her that he was broke and didn’t have money to take care of himself.

“We need to work on solutions for that,” Lynn stated.

Lynn also mentioned that one of the attacks on the performers during the Measure B campaign was a lack of health insurance.

“That was one of the things AHF was using against the industry that all of these performers don’t have health insurance so the county is going to have to take care of them when they get sick with all of the STDs that are supposedly coming down on the industry.”

“We need to get a plan that will be made available to the talent possibly through the monthly testing dues,” feels Lynn.

“Why is it that when we pay our monthly testing dues and pick up our test why can’t there also be insurance attached to our monthly testing system?”

“I like that idea a lot,” Bardoux agreed.

“I know myself as a performer I have always had to supply myself with my own insurance.”

“Not everybody does that,” Lynn said.

“But if it was attached to your fees and it happens automatically or it was required for being in the industry, it would allow people the ability to take better care of themselves.

“The well being of the industry is what I want underneath it all. When people walk out of here we want them to walk away because that maintains the right of choice. That’s what our industry is built on, the freedom of choice. I don’t want people to be in the position, like Mr. Marcus. It was said he was forced to work around that test because he felt pressured by financial hardship.”

Bardoux also points out that the industry didn’t have the funds to fight Measure B.

“Now there doesn’t seem to be any people in Free Speech. No one wants to give any money to The Free Speech Coalition.”

Lynn put forth the idea of a town hall meeting.

“I’d like to create a monthly or bi-monthly meeting of the talent where we talk about the issues at hand. The FSC meets six times a year. Then they have a retreat. If I’m in that seat what I commit to doing is making myself available and making information available to the talent in all the ways that I can.

“We’ll create a blog. We’ll create a website where people can go in and say, ‘Amber what happened at the meeting.’ Here are the minutes, here’s what was discussed. People then can comment and talk and do all the tings they like to do on these separate sites.

“But they never get anywhere because a lot of people don’t go on and read the sites and then it’s all broken up. I’m talking about a one-stop shop where we can all go to, where the FSC can get on it and say we hear you guys. We hear what’s being said. Let’s answer some of those questions.”

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