There was a story posted recently on XBIZ. It was a story that kinda went under the radar. It goes with what we’ve been talking about with Peter Acworth and his notion that moving to Las Vegas will solve all of the industry’s problem with regards to pending condom legislation in California. www.adultfyi.com/read.php?ID=60436
This notion that Las Vegas is gonna be a tea party with crumpets for his majesty Acworth and that Harry Reid is gonna roll out the red carpet and blow everybody is ludicrous. The notion that the industry only has to worry about Isadore Hall and the State Assembly passing AB 1576 is preposterous.
Many months ago, a company named ATK (Amateur Teen Kingdom) who last I heard was distributed by Mark Kulkis at Kick Ass Pictures, were fined by Cal/OSHA. You can substitute the word Cal in Cal/OSHA with Florida, Nevada or any other state that people go to shoot porn. OSHA is a federal regulatory agency. Take the AB 1576 bill and wipe your ass with it. What happened to ATK has nothing to do with what’s coming down the pipeline with regards to condom legislation.
So ATK got hit by Cal/OSHA and they’ve been trying to figure out how to comply and keep their tits out of the wringer. Here’s the story from XBIZ:
“ATK (Amateur Teen Kingdom) and AMKingdom.com owner Kim Nielsen recently agreed to pay about $8,000 in fines to Cal/OSHA for citations issued over three workplace violations, XBIZ has learned.”
“Nielsen told XBIZ that the fines, stemming from an anonymous tip over film shoots, were halved after he and his company agreed to incorporate a certified safety expert for all films shot by the porn studio.”
“In June, Cal/OSHA issued citations to ATK over failure to maintain an effective injury and illness prevention program, failure to implement an effective exposure control plan and failure to implement precautions — such as condoms — to prevent potentially infectious exposures during vaginal intercourse.”
Ladies and gentlemen, this was all done without the legislation that’s making it through all the channels in Sacramento. All of this has been done without Jerry Brown signing or vetoing a bill. Cal/OSHA just got money from a porn company. You’re gonna tell me that the Nevada OSHA office isn’t gonna get involved in something like this? You’re gonna tell me that whoever gave the “anonymous tip” won’t call up Nevada OSHA? That AIDS Healthcare Foundation won’t ring them up? You people are delusional. You’re listening to Peter Acworth the foreigner.
“Cal/OSHA originally proposed fines totaling $16,000, but Nielsen said that he and his staff worked hurriedly, and without legal counsel, to comply with the regulator and fix deficiencies.”
“For Nielsen, the adventure in dealing with Cal/OSHA was a first for him, as well as his Tarzana, Calif., company.”
“The state occupational safety regulator first communicated with Nielsen in February with a subpoena for records extending back to 2008.”
“In its subpoena, Cal/OSHA demanded copies of all business licenses made in the past two years, including statements of ownership and licenses with labor boards; proof of workers comp insurance; and copies of worker safety and health programs, as well as health records and safety inspections.”
“The regulator also asked in its “urgent” request for all contracts and performer agreements, going back to 2008. Those records not only included all talent, but wardrobe designers, directors and producers and their assistants.”
“Cal/OSHA further ordered a list of all distribution and licensing deals over two years, as well as a list of all employees working at the company.”
“It also demanded two years’ worth of records of all films and videos the studio shot, including dates of production, and records pertaining to film locations. It even ordered for all records involving camera and set equipment.”
“But the most burdensome of the requests, Nielsen said, was the demand for all footage from the productions.”
““We had our personnel work around the clock to create a [hard drive] disc of nearly 33 terabytes of footage,” said Nielsen, a 2012 XBIZ Awards recipient of the Web Industry Pioneer Award and operator of the ATK video-on-demand and DVD line, as well as ATKHairy.com, ATKGalleria.com, ATKPetites.com and ATKExotics.com.”
“With the experience behind him, Nielsen said that hiring a certified, specially trained safety expert went along way in settling his case with the regulator.”
“And he had some smart advice for those producing porn in California.”
““Be proactive, and be informed of your rights,” he said. “And hire a safety specialist now. It is much more than using condoms; it is about paperwork, too.”
““The process is cumbersome for sure, but have your programs in place in case Cal/OSHA comes a knocking.””
There ya go. All this talk of condom bills mean nothing if Cal/OSHA comes knocking on your door. No amount of talking from Diane Duke and Peter Acworth and Free Speech Coalition is gonna stop this. Ultimately, what Cal/OSHA did to ATK was no different than what they do with any other business in California. All of these things that they requested are what any other business entity is required to produce. Hollywood has had to comply with this stuff for years. Restaurants, construction sites, you name it.
All of this stuff the adult industry likes to complain about are what other business have been complying with for years. It’s the cost of doing legitimate business. We’ve always gotten a pass because the old leaders in the industry knew how to reach across the aisle and work with the other side. The industry used to have a united front.
Like when I was busted for obscenity and went to prison. The industry as one unit said that I was bringing heat on the industry by challenging the government and by openly supporting me they would get caught in the crossfire. Everyone from Larry Flynt to Paul Fishbein to Kat Sunlove all shunned me and I had to take the full brunt of Bush’s war on obscenity by myself. The industry created a unified front against me for the good of the image and the overall health of the business. That’s what the industry does, or used to.
Now you have people like Peter Acworth and John Stagliano who are the leaders of the industry and are putting us in a worse light than Rob Black ever did. From Acworth’s cocaine and gun adventures and reports of other abuse and criminality at The San Francisco Armory to HIV positive John Stagliano’s irresponsible sexual behavior. Still haven’t heard from Stagliano’s girlfriend Sheena Shaw, who is alleged to have either HIV, be pregnant with John’s baby or have two left feet and a colostomy bag. We don’t know. Her Twitter has been deleted and she has vanished from the face of the earth.
When the outside world looks at Peter Acworth and John Stagliano, they see that porn is exactly like they thought it was – full of bad people. They don’t look at it like it was a few years ago – a controlled environment run by legitimate business people like Russ Hampshire and Lenny Friedlander. They would never have associated the business with or allowed the antics of Acworth and Stagliano. Larry Flynt went to the media and said I was bad for the business. He did what the old leadership used to do. He put the word out to protect the industry’s image in the wake of an coming onslaught of the industry by the Bush Administration. Flynt told the world, “Rob Black is bad and we are not him.”
Here we are in 2014 and the adult industry says, “Peter Acworth is us. John Stagliano is us.” We have Derek Hay, who flaunts using his agency as a recruiting mechanism for escorting and conceals talent working with hepatitis C. These people are who we appoint to represent us and that’s why we are being attacked from all sides. OSHA is just the beginning.
Kink.com got hit with the exact violations that ATK did. They were busted by Cal/OSHA at The Armory on San Francisco. The notion that they are just gonna be able to pack up and move to Nevada and leave all of their troubles behind in California is ludicrous. Those problems are gonna follow Peter Acworth to Las Vegas. Peter Acworth is telling people to follow him. He is covering his body with honey and telling every hungry grizzly bear in the forest, “Here I am. Come and eat me.” He’s not hiding. He’s saying come and get me. He sits in Vegas and tells the world to look at him. While they’re looking, they’re saying “Who else is out here? Oh, there’s Lee Roy Myers, there’s Derek Hay… The boys are all here. Awesome. Let’s tag all of these motherfuckers.”
ATK is the lesson for all of you who think that moving to Nevada is the solution to the industry’s problems. To those of you who think that everything will be hunky dory if AB 1576 is defeated: whether it is defeated or not, whether you move to Vegas or not, nobody can escape the jurisdiction of a federal regulatory agency like OSHA. We have to deal with them and work with them, whether we like to or not.
It’s not too late. Cal/OSHA came to us before and tried to come up with workable solution and the leadership shouted them down and took an aggressive stance. They will work with us if we approach them with the right people. Ultimately, California doesn’t want to keep going through battles. They don’t this to keep dragging on. But California’s not gonna be dictated to by people like Peter Acworth and John Stagliano and Diane Duke. Once they are gone, there can be a fresh clean slate.
Remember what happened with ATK. Remember that the condom bill is just smoke and mirrors. A political cause for Isadore Hall and a payday for Diane Duke. Whether it goes to Jerry Brown’s desk for a signature or not, nothing is gonna change when it comes to Cal/OSHA. They are still gonna have to be dealt with.
Follow Rob Black on Twitter @RealRobBlack Email: [email protected]