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Kerndt Recommends Industry State of Emergency

Porn Valley- Last night’s talent meeting in the Valley was a glass is half empty/half full proposition. Nicole London, who set up the meeting, was disappointed with the attendance. But, at the same time the get together afforded opportunity to place faces with names, and, thus, eliminate the X-factor in the bogeyman equation.

Along with talent, there were representatives from Cal-OSHA, NIOSH, and the CDC, many of whom who flew in for the meeting. Dr. Peter Kerndt, director of the STD program for L.A. County, answered most of the questions.

Asked if it was now necessary to go to a test beyond the PCR-DNA, Dr. Kerndt was quick to concede that there was no perfect test to determine HIV, that false positives or negatives were part of the territory but that L.A. County could come in and conduct the tests very well. “We have people with lab expertise to come in,” he said. Dr. Kerndt said time was now for the state to have sit-downs with talent in the industry. “We need their direct experiences,” he said.

London, who got to the meeting late herself, told the group that the state and federal regulating bodies were there to help and not be afraid of them. “They’re here to investigate, not to shut us down.” Investigation? What investigation performer Chris Cannon, who is new to these meetings wanted to know. Cannon, though, was all for initiating talent whistle blowing procedures on unsafe sex practices.

“We’ve got to call people on their actions; that’s the only way.” Seymore Butts wondered aloud exactly what that hammer might be to wield and what ramifications would be involved. Speaking as though there should be a 15 yard penalty assessed for personal foul, Butts was equally adamant against facial cum shots. Spallone, likewise, cited an instance at a meeting several years ago when a physician described that cum in the eye socket was the quickest way to acquire HIV. Tony Tedesci said, while they were at it, internal anal cum shots should be stopped as well.

London voiced disappointment that she had been left with the impression that more talent would be in attendance. London was assured by at least 100 people that they’d be at the meeting. So much for assurances. Someone from the audience suggested that it was competing with Porn Star Karaoke and that talent would rather drink and sing than face real issues.

Nonetheless, London expressed optimism that some important faces bothered to show- probably meaning Tabetha Yang who’s been jockeying for a central data base, and Butts who was pretty vocal. But apparently not as much as Rob Spallone’s cell phone which must have set some kind of Guinness record for going off during an HIV meeting.

“Go fuck yourself,” yelled Spallone, who got out early from his anger management class to attend, whenever his phone went off. That, and the conclusion Spallone drew about AIM needing to be investigated left little doubt that Spallone had brought some angst from his meeting with him nonetheless. Spallone, who co-chaired the event, emphasized his point about AIM on more than one occasion.

“That’s a given,” said Spallone who was also pretty critical of AVN’s assumed place in the latest HIV crisis. “They’re nobody,” said Spallone of the magazine which has put itself in the position of being, not only a reporting body, but the apparent arbiter of industry taste and fashion, as well. But Tony Tedesci, whose name has been linked to a move for a talent union, was a bit more precise. “They’re a fucked up interfering fucked up organization,” he said. It was also suggested that the industry would serve itself better, business-wise, by advertising in Hustler.

Spallone went on with his AIM issues, noting some alleged cavalier blood handling practices. Spallone said during an Erotica L.A., AIM was drawing blood carelessly and continues to test via mail. Dr. Kerndt said under certain circumstances, false negatives would result if blood wasn’t processed within six hours or properly refrigerated. Spallone said, bingo, that was the point he was making, that AIM was guilty of mishandling blood samples. Spallone also went on to describe the letter Sharon Mitchell sends to producers stating that performers who are on STD medication should be allowed to work. The state people appeared shocked by that revelation. Dr. Kerndt said the prevailing wisdom was to wait for at least a week after treatment before having sex.

On the condom issue, Butts was staunch about having them but London was even stauncher, stating that her company had made the proposition optional but now was making condoms mandatory. Citing various deals that she had locked in place including ones with Playboy, London, who was placed on a six month moratorium as talent in 1993, insisted that condoms haven’t hurt her business. It was also suggested that for a condom policy to work, big namers like Mark Davis would have to get behind one. That being the case, other performers would follow. Tedesci, however, flipped that notion off.

“He [Davis] likes to live large, spend money,” Tedesci said.

For her part, London, who shoots couple movies, has been insistent on observing besides a condom policy, a full moratorium as well. Citing the paramount importance of talent safety, London said, without talent, she wouldn’t have product. Spallone pointed out that hardly anyone was observing the 60-day halt, as it was. And to that there was a lot of discontent expressed over the Jay Ashley situation but that companies would certainly overlook the Czech Republic episode and continue to hire Ashley regardless of Ashley’s version of the quarantine list Ponzi scheme.

“It’s very disheartening,” added Julian St. Jacques about the Ashley affair.

“If they’re [the porn companies including Madness which just brought Ashley aboard to direct] hiring Ashley,” Tedesci said, “they obviously don’t give a flying fuck.” But Ashley wasn’t the only one in his gun sights, Tedesci said that Jewel De’Nyle was a scumbag and had no respect for human life.

Another who died and left them chief outburst came when performer Jack Lawrence, an AIM volunteer, explained why Sharon Mitchell didn’t come to the meeting. Lawrence reported on a meeting held the night before in which four production companies [Evil Angel, Red Light, Legend and Anabolic] apparently got together in an attempt to formulate industry policy including a push for two-week testing. A protest was raised about that meeting being conducted on the virtual sly.

Lawrence also threw in his two-cents about Marc Wallice wondering why no one had attempted to sue him. Tedesci reminded everyone that Wallice has continued to work in the industry largely through the auspices of VCA, Simon Wolf and The Erotic Network. Lawrence said he’d like a shot at Wallice. “I could use the hero points,” he stated.

Bill Margold, who was attending a talent meeting for the first time during the current HIV crisis, put in his pitch for intravenous drug testing, particularly on Gen Padova’s contention that half the people she sees on sets are doped up to begin with.

Asked if the current industry warranted a state of emergency, Dr. Kerndt said he would recommend calling one. “Emergency powers is an option we recommend.


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