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Thoughts Over The Morning’s Coffee: Katie Summers The Jane Roe in Porn’s Roe v. Wade

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Whether you realize it or not, porn history is being made right before your very eyes.

In all the years I’ve covered the business I’ve never seen a porn performer take it to a company the way Katie Summers has.

Check that. There was the case involving Vivid contract girl Kira Kener and Steve Hirsch. Kener’s now out of the business, but seven years ago she sued Steve Hirsch for wrongful termination and was awarded $250,000. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis ruled in the case.

Whether Kener ever saw the money or not is another issue. But Hirsch used to be pro-condom – apparently only when the need suited him. Because Kener complained about unsanitary working conditions and wanted a condom. In a manner of speaking.

Kener who was 32 at the time alleged in her lawsuit she was infected with a venereal disease by a sex toy she used during a video shoot.

According to her lawsuit, Kener tested positive for a venereal disease after shooting a video in February 2004. The director ordered her to work first with a sex toy, then with an actor, the lawsuit stated.

Kener had concerns about working with the actor, but was told to do so by the director anyway, the lawsuit stated.

Kener came to work crying the next day and refused to work with anyone else until she was tested for venereal diseases, according to the lawsuit.

However, another director stepped in and yelled, “There’s no time or money in the budget for testing. I’ll just call someone else to come in and work with you. I’ll let that person know that you may have come in contact with something, but it’s up to them if they want to work with you,” according to the suit.

Kener later tested positive for the disease, the lawsuit further stated.

Kener, incidentally, was fired by Vivid Entertainment on Feb. 26, 2004, the same day she told management she was concerned about having to work with previously used marital aids, the lawsuit stated.

Now if that isn’t what Rob Black, has been talking about these many months, I don’t know. A performer voices concerns about working conditions, they risk being fired or ostracized from the business entirely. Which is exactly what happened to Kener.

Whatever Diane Duke is selling today, the grim fact of black balling is in the small print she’s not telling you about.

There were other issues involved in the Kener suit that included independent contractor vs. employee distinctions, breach of website agreement and trademark violations. The gist, is, this woman was thrust in an unsafe working environment.

Get this. Vivid Entertainment lawyers maintained in their court papers that Kener was an independent contractor and not an employee, and that their agreement with her allowed them to use her name for economic advantage. She complained, she was fired and she sued.

So what Summers did is a gutsy call. She’s an active performer and is now insisting on condoms. Besides the usual battery of tests, Summers is also being screened for Hep.

Will a neon bulls eye drawn squarely on her ass, it will be interesting to see what develops, and I’m sure Summers’ lawyer will begin collecting proof of Summers being discriminated against because of her stance.

I know Naughty America turned her down for a job recently. Their claim was they weren’t shooting condom scenes at this time. I guess it’s their right to say that – for the time being.

So basically Summers has become Jane Roe [aka Norma L. McCorvey] in porn’s version of Roe v. Wade.

This is landmark stuff, people. Stay tuned to The Rob Black Show, for further developments.


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