On Wednesday, FSC Executive Director Michelle L. LeBlanc met with Assemblymember Cristina Garcia in her office in the State Capitol to discuss the future of AB 2389 and its potentially harmful impact on the performers it seeks to protect.
“Our meeting was productive and informative from both sides,” said LeBlanc. “Asm. Garcia was eager to learn more about our industry, how it works, and the issues our members face. She is open to working with FSC and other performer advocacy groups to understand the real challenges of this industry.”
Free Speech Coalition commended Asm. Garcia for the amendments to AB 2389 striking the bill’s fingerprinting and business license provisions. However, AB 2389’s certification requirement — which prohibits adult performers in California from creating or publishing content until they’ve completed a class on sexual harassment and workplace safety — remains unconstitutional and discriminatory, and unnecessarily shifts the burden of compliance to the worker.
The fight for workplace safety and a more empowered workforce are not new to our industry. Many organizations, including the Free Speech Coalition, have worked hard to develop programs that educate performers about their rights and resources. For example, FSC’s INSPIRE program, and the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee’s Porn 101, both tackle issues left unaddressed by traditional workplace safety training.
In fact, the Free Speech Coalition is currently engaging with Cal/OSHA to explore workplace safety guidelines for adult sets. But workplace safety should remain a regulatory decision — one that applies to all workplaces equally — rather than a law that applies to just one.
Workplace safety issues are not limited to the adult industry. Mainstream entertainment has its own problems with sexual harassment, as do newsrooms. Yet no one would consider a law basing the First Amendment rights of a mainstream actor, dancer, or journalist on state certification — or punishing them for operating without it.
FSC looks forward to working with Asm. Garcia more closely as the bill evolves, and will be fighting to:
- Remove stigmatizing language that positions adult performers as victims rather than creators
- Shift the focus of the bill so that compliance remains the responsibility of employers, not workers
- Keep our compliance requirements in line with those in other industries, understanding that certain areas — such as sexual harassment training that prohibits sex in the workplace — may require the development of guidelines specific for the adult industry
FSC and Asm. Garcia have a shared goal of a safer and more empowered workforce. We ask that in working toward it, she treat our industry as she would treat any workplace, and respect the concerns of our workers.