Update 6/5/2020: FSC COVID-19 Task Force

Since late April, the FSC COVID-19 Task Force has met twice a week — as well as spoken with advisory groups of producers, performers, and medical experts — to discuss benchmarks for lifting the production hold and developing the guidance needed to safely resume production.

This week, we spoke to over one hundred of you to preview the Preliminary Health and Safety Guidelines for Film Production created for the adult industry by the environmental health and safety firm we contracted. Your feedback has been invaluable and we are working with the industrial hygienist to make changes to the guidelines to address the areas of concern you raised and to clarify the specific guidelines that might cause confusion.

While we’re not yet able to release the guidelines, we do not expect this to be a long delay. When the guidelines are finally published, we expect them to better meet your needs.

This also means we will be able to release the changes to the FSC PASS system at the same time as the guidelines. The modifications we are making to PASS enable the system to include all on-set personnel and to display COVID-19 test information along with the existing clearance to work associated with the PASS STI panel.

We know the delay is frustrating and that everyone wants to get back to work when it is safe. Finalizing the guidelines and ensuring that PASS is ready to go is our top priority, but we won’t compromise safety for expediency.

We expect to have a definitive date for the release of the guidelines and the changes to PASS by early next week.


Update 5/29/2020: FSC COVID-19 Task Force 

Since late April, the FSC COVID-19 Task Force has met twice a week — as well as speaking with advisory groups of producers, performers, and medical experts — to discuss benchmarks for lifting the production hold and developing the guidance needed to safely resume production.

 

Letter from Adult Film Producers and Buyers

Nearly 20 adult companies, including many of the largest purchasers of content, have now signed-on to a letter agreeing not to resume production until certain conditions for set safety are met. (Production continues to be permissible for those in the same household.) Since releasing the letter Wednesday, we have received questions on some of the points. For those of you who have not yet signed-on to the letter, we wanted to provide some clarification regarding the three conditions of the letter.

 

    1. Film production is legally permitted under the phased reopening guidelines in the local and national jurisdictions where the production will occur.

COVID-19 is not sexually transmitted, so when it comes to phased re-openings in various states, adult film production should be regarded no differently than mainstream film production. We realize that porn production is unlikely to ever be mentioned in any governmental agency’s reopening orders, so we are asking producers to hold production until mainstream film production is permitted in your location. 

Regions of the country are reopening at different rates, so producers are agreeing not to resume production in regions where film production is not yet part of the local reopening orders.

 

    1. Free Speech Coalition (FSC) publishes Production Health & Safety Guidelines for sets during COVID. These guidelines will cover on-set safety protocols for a variety of production scenarios, as well as guidelines for health screenings and testing.

We are hoping to be able to publish our guidelines by next Friday, June 5. These industry-specific guidelines were drafted after consultation with an industrial hygienist and our COVID-19 medical advisory panel, as well as other industry stakeholders. 

The Health and Safety Guidelines provide information about reducing the risk of infection from COVID-19 in a variety of production situations. The plan provides general guidance and suggested procedures but does not contain mandatory requirements for how production must be done.

The Guidelines still require a final review and approval from the industrial hygienist and an independent medical specialist. We know everyone is eager to return to work, and the publication of this document is our highest priority.

 

    1. My company and any companies that produce content for it have adopted an industry-standard set of safety protocols.

In order to standardize on-set safety, producers who signed on to the letter are agreeing to a baseline protocol that will be observed on set, based on the guidelines provided from the industrial hygienist and medical experts. Rather than leaving each producer or company to develop their own production safety plan, which could lead to a patchwork of protocols and increased risk, producers are working to ensure that everyone on their sets knows what to expect, and how to conduct themselves, when they go back to work.

 

Legal Liability

Each member of the adult industry will need to evaluate their tolerance for risk when deciding when and how to return to production safely. FSC can only provide guidance, and any decision a business makes needs to be based upon the regulatory rules of their jurisdictions, the needs of their specific business, and the advice of their lawyer. 

FSC is gathering as much information as possible to assist businesses in making those individual decisions.

We hope this clarifies some of the points. Those who would like to sign-on to the letter may do so here.

 

Future Updates

Please follow @FSCcrisiscomms on Twitter to remain informed about the activities of the FSC COVID-19 Task Force, as well as any developments regionally and nationally that impact the adult industry.

 


Update 5/20/2020: FSC COVID-19 Task Force 

 

Since late April, the FSC COVID-19 Task Force has been meeting twice weekly — as well as speaking with advisory groups of producers, performers, and medical experts — to discuss benchmarks for lifting the production hold and developing the guidance needed to safely resume production.

 

Production Hold

The voluntary production hold related to coronavirus remains in effect. It is neither safe to shoot, nor is any film production legally permitted in production hubs like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Southern Florida. Various regions are implementing a phased approach to easing restrictions, but no region has entered a phase of reopening that allows for film production to resume.

The Task Force is closely monitoring developments within the mainstream entertainment industry. In a live roundtable earlier today, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that his office will publish guidelines for the entertainment industry on Monday. Representatives of his office were not specific about when production could resume, saying that it could vary by jurisdiction. (Watch the full video here.)

We cannot yet give a firm date when the adult industry production hold will be lifted. That timing is largely dependent on the orders from various government agencies as they move through the phases of their reopenings. The Task Force is working to be able to provide more specific guidance about this.

 

Production Health & Safety Guidelines

In the meantime, our highest priority is completing Production Health & Safety Guidelines for the adult industry. We have contracted with an industrial hygienist and are working with industry stakeholders to produce guidelines to reduce risk on-set for a variety of productions, and provide guidance about health screening and COVID-19 testing.

The Task Force has received the first draft of the guidelines from the industrial hygienist and provided initial feedback. Next, we will seek feedback from content buyers, producers, directors, talent, and crew on the second draft to ensure that the guidelines are practical for adult production.

We will publish these guidelines publicly as soon as they are ready. While our guidance can not replace your own legal counsel, we hope to provide protocols that can help lower risk on-set, regardless of where, how, or when you shoot.

 

Advisory Groups

Since our last update, we invited the nearly 200 people who indicated in our survey that they wanted to be involved with the Task Force to participate in listening sessions. Last week, members of the Task Force joined these performers and crew in a series of group calls that provided us with valuable insights we will incorporate into our decisions and guidance moving forward.

The Task Force has also begun to hold regular calls with large producers and content buyers to discuss how production can safely resume. We are pooling knowledge from different areas of the industry to help create meaningful and effective guidance.

Tomorrow, we are meeting with a panel of medical experts, including representatives from PASS-certified lab networks and experts outside of the industry. Their input will provide important guidance about how to incorporate COVID-19 testing into our Production Health & Safety Guidelines.

Once we have draft guidelines, we will schedule another round of calls with production crews and talent to determine if and how they can be effectively implemented.

 

Legal Liability

As members of the adult industry discuss when and how to return to production, they will need to evaluate their tolerance for risk. Ultimately, any decision a business makes needs to be based upon the regulatory rules of their jurisdictions, the needs of their specific business, and the advice of their lawyer. 

FSC is gathering as much information as possible to assist businesses in making those individual decisions.

 

Future Updates

Please follow @FSCcrisiscomms on Twitter to remain informed about the activities of the FSC COVID-19 Task Force, as well as any developments regionally and nationally that impact the adult industry.

 


Update 5/8/2020: FSC COVID-19 Task Force

 

The FSC COVID-19 Task Force has had several meetings to discuss the benchmarks for lifting the production hold and the guidance needed to safely resume production under a continued threat of contagion.

Earlier this week, we sent out a link to a survey. The goal was to get a better understanding of your needs and concerns when it comes to the idea of resuming production. We’ve received over 400 responses so far, with nearly 200 requests to be involved in the Task Force. Next week, we’ll start holding small group discussions with those wanting to be involved.

Production Hold

The production hold related to coronavirus will remain in effect until further notice. It is neither safe to shoot, nor legally permitted under local government orders.

When FSC called for a production hold in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it was aligned with orders from public health agencies calling for the closure of all non-essential businesses. Various regions are already implementing a phased approach to easing restrictions, but non-essential businesses like entertainment production are not in the first phases of most plans.

On-Set Safety

The biggest question after WHEN is HOW. What changes will have to be made to adult film sets in order to keep talent and crew safe? To answer this question and produce guidance that is based in science, FSC is engaging the services of a professional environmental health and safety consulting firm. An industrial hygienist will develop a Production Health and Safety Plan (PHSP) to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission on production sets. The plan will include guidelines in areas like: physical space considerations, physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, sanitation and hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE), health screening and testing considerations, and procedures for addressing sickness and exposure. Once the Task Force has this guidance, we will again seek feedback from those who work in production.

COVID-19 Testing

When production resumes, testing for COVID-19 will be an important part of the safety measures for returning to work. 

Labs in the FSC PASS network will soon be able to provide COVID-19 testing for talent and crew. As each lab makes the COVID-19 test available, they will add it to the PASS test panel and use it as part of the criteria for clearance to work once shooting resumes.

Please be aware: a biweekly COVID-19 test is not effective in guarding against on-set transmission of the coronavirus, and is of limited use in determining on-set risk to talent and crew. 

The addition of the test to PASS is an interim measure agreed to by the medical directors of the lab networks. Once the Task Force has the report from the industrial hygienist, and clearer input from our panel of medical experts, we will determine how COVID-19 testing can be best implemented for adult sets.

Regardless of the availability of COVID-19 testing, the production hold remains in effect.