SAN FRANCISCO — Kink.com says Cal/OSHA has alerted them that the company will face several new citations over Kink’s decision to give adult performers choice in using condoms. The citations and fines, which are expected to be announced by Cal/OSHA by Monday, are the result of numerous ‘swatting’ complaints filed by Michael Weinstein, the proponent of a statewide mandatory condom ballot initiative in California.
“Weinstein is abusing Cal/OSHA to harass his political opponents,” said Mike Stabile, spokesperson for Kink.com. “There were no injuries. These were not complaints filed by anyone on set. They were filed by a man on a computer watching adult videos, looking for an opportunity to strike back against people who opposed a regressive condom mandate.”
Kink.com will appeal the citations, as it has similar citations in the past. Kink.com utilizes the adult industry STI testing system and allows performers to choose whether or not to use condoms for their scenes. The company estimates that ten to fifteen percent of performers on Kink shoots do use condoms, but many find them difficult or painful to use on long shoots, and prefer to rely on the proven testing system.
Since 2009, Weinstein has filed over a hundred Cal/OSHA complaints against adult companies and performers in the past five years. He has frequently singled out companies like Kink.com that have advocated for performer choice. Performers and directors from Kink.com recently testified at a Cal/OSHA hearing in Oakland over mandatory condom regulation sponsored by Weinstein, and helped defeat the regulation.
“This is selective enforcement based on political speech,” said Stabile. “Weinstein has repeatedly said that he chooses who to file complaints against based on their opposition to his own desire to see condoms in adult films. Cal/OSHA was created to protect and defend workers, not harass them for political means.”
Karen Tynan, an attorney who has defended multiple adult film producers since 2009, says that performers and production workers are safe. “There has not been a serious workplace injury on an adult set in twelve years. There is simply no data or substantive reason for this much attention and use of resources by any state agency. Frankly, the average California citizen should be appalled that Weinstein wants state employees watching and evaluating porn for their workday.”
Weinstein is the proponent of a controversial November ballot initiative which would allow private citizens to sue adult performers who chose not to wear condoms. The bill gives Weinstein himself the unilateral power to file lawsuits as he so chooses, using taxpayer resources. The bill is widely opposed by performers, businesses, and public health advocates.
In February, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board declined to issue industry-specific condom regulations, after hundreds of performers, producers and public health advocates showed up to testify against the proposed government condom mandate. During and after the hearing, representatives from the Cal/OSHA Division, the department which issues citations, were visibly frustrated with the decision.
“We believe that this is payback for Oakland,” said Stabile. “This is about silencing and intimidating those who spoke out.”