The California Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/Osha) Standards Board Votes Unanimously to Protect Adult Film Workers

The California Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/Osha) Standards Board Votes Unanimously to Protect Adult Film Workers, Thursday

By: Jan Meza-Merritt, former porn actress and member of Pink Cross

The adult film industry set itself up for failure by fallaciously recalling the events that transpired during Cal-Osha’s March 18th council meeting to amend state health statutes in order to better protect adult film workers.

Not only did the council vote 100% in favor of the amendment, but one of the council men stated that upon walking in the door he was against it, but when he heard testimony from Shelley Lubben, former porn actress and Executive Director of Pink Cross Foundation, Madelyne Hernandez, former porn actress, myself, also a former porn actress, David Pounder, Producer/Director/Performer and President of Dave Pounder Productions, Robert Kim-Farley, MD, MPH, Director of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention Program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and finally Darren James, former porn actor who contracted HIV in the 2004 HIV outbreak in the porn industry, he decided to vote for the amendment.

The adult film industry wants you to believe that they were all for the amendment, this is absolutely not true. They also want the public to discredit our roles as former porn actresses by downplaying the amount of scenes we were hired for and our actual experiences during our careers in the adult film industry. Avn.com’s writer Mark Kernes stated in his article regarding Shelley Lubben:

“Lubben, whose last direct contact with adult movie-making was in her short stint (12 movies) as a performer in the early '90s, spoke next, repeating her oft-stated claims that she is a "survivor of the porn industry."

"As a former porn actress, I have suffered much at the hands of the porn industry and their illegal activities and hazardous work conditions I was subjected to," Lubben told the board. "I was subjected to being forced to do scenes with five or six—several male performers while there was blood and feces and urine and semen and vaginal fluid all over me. These are conditions that were all over the set while we're working. We're actually staring sometimes at piles of rags that they just throw on the set, and because most of the scenes are filmed in private homes where there is no one to monitor what's going on, and as a young girl, who's your advocate on set? There's no one."

Lubben claimed that "hundreds" of performers had told her that they had been threatened by their agents if they asked to use condoms, and that she herself had caught herpes and HPV while working in adult (though the Centers for Disease Control recently announced that one-sixth of the population between ages 14 and 49, the vast majority of whom have not worked in adult, suffer from herpes), which supposedly led to her contracting cervical cancer….”

“Two more Lubben acolytes followed Cambria at the rostrum: Elizabeth Rollings (14 movies) and Michelle Avanti (80 movies). Rollings claimed to have contracted herpes during her brief time in adult, and castigated AIM for not testing regularly for a larger variety of STDs. She also claimed to have been forced to participate in a bukkake with 25 men, not all of whom, she charged, had been screened for STDs.

"I've been on sets where there was blood-soaked towels or wipes or semen-soaked towels and wipes just laying on the floor openly and nobody did anything about it," Rollings contended.

One of Avanti's first scenes, she told the board, involved 75 men though she had been told that she would only be working with five, and that when she complained to her agent, she was told she would be blacklisted in the industry if she didn't complete the shoot.

"I was given cocaine and alcohol to get me through the scene," she alleged, "and drugged out, I did the scene and 75 men that were not in the porn industry... went and basically ejaculated all over my face and my hair and my mouth, and there was no condoms, and I sat there after the scene, crying, and I actually had to be carried off in a chair into the shower and they filmed all of that while I was crying, and there was urine all over my face and it was awful."

Avanti also claimed that when she addicted to drugs and alcohol and went to AIM for help but was rejected.”

Well Mark, let’s get the facts straight shall we! Anyone can research Michelle Avanti (Madelyne Hernandez) and Elizabeth Rollings (which would be me, Jan Meza-Merritt) and easily see that Madelyne has actually done hundreds of scenes and I have done well over forty, excluding all of the adult websites I was hired for and performed in. Shelley Lubben might not of been a “hundred scene” actress, but was in the industry just the same, contracted a life altering disease and has been helping women and men in the adult film industry for the last five years overcome their emotional and physical abuses administered by the hands of producers and or agents and she continues to fight for the adult film performers rights to be protected and healthy and often helps them to transition into a normal life as well.

AVN.com also leaves out the fact that David Pounder was completely for this amendment, however Mark Kernes and his cronies seem to have a knack for selective hearing, they pick and choose want they want their public to see, can anyone say mind control?! David Pounder spoke for well over thirty minutes regarding the hazards in the adult industry and stated that the adult film actors and actresses are in fact employees and need better protection. AVN. com did no justice what so ever for speaker Darren James who has to live with HIV every day of his life since contracting the disease in 2004. AVN.com would love you to believe that Darren’s comments are somehow biased by stating that he is an “AHF employee”. I don’t really understand how that has anything to do with the fact that he contracted HIV while working in the adult film industry.

Angelina Armani, contract employee and actress for Digital playground read from her well scripted notes stating; “I have worked for multiple companies with my choice of performing with multiple people as a contract player for Digital Playground and independent worker," she said. "From my experience of almost two years in the adult industry, I have never participated in or witnessed any unlawful behavior with my producer, director or any on-set worker that would jeopardize my health or safety... AIM is a nonprofit organization that encourages healthy practices and lifestyles of performers. Due to AIM's superior knowledge and support, I have never caught a sexually transmitted disease in two years of active performing.” She also went on to later contradict herself by saying she wasn’t just a contract girl, but in just the last week had worked in many different scenes and was only a contract girl for Digital playground for one year.

The fact of the matter is that just like Shelley Lubben so eloquently stated after Angelina Armani spoke, She, Madelyne Hernandez and I represent the majority of women in the adult film industry. We represent the mass numbers of abused, enslaved, addicted, diseased women that have either come out of the industry or are too afraid to speak out against it. Contract girls are few and far between, they only represent about 5% of the women in the adult film industry. This is not a high number when you take into consideration that there are a couple thousand women actively working in the adult industry every month. It’s also kind of funny how the adult film industry only had one adult film performer come to speak on their behalf, where were all the bigger names at? Were they too busy to show or was it that they were to afraid to tell lies in front of the government?? And how are we to ever really know if Angelina Armani is telling the truth about not contracting any diseases or not being subjected to anything illegal on sets or by producers, I have my testing from a “real” doctor, does she? I’m praying for you Angelina, you know the truth and one day you’ll be willing to share it too.

Diane Duke, FSC Executive Director stuttered through her scripted notes as well claiming she was sorry for what had happened to us (while directly looking at Shelley Lubben, Madelyne and me) and that the FSC is there to protect us from things like that and if they had just known we could’ve received their help. Wow, well thank you Diane that was um, sweet and sincere?? We forgive you and the adult film industry like Christ forgave us, but try explaining the FSC’s lack of concern and help to the hundreds of other men and women in the adult film industry who come to The Pink Cross Foundation for help on a daily basis, aren’t we doing your job?

I could continue to penetrate (no pun intended) the lies of the Adult film industry all day long, but they have done a terrific job of exposing themselves and if they’d like to continue to set themselves up for failure, I say more power to them. Who am I anyway, according to Mark Kernes just a small fry, an “acolyte” not to be worried over.

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."- John 8:32

(Pink Cross Foundation is a Nonprofit Corporation in the state of California and is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions to the Pink Cross Foundation, a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are entirely tax-deductible. We will send out receipts the end of the year. Our tax id number 80-0142359.) 

 

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