How California tried — and failed — to regulate the porn industry

This segment originally aired Nov. 7, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Voters in California rejected Proposition 60 earlier this month, denying a ballot initiative that would have regulated one of the state’s multibillion dollar industries: porn.

Prop. 60 would have mandated the use of condoms on any porn shot in the state of California and made porn producers financially liable if they violated the mandate.

“Pornographers lied when they told me working in their business wouldn’t be risky,” Prop. 60 advocate and former adult film performer Derek Burts said in one ad. Burts claimed he contracted HIV on an adult set.

Opponents of the ballot initiative said the industry successfully regulates itself, requiring performers to test every 14 days, with results logged in a database.

“They couldn’t have got it from another performer, because there is no other performer that they work with that is also HIV positive, or was at the time of having sex with them,” Evil Angel Productions CEO John Stagliano told VICE News correspondent Michael Moynihan in Los Angeles.

In 2012, LA county voters passed a ballot initiative called Measure B, requiring the use of condoms on any porn set in the county. Permit applications required to shoot porn dropped by 90% after the vote.

Many Prop. 60 critics said the initiative’s true intent is to drive the industry out of the state.

“It’s not a question of whether or not we make movies with condoms,” Stagliano said. “It’s a question of whether or not we make movies at all.”

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