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May 03, 2016

FSC: 'Weinstein Admits Using Cal/OSHA to Target Political Opponents'

LOS ANGELES—Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition, issued the following statement regarding Cal/OSHA's recent decision to levy several large, new fines against San Francisco-based Kink.com over Kink’s long-held policy of allowing the performers themselves to choose whether or not to use condoms: Since 2009, Michael Weinstein has filed over 150 Cal/OSHA complaints against adult companies, corrupting a government authority in his personal vendetta against those who dare oppose his antiquated understanding of sexual health rights. The Cal/OSHA complaints system was designed to empower workers and their unions who need to alert the state about dangerous conditions in their work environment. Weinstein is abusing that very system to harass performers and producers who oppose mandates limiting their reproductive rights. Michael Weinstein, a proponent of a statewide ballot measure that would mandate condoms in adult films, regardless of a performer's preference, announced in December that he had filed several complaints against Kink, after videos without condoms were viewed. (No performers were alleged injured in the complaints.) Leue noted that Weinstein has a long history of using the Cal/OSHA system for expressly political purposes, as evidenced by previous press releases issued by Weinstein: “Larry Flynt is quite outspoken in his strenuous opposition to condom use in his adult film productions. That is why we filed additional workplace health and safety complaints with Cal/OSHA in August: to press for the enforcement of state workplace regulatory guidelines which would require the use of condoms in his—and all—adult films produced in California,” said Michael Weinstein. Also: “AHF subsequently submitted additional complaints specifically against Flynt’s Hustler Video as well as against Steve Hirsch’s Vivid Entertainment ... Flynt and Hirsch were targeted as they have been outspoken opponents of condom use in their productions and the industry in general." In a statement issued on Friday, Kink.com accused Cal/OSHA of issuing “politically motivated” citations at the behest of Michael Weinstein. The complaints to Cal/OSHA were made by Weinstein, not anyone who had performed in the videos, and no injuries were alleged. “Cal/OSHA is there to protect workers, not to serve as a political weapon to intimidate the opponents of a ballot initiative,” said Leue. “There are tens of thousands of shoots each year, and Kink.com is correct—this is absolutely selective enforcement.”

 
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