by Rich Moreland, February 2017
In doing this two part series on Prop 60, a special thanks is extended to Star Factory PR for arranging interviews with Cindy Starfall, Derrick Pierce, Briana Banks, and Ela Darling.
Photos included in this post are courtesy of AVN and @IndustryByRick.
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Was Prop 60 a game changer for the industry and APAC?
Performer Cindy Starfall thinks so. “The industry definitely united. We did the whole campaign . . . we came together.”
She affirms that adult performers are “not a health risk” to society and agrees with others in the industry that the whole legal exercise was pointless. By the way, Cindy does not personally mind using condoms so she could have adjusted to the law had it passed.
Casey Calvert believes Prop 60’s defeat was pivotal.
“One hundred percent,” she declares, “Huge, massive industry wide, business wide, game changer.”
“It’s something everybody’s still talking about months later. Our history [has been] we all fight within each other. We’re all respectful but we don’t actually have anybody’s back.”
Best of all, the battle has resulted in a degree of unification not seen before.
Should an issue like Prop 60 pop up another time, Casey is “confident that the same people that stepped up for Prop 60 would step up [again].”
Ela Darling agrees.
“There is strength in unity, there is strength in community, especially when you are a marginalized community, in some cases marginalized on a variety of aspects whether we are sex workers or women or people of color or queer people. All of those things just stack up and nobody is going to have our backs if we don’t have our backs.
“It’s very easy to dismiss a few voices, but it’s much harder to dismiss a roaring chorus of people aligning together especially when you establish the value of that population. We are just not just weird sex people. We are the laborers. We are taxpayers. We’re so much more than people would like to describe us. When we all stand together, that becomes apparent.”
John Stagliano is cautiously optimistic, perhaps because of his battles in the past with government overreach into porn. In his view, cultural influences have altered attitudes and how people communicate.
“I think the game changer was the fact that the people have changed and the internet has changed people and we were able to effectively reach them. Eric Paul Leue arguably did a great job [and] the results are stunning with regard to the fact that we won. They seemed to have turned the tide.”
With his stark realism, Derrick Pierce is not so sure because of porn’s place in our culture.
“I wouldn’t say a game changer, maybe a shift in tides. We’ll all be long gone in the business before APAC has a game changer moment because I think mainstream would have to take this business seriously [first].”
As for APAC, Derrick is straight forward. As a support group it works, but a union, if that is its intent, requires the commitment of time and money.
“To be one hundred percent honest, there is never going to be a union in porn. It’s great in theory but seventy percent of the business is female” and most girls, the under twenty-one crowd, are just passing through, he says.
“Why [would] they spend any money on this because all they’re looking for is to buy a car, pay for some school–the good ones—buy a purse, buy some shoes, or move out. Whatever their short term goal is for that.”
The attitude is simple, Derrick has seen it all along. This is a stopover and most girls think, “I’m just going to knock out a couple of scenes, blow a couple of dudes, and I’m outta here,” he says.
Refreshing and Empowering
On the other hand, Derrick believes the story is different for the other thirty percent.
“The jessica drakes and the Asa Akiras and the Phoenix Maries, all those girls who have made a career out of this. Yes, they would be the ones who would benefit the most and also a lot of the guys that stick around.”
Derricks words bring to mind an argument I’ve heard before from adult legend Nina Hartley . . . organizing porn talent is like herding cats. But, could times be changing?
At any rate, the industry can revel in its victory today and hope for a profitable future.
We give Ela Darling the final word by repeating and reinforcing what she said earlier.
“I’ve never seen the industry aligned so strongly on anything like they did on Prop 60. It was refreshing, it was empowering and amazing.”
Perhaps we have a new political force in the making.
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In response to a comment that is reproduced below, I’m not certain what in this story is misleading. There is, of course, a union in adult entertainment that is duly registered, as this comment states.
“Your story is missleading and contains false untrue statements. There is a Union for the adult industry The International Entertainment Adult Union The IEAU. We are registered and certified as the “Union” for the adult entertainment industry by the Dept. Of Labor since Dec. 15th 2015 Union Number 000-404. Please either correct your story or we will send your site a C & D order. If you would like information pertaining to the Union, please fill free to contact us. Thank you”