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Los Angeles was once the home of the pornography industry, but that is changing fast and drastically, thanks to a new city law that requires male performers to wear condoms. The porn industry might leave the entire state of California if a similar measure is passed in Sacramento.
A new report by the Los Angeles Times found that applications for porn productions in the city plummeted 90 percent in 2013, compared to 2012, the year the condom requirement was approved by voters. Data from FilmL.A. Inc., which handles permits in LA and Los Angeles County, show that there were just 40 permits granted in 2013. Through the first seven months of 2014, there have only been 20 permits issued for porn productions.
“We're not shooting in L.A. anymore,” Vivid Entertainment founder Steven Hirsch told the Times. “We'd like to stay here. This is our home, where we've produced for the last 30 years. But if we're forced to move, we will.”
According to The Washington Post, the California state senate is going to bring up the condom requirement to make it a state law. Issues like a syphilis scare that shut down production in 2012 (which resulted in an arrest of one star) and calls from groups like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have lead the state to consider it.
However, the porn industry has fought it in court and lost. They say that they are self-regulated and even require performers to take HIV tests at least once a month.
While the condom requirement may be hurting the industry, the same concerns that big Hollywood studios worry about are issues for porn too. DVD sales are sliding and porn is accessible for free on the web.
And it’s not just the porn industry that’s leaving LA. A Times report in June showed that just 44 percent of TV pilots were shot in LA, compared to 82 percent during the 2006-07 season.