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Wary of porn migration, Simi Valley mulls on-set condom law

March 5, 2012 | 10:06 am

No lights, no cameras, no porn studios.

That's the message Simi Valley is trying to convey in pushing for a local condom measure that would require on-set condom use in porn filmmaking.

Angered by a recent L.A. city requirement for on-set condom use, producers have made noises about leaving, and officials next door in Simi Valley are trying to thwart an invasion before it gets started.

"The bottom line is we don't want to be known as the porn capital of the world," said Mayor Bob Huber, who is one of those pushing for a measure similar to one the L.A. City Council approved in January.

In Los Angeles, enforcement of the ordinance, which takes effect Monday, hasn't been worked out, but it could rely on surprise visits from law enforcement or health officials.

Spokesmen for the multibillion-dollar adult film industry call the new rule classic government overreach, but that hasn't stopped Simi, a usually conservative town, from coming up with a twist of its own.

Under its proposed law, the city would require producers to hire on-set medical professionals, who would attest to appropriate condom use. At the end of a shoot, the producers would have to send their unedited video to the police department, where employees would scrutinize it — for compliance with Simi Valley Municipal Code Title 5, Chapter 32, as amended.

Civilian employees, not officers, would do the heavy lifting, scanning films for possible violations.

Last year, there wouldn't have been much to view; of 59 filming permits granted in the city, just one was for an adult film, city officials said.

The city's preemptive strike is pointless, said Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, a porn industry trade association based in Canoga Park.

"Very little filming is done in Simi Valley, and I doubt that the production studios are planning any increase at all in the area," she said. "However, I am amused at the thought of Simi Valley hiring people to sit around and view porn on taxpayer dollars. I wonder what the training for that would look like."

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