LOS ANGELES — The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has released a statement in response to AB2389, a bill recently introduced in the California State Assembly that would require all adult performers in the state to undergo a criminal history check, among other measures.
The trade organization’s statement follows:
A new bill in the California State Assembly would require every adult performer in the state to obtain a business license, undergo a criminal history check and be Livescan fingerprinted — along with a host of other measures supposedly aimed at protecting adult performers from trafficking and workplace harassment.
AB2389 was introduced into session by Rep. Cristina Garcia and Rep. Lorena Gonzalez on Wednesday. In addition to the licensing requirements, the bill declares all adult performers to be categorized as employees under California AB5 — a bill previously introduced by Gonzalez.
“AB2389 places huge, discriminatory burdens on adult performers in the name of protecting them,” says Michelle L. LeBlanc, Executive Director of Free Speech Coalition. “It’s patronizing and ignorant of the fights already waged by adult workers on issues like harassment, workplace safety and privacy protection. It’s unclear why someone hoping to help adult performers would draft a bill as disrespectful as this.”
Under the bill, every adult performer — including cam and clip models — would be required to pay for a permit or business license before working in California, as well as submit to a background check and fingerprinting before they would be allowed to work. Each performer would be required to undergo mandatory, in-person workplace safety training, at their own expense, every two years, and comply with the AB5 contractor law, regardless of the specifics of their work or income.
AB2389 also mandates the Department of Industrial Relations develop safety protocols and training in conjunction with performers, doctors, and therapists — something the Free Speech Coalition and various performers are already working toward with Cal/OSHA.
“We are not against regulations or laws that support and protect adult performers, but this isn’t one of them,” says LeBlanc. “You’ve heard us say this before: ‘Nothing about us without us.’ We were not invited to participate in the drafting of this bill. As a result, we have a bill that treats performers like criminals, and performers should be outraged.”