California Fingerprinting Bill for Porn Actors Sparks Backlash

AB 2389 has led to heated debate within the industry

Fingerprint
A new bill involving fingerprinting in the adult entertainment industry has prompted controversy.
JohnRambo PL/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / February 22, 2020 12:20 pm

A California bill that would require porn actors and webcam performers to be fingerprinted and undergo regular training has sparked a backlash from the adult entertainment industry. At NBC News, Tyler Kingkade has the details on why AB 2389 has led to such a controversial reaction.

AB 2389 was introduced by Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez (D–San Diego) and Christina Garcia (D–Bell Gardens). As Kingkade reports, the impetus for the bill involves addressing a few high-profile issues in the industry:

Under the proposal, AB 2389, adult performers would have to pay for and complete training every two years on safety, human trafficking and workplace rights, and provide fingerprints to go through a background check to get a license.

This has prompted plenty of strong reactions in opposition to it, however. The president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild, Alana Evans, told NBC, “This criminalizes us, that’s absolutely what it does.”

According to the text of the bill itself, AB 2389 would “prohibit adult entertainers or performers from working at an adult entertainment business or working in an adult entertainment video unless they have a valid business license.”

The founder of the International Entertainment Adult Union, Amanda Gullesserian, came up with the initial idea for the bill — something which, as Reason‘s report on the controversy notes, has led to some conflicts between unions in the adult entertainment industry.

Assemblymember Gonzalez has developed a reputation in recent years for working on high-profile legislation. This has sometimes been to mixed reactions: she’s also behind the controversial AB 5, which has affected both “gig economy” workers and freelance writers. A recent Los Angeles Times article on her described her as “[o]ne of California’s most influential legislators.”

How this particular bill will play out — and what its impact might be — remains to be seen.

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