Hammer Museum Hosts Adult Industry Discussion

LOS ANGELES – Over two hundred people attended a public forum about issues in the adult industry last night at the Hammer Museum. Titled ‘Dirty Business — Should the Adult Industry be Saved?,’ the discussion was part of the Hammer’s Zócalo lecture series.

The panel of speakers included Adult Industry Medical Healthcare (AIM) founder Sharon Mitchell, AVN Hall of Famer Nina Hartley and her husband, director Ira Levine, and Jack Kyser of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). The panel was moderated by Mariel Garza, a Los Angeles Daily News columnist.

“[The adult business] in an industry producing a product and it takes a lot of people to get it on the shelves or wherever people buy it,” said Kyser.

According to a recent report, it’s estimated that 200 firms, 6000 workers and 1,200 performers produce 4,000-7,000 adult titles a year in Los Angeles, and the adult industry puts $4 billion in revenue back into the local economy.

Mitchell discussed the skyrocketing number of performers who are entering the adult business; 300-500 people every single month. A considerable shift from when Mitchell herself was performing in the 1980’s.

“The porn industry is highly paid blue-collar labor,” said Hartley, pointing out that the average full time performer makes about $60,000 a year, and that does not include retirement, benefits or residuals.

Hartley — who was in the mainstream hit Boogie Nights, but not invited to participate in any of the press junkets — also discussed mainstream Hollywood’s contradictory relationship with the adult industry; using it for profit one moment and then condemning it the next.

“They will use sex to sell anything, but won’t sell sex for sex,” Hartley said.