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Porn's HIV Shut-Down is Bad For L.A. Economy?

Porn's HIV Shut-Down is Bad For L.A. Economy?
Audience members at porn's AVN Awards by Nate 'Igor' Smith for LA Weekly

A 6 percent drop in the number of folks working in the entertainment industry (motion pictures and sound recording) had business journalists wondering if the porn industry's HIV-related shut-down in August caused the plunge.

There were 22,000 fewer jobs in Hollywood and beyond last month, according to the U.S. Department of Labor:

The American economy otherwise added 169,000 jobs in August. But the show-biz dip had publications like the Washington Post and Bloomberg News pointing at adult video.

The Post even had a term for it: The "porn effect."

The industry underwent a voluntary moratorium on production from Aug. 21 to 27 after performer Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV. (Another moratorium was back in place Friday following the revelation that a third performer appears to have HIV).

See also: Porn Biz Shut Down Again Over Yet Another HIV Case.

Unfortunately for those East Coast news outlets, the "porn effect" seems to be improbable. For one thing, most performers work as independent contractors. The industry trade group Free Speech Coalition has argued they aren't really employees at all.

And, at least as far as government stats go, porn stars are usually off the radar.

Porn's HIV Shut-Down is Bad For L.A. Economy?
Nate 'Igor' Smith for LA Weekly

Of course, there might be some directors, camera operators and sound engineers out there somewhere who get regular paychecks from the industry.

Another point: Not everyone observed the moratorium. (See industry blogger Mike South -- NSFW link -- for more on that). And those productions houses, like giant Vivid Entertainment, that did, have offices and salaried workers we assume were still going to work.

Finally, the shut-down might have applied to paychecks after the August pay period, since it wrapped Aug. 27 and the paychecks probably wouldn't go out until this month.

All of this, at least, was pointed out by the New York Times.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.