Ron Jeremy Urges "No" Vote on California's Condoms-in-Porn Law

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Ron Jeremy

The adult-film star argues that actors get tested every month and warns that Prop 60 is a threat to free speech and has never seen serious problems on set: "What has killed more people, porn or religion?"

Proposition 60, which has drawn the ire of the porn industry and is opposed by both parties, would require condom use in adult films — and allow just about anyone to sue over violations and hold filmmakers personally accountable.

It picks up where a similar initiative, Measure B, left off when it was passed in 2012 by L.A. County voters.

"It was kind of a joke," says porn icon Ron Jeremy. "It's so hard to enforce. Are officers going to walk onto a set and say, 'OK, son, take it out'?"

What Measure B did, Jeremy adds, was drive much of the multibillion-dollar industry out of state. "They've chased porn out of California," Jeremy says. "Their loss is a gain in Vegas."

Jeremy has been in the porn business for 35 years. He says in the 2,000 movies he's been involved with they've never had any serious problems. "We're tested every month," he says. "Yes, there's always a risk, but it's not as risky as people think."

"What has killed more people, porn or religion?" he says, explaining that he believes Prop 60 is merely a conservative war on porn at a time when the industry is already being crippled by increasing piracy.

"As is, we're getting our asses kicked by the internet because people are stealing," Jeremy says. "I have friends who used to spend five to 10 grand a year on porn and now they spend nothing, and the quality is just as good."

If Prop 60 were to pass, he says, that would just send money from people who are still willing to pay for porn overseas. "If you want to see a non-rubber film, get it from Scandinavia," Jeremy says. "They don't have those restrictions."

Jeremy says the bill isn't just a threat to his industry, but Hollywood filmmakers too because Prop 60 violates free speech and R-rated films could be targeted next. "Where do you draw the line?" he asks. "It's frightening."

You can read the full text of Proposition 60, along with the official arguments for and against it, here

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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