There have been many confusing statements from various entities regarding how to proceed or whether to proceed at all in filming during the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Free Speech Coalition has released a document detailing health and safety guidelines for adult film production.It can be found at freespeechcoalition.com
- Dr. Miao of Cutting Edge Testing raised legitimate concerns about using Covid tests within the PASS system. You can read their insights on Twitter @cuttingedgetest
- Talent Testing Service has withdrawn from PASS over differences in opinion about how to handle Covid-19 testing.
- There are rumors of unreported positive tests for Covid-19 within crew and talent in the work pool.
To put it mildly, these are confusing times. It’s hard to know who to trust. The APAC Board is sensitive to the balancing act we all need to make between personal/community safety and the need to pay rent and buy groceries. There is only one sure way to avoid on-set COVID-19 exposure: That is to stay home, only shooting solo content or videos with people who live with you. We understand that this option is not viable for all of our community members, and many adult performers will have to settle for risk mitigation. We understand that each performer has specific needs and must do their own risk/reward assessment.
Our industry is vast and diverse. There is not one single standard of practice that will apply universally to all performers, nor should there be. We encourage everyone to be understanding of the different needs of cam performers, exclusive couples, solo performers, dancers, and every other facet of adult entertainment. Not everyone can create solo material from the safety of their own homes. For those who need to interact physically with others to create content or get paid for their work, a Covid test may be seen as a requirement. For others, who are selective with their partners and unwilling to trust the reliability of a Covid test, it may be seen as an unnecessary financial burden. It is important that we not rush to judge each other for the decisions we make, even if they may not seem to make sense from one’s own perspective.
For those of us who choose to work outside of our own home environment, it is our responsibility to consider the health and safety of the others on set. Our fellow performers and the entire crew are weighing personal health decisions to be there. This means we must commit to the same level of honesty and disclosure we have grown to expect when a performer tests positive for an STI, and we need to include the entire staff in that conversation. If someone tests positive for Covid, it is vital that they inform their recent contacts, performer and production alike, of that result, so that all those exposed can take appropriate action. If you feel sick at all, you must stay home. We urge you to only make decisions about your own health risks, and not rob others of the opportunity to make their own.
We must each resist the urge to criticize people who are in a different situation from our own. If you feel that a Covid test is mandatory for you and your partners, then only work with people who can show a valid test from a facility you trust. If others feel differently, please consider not responding publicly to their decisions, but simply opt not to work with people whose behavior or practices you find personally too risky. We are not all in the same income/expense bracket. We must assess risk according to our own situation and trust that others are doing the same. Even if we disagree on how to proceed, we must support each other as fellow adult performers. There are far too many outside influences who are only too happy to tear us apart and destroy us. We must remember that we are in this together.
As a reminder, APAC was formed and continues to exist primarily as a voice that can address local, county, state and federal government bodies in order to advocate on behalf of adult performers as a work force. We are not, nor were we ever intended to be, a governing body, parental figure, or mediating platform for disputes within the industry. What leadership roles we have are granted us by our own members and are best used as signal boosters and trend setters, not policy makers or enforcers.
APAC seeks to represent the interests of all adult performers, regardless of race, orientation, platform, or popularity. We hope to bring the many faces of adult industry together and use our united voice in the common cause of ending stigma and creating a safer, better work environment for us all.