According to sources, a bill dealing with child sexual exploitation that was scheduled to be passed by unanimous consent Thursday night in the Senate would require TV producers of shows with simulated sex scenes to keep records of the actors ages, as porn producers must now do with real sex scenes.
But the bill has been altered from a stronger version and would not have the teeth or impact on the TV industry of the original amendment as offered by Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence.
Confirming the bill's progress toward passage, which could come as early as today (with House passage likely next week), a source with knowledge of the bill said it extends the requirement of reporting the ages of actors in actual sex scenes--currently applied to the porn industry--to those in simulated sex scenes on TV, but does not have the same detailed reporting or video labeling requirements of the porn industry that the original bill would have imposed on TV producers.
In essence it provides a carve-out for "legitimate" businesses so that they will not be subject to government searches, criminal penalties, or other of the harsh penalties targeted to child pornographers.
The bill, targeted at preventing the sexual exploitation of children, is part of larger legislation dealing with registering sex offenders that will likely get to the president's desk by the end of the month.
The bill, dubbed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, is named after the son of America's Most Wanted host, whose kidnap and murder spurred his move to TV and advocacy for child protection.
The president plans to sign the bill July 27, the 25th anniversary of the abduction and killing of Adam Walsh.