(Published May 23, 2016)
Hollywood is quick to condemn the sins of others, but clues keep appearing that Tinsel Town has its own dark secret hiding behind the façade of glitz and glamour – child sex abuse.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, actor Elijah Wood claimed pedophiles are being protected by powerful individuals within the movie industry. Best known for his role as Frodo in the Lord of the Rings films, Wood said that “something major [is] going on in Hollywood.”
Wood’s mother protected him from any abusive relationships as a child actor, but others had been “regularly preyed upon.” He warned that “there are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind” and that “people with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”
His claims come in the wake of BBC’s Jimmy Savile scandal. After his death, the truth about the popular British radio and TV personality, how he had hid behind his charity work while sexually abusing hundreds of victims, was finally revealed.
Elijah Wood believes that there is an abundance of characters just like Savile being protected by Hollywood. However, victims in Hollywood “can’t speak as loudly as people in power.”
A number of others have made the same claims in recent years. Corey Feldman discussed his Hollywood experience in his autobiography, Coreyography: A Memoir.The former child actor who appeared in Gremlins and the Goonies, wrote that “the No 1 problem in Hollywood was and is – and always will be – pedophilia.” He went on to struggle with alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental health problems, all of which he attributes to the abuse he witnessed in the film industry.
Anne Henry, co-founder of Bizparents, a group dedicated to help child actors, stated that Hollywood is harboring at least 100 child abusers. She estimates that “75% of child actors who ‘went off the rails’ suffered earlier abuse. Drug addiction, alcoholism, suicide attempts, wandering through life without a purpose – they can all be symptoms.”
An Open Secret is a documentary about the alleged ring of convicted pedophiles in Hollywood. In the film, five former child actors tell their tales of how they became victims to producers, managers, and agents. But the film received very little promotion or attention.
Contrast that to Hollywood’s enthusiasm over the film Spotlight, which received two Oscars earlier this year for its account of pedophilia in the Catholic Church.
Hypocritical Hollywood is quick to point out, and profit from, sexual abuse when it happens elsewhere. But it turns a blind eye to pedophilia that happens behind the walls of sound stages and film sets. And gender neutral bathrooms.
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