Protecting Child Actors, Musicians and Models in the Entertainment Industry
Sexual Abuse by Actors, Managers, Production Assistants, Directors
Many kids head to Hollywood, New York City, Nashville and Miami to catch their first big break into acting,
modeling and music. Lured by promises of fame they are often deceived and later exposed to alcohol, drugs, and even sex abuse. Most children are alone without any parental supervision and away from family, friends and support. It can be a cutthroat industry where very few survive. Many children are put under extreme pressure, put in difficult situations, and asked to make decisions that may not be in their best interest, in order to stay and get their big break.
According to an LA Times article
, “Advocates and professionals who work with victims of child sexual abuse say predators exploit the glittery lure of Hollywood to prey on aspiring actors or models. They assert that the problem is more widespread than the industry is willing to acknowledge and have called for tougher laws and better screening of those who represent or work with children.”
Some former child actors say it’s the industry’s dirty little secret that has been going on for years. These actors and advocates include Todd Bridges (Diff’rent Stroks), Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys, The Goonies), Corey Haim (The Lost Boys), Alison Arngrim (Nellie Olsen of Little House on the Prairie) and Cole Weiss (The Sandlot 2). They say many victims do not speak out for fear of being black-listed.
Most recently England has been shocked by the nation’s biggest sex abuse scandal involving one of the biggest personalities on Britain’s airwaves – Jimmy Savile. For 40 years, he dominated the British Broadcasting Corporation’s programming both on radio and TV. There are on-going investigation in to the late disgraced children’s TV host Jimmy Savile and claims of sexual abuse and harassment against nine staff members and contributors. Also arrested was former pop star Gary Glitter. Police say there could be more than 200 victims.
Sexual predators in the entertainment industry have included actors, musicians, managers, agents, production assistants, directors, casting directors, talent scouts, photographers, coaches, publicists and more. According to Inside Edition
, “Since 2000, prosecutors have charged over a dozen men working in Hollywood with child molestation and possession of child porn, leading many to wonder if Tinsel Town has a pedophile problem.” Some of the arrested include:
- Child actor manager Martin Weiss (Nickelodeon’s iCarly and Disney’s Good Luck Charlie)
- Sesame Street composer Fernando Rivas
- Casting agent Jason James Murphy
- Talent scout Tommy Lowery
- Publicist and manager Bob Villard
- Director Roman Polanski (China Town, The Pianist and Rosemary’s Baby)
Recently, more than 50 women have come forward accusing actor and comedian Bill Cosby of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them. Also, a sexual battery lawsuit has been filed against famed rap artist The Game on behalf of a female contestant in his upcoming reality show "She's Got Game."
Unlike day cares
, the entertainment has no regulations to comply with when it comes to child and young adult safety. Unsupervised adults are not background checked for criminal behaviors such as child pornography and child molestation.
In 2006, in California, child actors and parents tried to take a lead to pass legislation to protect child actors from industry sexual predators, but the legislation failed because part of the industry blocked it. Finally in 2012, California passed the bill (Bill AB 1660
) which bans registered sex offenders from representing young talent. The law requires that requires licensing and criminal background checks for those who work with actors under age 16.
If you or if you have learned that your child has been molested by or suspect that your child has been victimized by a manager, talent scout, agent an actor or actress, musician, or any one in involved in the child entertainment industry, contact our child sexual abuse / victim’s rights attorneys
to discuss your legal rights.