Moral Bankruptcy Uninterrupted: Hollywood’s child sex abuse problem
Of course, we know Hollywood as an industry has been morally bankrupt going back decades, helping foster – among other things – a dangerous culture of carefree casual sex, the appalling attitude that marital infidelity is sometimes a “necessary evil”, all the while making the sexualization of children “the norm”, but Fox News’ Meaghan Murphy puts an exclamation point on that moral bankruptcy via a stunning report on just how bad the child sex abuse problem is in Hollywood:
If a spate of recent allegations proves true, Hollywood may have a hideous epidemic on its hands. The past two weeks have brought three separate reports of alleged child sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.
Martin Weiss, a 47-year-old Hollywood manager who represented child actors, was charged in Los Angeles on Dec. 1 with sexually abusing a former client. His accuser, who was under 12 years old during the time of the alleged abuse, reported to authorities that Weiss told him “what they were doing was common practice in the entertainment industry.” Weiss has pleaded not guilty.
On Nov. 21, Fernando Rivas, 59, an award-winning composer for “Sesame Street,” was arraigned on charges of coercing a child “to engage in sexually explicit conduct” in South Carolina. The Juilliard-trained composer was also charged with production and distribution of child pornography.
Registered sex offender Jason James Murphy, 35, worked as a casting agent in Hollywood for years before his past kidnapping and sexual abuse of a boy was revealed by the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 17. Murphy’s credits include placing young actors in kid-friendly fare like “Bad News Bears,” “The School of Rock,” “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” and the forthcoming “Three Stooges.”
“This has been going on for a very long time,” concurs former “Little House on the Prairie” star Alison Arngrim. “It was the gossip back in the ‘80s. People said, ‘Oh yeah, the Coreys, everyone’s had them.’ People talked about it like it was not a big deal.”
Arngrim, 49, was referring to Feldman and his co-star in “The Lost Boys,” Corey Haim, who died in March 2010 after years of drug abuse.
“I literally heard that they were ‘passed around,’” Arngrim said. “The word was that they were given drugs and being used for sex. It was awful – these were kids, they weren’t 18 yet. There were all sorts of stories about everyone from their, quote, ‘set guardians’ on down that these two had been sexually abused and were totally being corrupted in every possible way.”
In fact it is the very nature of a TV or movie set that invites predators, experts tell Fox News.
“A set in Hollywood with children can become a place that attracts pedophiles because the children there may be vulnerable and less tended to,” explains Beverly Hills-based psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Berman. “One thing we know about actors, psychologically speaking, is that they’re people who like a lot of attention. Kids naturally like a lot of attention, and when you put a kid on a set who is unsupervised and getting attention from someone who is powerful, it creates a vulnerability for a very dangerous situation.”
Arngrim, a board member and the national spokeswoman for protect.org, an organization that works to protect children from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, says greed in Hollywood allows sexual predators to flourish. “Nobody wants to stop the gravy train,” says Arngrim. “If a child actor is being sexually abused by someone on the show, is the family, agents or managers – the people who are getting money out of this – going to say, ‘OK, let’s press charges’? No, because it’s going to bring the whole show to a grinding halt, and stop all the checks. So, the pressure is there is not to say anything.”
“It’s almost a willing sacrifice that many parents are oblivious to – what kind of environment do they think that they’re pushing their kid into?” said Peterson. “The casting couch is a real thing, and sometimes just getting an appointment makes people do desperate things.”
Arngrim, who revealed her own sexual abuse in her 2010 autobiography, “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch,” explains: “I’ve heard from victims from all over the country. Everyone tells the same kind of story, everyone is told to keep it secret, everyone is threatened with something. Corey Feldman may have opened a can of worms by speaking out, but yes, this does go on.”
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone reading this, especially those who paid close attention to the absurd excuses that were made by Hollywood elites about child-rapist Roman Polanski just a couple of years ago after he was arrested in Europe after being on the run from US authorities since 1978, the most infamous coming to mind being Whoopi Goldberg’s suggestion that what Polanski did to a vulnerable 13 year-old girl in 1977 was “not rape-rape.” As noted at the time by Kate Harding at Salon.com, the facts did not fit the narratives of the Whoopi Goldbergs of the world (SEXUAL CONTENT WARNING):
Roman Polanski raped a child. Let’s just start right there, because that’s the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in “exile” (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never — poor baby — being able to return to the U.S.). Let’s keep in mind that Roman Polanski gave a 13-year-old girl a Quaalude and champagne, then raped her, before we start discussing whether the victim looked older than her 13 years, or that she now says she’d rather not see him prosecuted because she can’t stand the media attention. Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let’s take a moment to recall that according to the victim’s grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, “No,” then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.
Mark Steyn wrote a scathing piece at the time on the pathetic excuse-making going on by Polanski’s Hollywood defenders, and Steyn’s words ring just as true today as they did then:
One sympathizes [with Polanski’s personal family tragedies, including his mother, who was killed during the Holocaust]. Except that there are millions of children of the Holocaust struggling under the burdens of the past – and only one who deals with them as Roman Polanski does. Working on the film “Chinatown,” the writer Robert Towne found it hard to concentrate at the director’s pad, what with “the teenyboppers that Roman would run out and take Polaroid pictures of diving off the f***ing diving board without tops on. Which was distracting. With braces.”
Braces. Cute. Harvey Weinstein, the man behind the pro-Polanski petition, rejects the idea that Hollywood is “amoral”: “Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion,” he told an interviewer.
Let us agree that Hollywood bigshots have “compassion” for people in general, for people far away in a big crowd scene on the distant horizon, for people in a we-are-the-world-we-are-the-children sense. But Hollywood bigshots treat people in particular, little people, individuals, like garbage. To Polanski, he was the world, you are the children; now take your kit off and let’s have a “photo shoot.”
Unfortunately, the fascination with adult/child “relationships” doesn’t just happen behind closed doors and on casting couches. As Big Hollywood’s John Nolte noted around the same time the Polanski apologists were revving their engines, the push to normalize this abhorrent behavior on the big screen had already been well-underway:
Yes, in just one year , Hollywood released three films [Doubt / Towelhead / The Reader] that in one way or another portrayed sex with children as potentially healthy or their molester as sympathetic. And these aren’t fringe, indie films either. All three involve name stars and Oscar winners.
Unfortunately, this is not a conspiracy. Hollywood deviants never gathered together to plan for a slate of films aimed at a drip-drip campaign designed to dull our moral outrage towards the most heinous crime imaginable. It’s worse than that. We’re up against a culture; the same culture that can’t quite grasp why a child rapist should have to serve prison time for a crime he’s confessed to.
And this is how cinematic propaganda works. Whether the filmmaker’s motivations are good or evil, the idea is to get decent and thoughtful people to start second guessing themselves as they’re enveloped in the dark and held captive by the powerful sound and fury of the moving picture. First we’re led to identify and sympathize with a particular character, then that character does something designed to challenge our belief structure. This can range from, “If John Wayne opposes racism, maybe I should,” to, “Well, if a loving mother is okay with it, maybe I need to get a little more nuanced and tolerant about this whole child-rape thing.”
On its face, that may sound laughable, and maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean our eyes are lying to us. Last year merely topped off a campaign targeted at our children that began some time ago.
I remember 1999’s much-heralded American Beauty, which featured a frustrated, middle-aged father played by Kevin Spacey who has fantasies about having sex with his teenage daughter’s cheerleader friend, and in the process decides to relive his youth. Spacey’s character Lester Burnham nearly has sex with “Angela” until she confessed she was a virgin. Spacey won an Academy Award for the role. You see, it’s not just the famed “casting couch” that gets you places in Hollywood. The glamorization of the sexualization of minors really takes you places in “the biz”, too, it seems. To the top, in fact.
Only in Hollywood can being a sleaze, portraying a sleaze or directing a movie about one not land you in the gutter. Oh, wait, the same can be said for “Only in politics”, too. It’s no wonder Hollywood lefties and liberal politicos have such a special relationship.
And it goes without saying that it’s no wonder we have to continue to push back – against both.