Since last year’s outpour of women who were subjected to sexual abuse from high profile individuals in the entertainment industry, producer of eye-opening documentary, An Open Secret, Gabe Hoffman, decided to screen his film for free on Vimeo, “to commemorate serial predator Harvey Weinstein finally being exposed.”
The accusations against Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment cases from former employees and actresses date back decades. Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company, a company he co-founded back in 2005, and one-third of the company’s all-male board resigned and another four members took a leave of absence after the news broke. Politicians returned his contributions, and many actors and actresses stepped forward with details of their experiences with Harvey.
This scandal has inspired many women to share their stories of harassment and abuse through the #MeToo movement and still today, entertainers who were also exposed to sexual harassment are speaking out against other moguls in the industry who have taken advantage of them.
Women and men alike have shared their testimonies, but one group of individuals that lack representation in this crisis, are children.
Corey Feldman, popular child star from the 80’s, has made it his mission to share his own story of abuse from when he was a child entertainer and how difficult it was for him to get charges laid against his predators. We first covered his testimony back in 2014 and also shared other child stars who shared their stories of abuse like Allison Arngrim from Little House on the Prairie and Corey Haim, a close friend of Feldman who spoke of being fed drugs and taken advantage of.
When a parent is told that there child will be the ‘next star’, they almost immediately hand over all rights over for their child, assuming thats the best approach since they don’t have as much knowledge as the agents or scouts. When this happens, the child is left vulnerable and unprotected, leaving them at the mercy of individuals who have other intentions. I wrote before about the modelling industry and it’s poor standards for young models and shared the experience of Sara Ziff and how it motivated her to create the “Models’ Bill of Rights” and co-founded the Model Alliance,
When I entered the business as a 14-year-old schoolgirl, I was routinely asked to do topless shoots and pose seductively. To this day, in an industry dominated by minors, there is no policy of informed consent for jobs involving full or partial nudity. A recent survey shows that 86.8% of models have been asked to pose nude at a casting or job without advance notice.
An Open Secret
An Open Secret debuted in 2014 and garnered some attention, but shockingly not enough. I say this because the media is absolutely buzzing with scandal after scandal involving adult men and women, but there is not yet enough attention on the children that have been subjected to this abuse and are still being preyed on today.
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Ashton Kutcher certainly brought attention to the abuse children from all over the world are suffering by going before U.S. Congress to educate and call to action human trafficking. His speech went viral and showed a different side of Ashton not many people knew. He is the chairman and Co-Founder of Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, an international organization that fights against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children, which is why he has so much knowledge on the subject matter. His work is changing the fates of thousands upon thousands of human trafficking victims.
In 2016, Elijah Wood did an interview with The Sunday Times to promote a film, when the topic of child stars and pedophilia arose, “There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind. There is darkness in the underbelly,” he told the interviewer.
“What bums me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power,” Wood continued. “That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people: They can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged.” Wood stated that his comments were based on An Open Secret, “Let me be clear: This subject of child abuse is an important one that should be discussed and properly investigated,” he said. “But as I made absolutely clear to the writer, I have no firsthand experience or observation of the topic, so I cannot speak with any authority beyond articles I have read and films I have seen.”
An Open Secret is a documentary about the sexual abuse of teenage boys at the hands of Hollywood big-wigs and goes deeper into Digital Entertainment Network, best remembered today for hosting wild parties with drugs, alcohol and underage boys. Stories are shared by former teen actor Michael Egan III, talent manager Marty Weiss, who pleaded no contest to lewd acts on a child and who admits molestation in the film, and talent manager Bob Villard, who used to represent Leonardo DiCaprio and also pleaded no contest to lewd acts with a child.
You can watch the film for free because producer Gabe Hoffman, “wants to celebrate the brave women who have exposed Harvey,” but also exclaims that “Harvey Weinstein, by the way, is not the only one who has used confidentiality settlements. That’s why more of Hollywood’s behaviour hasn’t been exposed. This is the tip of the iceberg.”
Here is the trailer,
We all imagine a world where every child has the right to be themselves and express Love as nature intended but unfortunately for some, this will never be a world they will live in. No one wants to talk about the abuse, but the truth of the matter is that it’s happening and it’s up to each and every one of us to help bring light to this dark subject. No matter what age, abuse is unacceptable and if we truly wish to see a world where this is abolished, we must begin to seek and understand why this issue even exists and how we can prevent it from escalating. This is heavy stuff, so it’s also important that we allow ourselves to properly process this information so that we can act accordingly, in a way that doesn’t perpetuate the hate and violence, but that ends it effectively. This information can also serve as a daily reminder of gratitude for the amount of abundance our lives are given by family and friends.
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