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 (where is the author's - and society's - outrage about this?).
"Unlike other settings, such as Little League, Scouts, day care and school volunteers, where adults who have unsupervised access to children are required to comply with fingerprinting requirements, there are no such standards in the entertainment industry (this is simply shocking and inexcusable)," said Paula Dorn, co-founder of the BizParentz Foundation, a nonprofit group for families of child actors.
The recent arrests prompted a bill, expected to be filed this month with the California Assembly, that would require licensing and criminal background checks for those who work with actors under age 16 (why is the age not under 18, so as to cover work with all minors? Clearly, Hollywood has learned nothing from what the Church has done). It would prohibit registered sex offenders from serving as child managers, photographers, career counselors or publicists.Experts say addressing the problem is overdue.
"This is just like the Catholic Church pretending that priests never molested people in the past," said Dr. Daniel D. Broughton, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic and expert on child sexual abuse. "What's surprising to me is why it hasn't come out even stronger and sooner."Dr. Broughton is right: it's very surprising and inexcusable that this scourge in Hollywood has not yet been addressed, particularly considering the news stories that circulated when Corey Feldman described pedophilia as "Hollywood's biggest problem" in August of 2011. Curiously, Feldman was not mentioned in the LA Times' article.
Carl Olson isn't surprised that Hollywood has until now done nothing to address the scourge of the sexual abuse of childen:
Part of the problem is obvious: journalists and writers who cover Hollywood rely on connections and relationships with insiders to get scoops, exclusive information and special access. That means, um, cozying up to those who control the doors and corridors of Tinsil Town. Researching stories on abuse, molestation, and related evils surely raises red flags on the part of those with a vested interest in keeping such filth under wraps. There has been much written over the years about the secrecy and stonewalling within the Catholic Church. But that is hardly a trademark of Catholics; covering up sin is the natural instinct of sinners who refuse to admit their sins. The surprise, really, is that any sane person might think Hollywood is somehow free and clear of such sickness.