“I’ve been led down dark paths to realize that these things probably are still happening.”
The 35-year-old actor explained that Tinseltown has a history of abuse scandals that may still be happening. As a former child actor himself, he sympathizes.
While he was fortunate enough to have his mother protect him when he went to Hollywood as a kid, Wood admitted, “I’ve been led down dark paths to realize that these things probably are still happening.”
He also said there are “a lot of vipers in this industry” and that Hollywood has “darkness in the underbelly.”
“If you’re innocent, you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed,” he said, “People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey. What upsets me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power.”
Wood’s quotes come just after news of Woody Allen’s sexual abuse allegations resurfaced online earlier this month. The director’s son, Ronan Farrow, wrote a scathing op-ed about his father for The Hollywood Reporter, in which he condemned the media for failing to ask tougher questions and for overlooking the allegations.
Farrow expressed a similar sentiment to Wood, outlining the double standard media holds when covering individuals in positions of power, writing:
When The New York Times ultimately ran my sister’s story in 2014, it gave her 936 words online, embedded in an article with careful caveats.
Soon afterward, the Times gave her alleged attacker twice the space — and prime position in the print edition, with no caveats or surrounding context. It was a stark reminder of how differently our press treats vulnerable accusers and powerful men who stand accused.
Another former child star, Corey Feldman, also revealed in his 2013 memoir, Coreyography, that he had been sexually abused as a young actor in Hollywood, along with Corey Haim.
UPDATE – Backtracking
Source: The Vigilant Citizen
Nearly every time a celebrity opens up about the truth in the industry, they feel the urgent need to backtrack, deny and claim that they were “taken out of context”. Do they receive a phone call threatening to end their career and/or their lives? Whatever the case may be, Wood felt the need to clarify that he never witnessed any abuse and that his claims were based on what he saw in a documentary.
“The Sunday Times interviewed me about my latest film, but the story became about something else entirely. It prompted a number of false and misleading headlines. I had just seen a powerful documentary and I briefly spoke with the reporter about the subject, which had consequences I did not intend or expect. Lesson learned.
Let me be clear: This subject of child abuse is an important one that should be discussed and properly investigated. 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.”
These pathetic backtracking statements are simply more proof that the Hollywood elite has a powerful stranglehold on artists and media outlets, while enjoying total immunity versus the law.
Elijah Wood: Hollywood Full of ‘Organized’ Child Sex Abuse
Actor Elijah Wood claims that Hollywood’s entertainment industry is rife with sexual abuse of young boys and girls — and that senior figures within it have been protecting pedophiles for decades.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, the Lord of the Rings star — who began acting in Hollywood at age nine — claimed that “organized” sexual abuse of children has taken place in the entertainment industry and compared the situation to that of notorious British pedophile Jimmy Savile.
“You all grew up with Savile — Jesus, it must have been devastating,” Wood, 35, told the Times, referring to the late BBC DJ who allegedly sexually abused more than 50 young boys and girls in the 1970s and 80s.
“There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” Wood added. “There is a darkness in the underbelly — if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”
Wood got his start at a young age in Hollywood with a breakout role as little Michael Kaye in the Barry Levinson-directed 1990 film Avalon. He went on to act throughout his childhood with roles in 90s movies Paradise, Radio Flyer and Flipper.
But Wood said he was spared the abuse that many other young actors his age were subjected to because his mother did not allow him to go to industry parties, where Hollywood power players regularly “preyed upon” children.
“If you’re innocent you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed,” the actor told the Times. “People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”
The subject of rampant child sex abuse in Hollywood gained new attention last year following the release of the documentary An Open Secret. The film — directed by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Amy Berg — features interview with former child star sex abuse victims including Corey Feldman and Todd Bridges.
The film was, perhaps unsurprisingly, not without controversy — it reportedly had to be re-cut after a man’s sexual assault accusations against X-Men director Bryan Singer were subsequently dropped in court. However, the film also examines allegations made against other high-level Hollywood executives including Marty Weiss, Michael Harrah and child talent manager Bob Villard, who represented a young Leonardo DiCaprio before pleading no contest to felony charges of committing a lewd act on a child in 2005.
In his interview with the Times, Wood said that young actors and actresses who are victims of sex abuse are often stifled, because they “can’t speak as loudly as people in power.”
“That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people,” he said. “They can be squashed but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum
Hollywood’s Pedophilia Epidemic Exposed in ‘An Open Secret’
Source: The Daily Beast
It’s been almost a year since Bryan Singer managed to weather the storms of scandal after his most public accuser dropped his lawsuits alleging years of predatory underage sexual abuse against the X-Men director and several other Hollywood players.
This month, as the Duggar family’s sex abuse revelations spark a national conversation on molestation, victimization, and accountability, Singer and Co. should batten down the hatches again.
In the new scorched earth exposé An Open Secret, Oscar-nominated documentarian Amy Berg throws the curtains wide open on the alleged pedophilic ring of convicted and accused molesters linked to lavish, drug-fueled parties at the Encino mansion headquarters of now-defunct dot com web TV company Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) almost two decades ago.
Drive over the hill into Burbank and you pass the Oakwood Apartments, a sprawling 1,100-unit haven known for housing out-of-town child actors, wannabes, and their families. I always wonder how many ghosts of dreams past must still haunt the hallways at Oakwood, where a recent Deadline Hollywood investigation discovered two registered sex offenders convicted of crimes against minors were living this year.
Berg earned an Oscar nod for exposing similar pedophilic abuses within the Catholic Church in the affecting Deliver Us From Evil. Here, she’s forced to rein in the glare of her excoriating gaze on Singer despite that Michael Egan, the man who sued Singer for abusing him during trips to Hawaii in 1999 when Egan was a minor, is one of the film’s primary subjects.
When Egan dropped his lawsuit against Singer last year—and then lost more cred when he was indicted for fraud on unrelated federal charges—his narrative was edited out of the film. Now, An Open Secret merely implicates Singer by association with DEN (in which he was an investor).
That association alone is still pretty damning according to the film, which has plenty of other big fish to fry—like Singer associates and DEN founders Marc Collins-Rector, Chad Shackman, and The Mighty Ducks child actor Brock Pierce, and Brian Peck, the Nickelodeon producer and convicted sex offender who had a cameo in Singer’s X-Men and inexplicably accompanied his buddy on the film’s commentary track. These men and others like them, the film argues, preyed on wide-eyed, ambitious youngsters and tantalized them with parties, drugs, and promises of stardom.
The personal testimonies of five former child actors/models gives An Open Secret its gut-punching impact, as many detail the terror and confusion they felt falling victim to the managers, publicists, and agents they trusted. They recall the uncertainty of not knowing how to defend themselves against the older predatory mentors who were also helping guide their careers, many of whom spent years “grooming” the youngsters and their parents to earn their trust.
All of the now-older victims report feeling distraught, intimidated, traumatized, and even suicidal. Many of them turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with the abuse, or quit the industry altogether to sever ties to their poisoned dreams.
Actor and musician Evan H., the film’s unspoken hero, tells of the first time his manager, convicted sex abuser Marty Weiss, molested him in a park after taking him and several young boys out for a game of basketball.
“He was really immature and we were all immature back then, he would crack sex jokes and I didn’t think anything was wrong with it,” Evan says of the talent manager who’d ingratiated himself into his family gatherings and helped him land early gigs. “We would play basketball and he would make weird jokes like, ‘Evan, do you know what a blowjob is?’”
Years later, Evan H. secretly recorded Weiss confessing to his park assault on tape, only to have Weiss insist that the then-11-year-old was asking for it.
More famous actors who had brushes with Hollywood pedophiles and lived to tell also pop up in the film. Corey Feldman appears in archival footage railing against the Hollywood pedophiles who molested him and the late Corey Haim, as detailed in his 2013 memoir.
Diff’rent Strokes star Todd Bridges, who went public in 2010 with his own childhood sexual abuse at the age of 11 by his own publicist, describes begging to be written out of the show’s very special pedophile episode “because I had myself gone through that, and watching it happen on the show it was like reliving that all over again.”
But Berg’s impassioned exposé is also a flawed piece of nonfiction cinema. She opens the film with the story of “Mark R.,” an enthusiastic teen from Cincinnati with boy band good looks who dreamed of making it big in California, as told by his parents. The kicker to Mark R.’s saga of abuse, alcoholism, and tragedy lands like a sucker punch, injecting an already affecting personal tale with unnecessarily distracting cinematic manipulation.
It makes you wonder about Berg including her own line of on-camera questioning with Michael Harrah, a children’s talent manager who’s introduced as just another industry-expert talking head.
“Many of the kids that I worked with couldn’t have even been able to take advantage of being in the industry had they had their families move here with them,” says the now semi-retired Harrah, who was known to have his young clients move in with him without parental supervision.
Sitting for a separate interview, former child actor Joey Colman rings Harrah as the cameras roll. They trade polite pleasantries before Colman asks after Bob Villard, the manager whose client roster included Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio. Villard was also known to take suggestive, half-nude pictures of young boys and sell them online.
Colman asks Harrah about the stories of Villard’s documented crimes against children. “I take these things with a grain of salt,” says Harrah, credited as a founder of the Screen Actors Guild’s Young Performers Committee. “I’m not sure how horrible they really are.”
In a moment of doc magic, Harrah actually admits to molesting Colman when he was a minor. “It’s something that I shouldn’t have done,” he says calmly.
“These are not Pollyannas. These are smart guys,” says ex-NYPD cop and investigative journalist John Connolly, who details for Berg his extensive research into the seedy underbelly of DEN.
Some of them are powerful, too. Connolly should know; after writing and fact-checking his own massive expose for Details magazine, editors killed his story.
The film ends on a PSA-style note, with a theme song titled “A Call to Arms,” a pledge to donate all proceeds to charity for sex abuse victims, and a sentiment calling for more dialogue around the taboo topic: “If we don’t speak out about this, then we are part of the problem.”