Commentary

It’s Time to Drain the Hollywood Cesspool

By Bill Donohue | October 11, 2017 | 3:27pm EDT
Actor Corey Feldman (ABC News Screenshot)

Revelations about Harvey Weinstein's predatory behavior should inspire others in Hollywood to come forward. We have known for decades that Hollywood is infested with sexually abusing men in senior positions, but there has been a reluctance to come forward. Weinstein has provided an opening that must be seized.

Hollywood has had a jolly good time ridiculing the Catholic Church for its sexual abuse scandal. Now the tables have turned. The task of draining Hollywood's cesspool should begin by addressing the sexual abuse of minors. Those who work in the entertainment industry have a moral responsibility to go public with their stories.

The situation in Hollywood is so bad that an organization has been established to tackle this issue. BizParentz Foundation is a non-profit entity dedicated to working with parents and children engaged in the entertainment industry. It has conducted workshops such as "Predators and Pedophiles" that expose the nature of the problem.

Anne Henry is a co-founder of BizParentz Foundation. She said a year ago that "Hollywood is currently shielding about 100 active abusers."  She estimates that about 75 percent of child actors "went off the rails" later in life. "The problem has been endemic in Hollywood for a long time and it's finally coming to light."

Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on “Little House On the Prairie,” said she "literally heard that they [children] were 'passed around.' The word was that they were given drugs and being used for sex. It was awful—these were kids, they weren't 18 yet."

Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood said of Hollywood that there are "a lot of vipers in this industry … There is a darkness in the underbelly." He added that it is "all organized." Which means that many must know what has been going on.

Corey Haim suffered more than most Hollywood victims. He was reportedly raped on a movie set when he was just 11; he died of drug addiction at the age of 38.

Corey Feldman said that when he was 14 he was "surrounded" by child molesters who acted like "vultures." He does not mince words. "I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was, and is, and always will be, pedophilia."

Feldman says Hollywood is famous for throwing parties for kids. But they are not your typical children's party: they are "grooming" events, opportunities to lure kids into the world of sexual conquest. "The range [of ages] was usually 10 to 16."

Feldman says he would "love to name names," but is afraid of being sued. That is understandable, but there is too much at stake to keep silent any more. He needs to buck up. Feldman can begin by naming the "Hollywood mogul" whom he says is responsible for the death of his friend, Corey Haim.

Who is this monster responsible for Haim's death? If Feldman knows who he is, others surely know as well. They need to come forward without delay.

The time has come to drain Hollywood's cesspool.

Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.

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