Originally posted on December 11, 2011
With all the coverage of the Penn State and Syracuse child rape cases, it is no surprise that other cases are coming to light. Recently in Hollywood, several prominent figures were arrested on child abuse charges:
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.”
Murphy also cast some of the actors from JJ Abrams “Super 8”. Once Abrams found out about Murphy, he immediately reported him to Paramount and the studio took action. According to Corey Feldman, that may be an unusual response. In a Nightline interview Feldman stated, “I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia. That’s the biggest problem for children in this industry… It’s the big secret.”
Feldman says that he and his friend Corey Haim were sexually abused by a powerful Hollywood mogul. Apparently this was common knowledge. Former “Little House on the Prairie” star Alison Arngrim stated:
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. […] I literally heard that they 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. 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.
Hollywood is known for using and abusing people so that someone else can make a buck, so none of this really comes as a surprise. What is surprising is that this has never really broken the news before. These kinds of stories go back decades, yet the media and Hollywood itself says nothing about it.
As we have seen with the Catholic Church and now with institutions like Penn State, everything seems to come down to prestige and money. Many of these kids who these people abuse are looking for work and will not report it for fear of losing a job or no one believing them. The industry itself keeps quiet because it appears many of the people committing these acts are the money-makers, and the last thing the industry wants to do is lose money.
We see yet again that people would rather protect their jobs and interested rather than protect children.