Evan Rachel Wood: Talking about the foul sexual abuse in Hollywood
HBO recently premiered Showbiz Kids, a documentary directed by Alex Winter of Bill & Ted’s Excellent adventure fame. Showbiz Kids gives us a glimpse into the effects that fame can have on a child’s life by showing interviews with a number of entertainers who became famous as children. The interviews cover a range of problems the child stars faced and highlight the sexual abuse some faced.
Sexual abuse through the eyes of the victims
Todd Bridges, who starred in Diff’rent Strokes spoke up about being molested by his publicist when he was twelve. Bridges’ father even sided with the sexual abuser and left the child actor feeling like he had nowhere to turn. Eventually, Bridges would turn to drugs and start to have regular troubles with the law.
Other celebrities like Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Jackie Coogan, and Dana Plato would share similar experiences of sexual abuse. Some of these celebrities are still with us today but Dana Plato would die young from an accidental overdose. Many of the entertainers were rattled and seemingly traumatized by their time in the limelight.
Hollywood created a false reality for its child stars
Mara Wilson, star of Matilda, pointed out how little the celebrity world prepared her for real life. “I didn’t really do well in school because I wasn’t used to setting my own schedule because you don’t have to develop a work ethic when everybody around you is telling you what to do at what time, all the time.” Wilson further pointed out how as a child star the only way you learn to exist is through public attention.
Sexual abuse of young boys is also rampant in Hollywood
Evan Rachel Wood, who had a role in the 90’s hit Practical Magic, shared that at some point “pretty much all” the young boys had been sexually abused in Hollywood. Wood recalls watching an unnamed pedophile win a Golden Globe. Woods said that not a lot of people knew he had molested boys in the industry and that his influence protected him.
Woods discussed how sexual abuse proliferated in Hollywood. Woods went on to say: “Any industry that has that much power and is that competitive, because after a while it starts to become, ‘Well, who can take the most abuse? . . . somebody’s waiting in line to take your place, so you just start to allow yourself to be abused in some form or another. ”
Females are preyed upon and subject to sexual abuse by older men in Hollywood
Milla Jovovich also talked about how uncomfortable her photoshoots were as a child. She said that at the time she felt like a little Lolita and that no one would get away with this anymore. Jovovich vaguely described getting into “messes” with older guys as a kid. As an adult, Jovovich wonders what these older guys were even doing with her and that in retrospect they were just creepy schmucks.
Jovovich also discusses her own daughter and how she’s also expressed an interest in pursuing a Hollywood career. Jovovich has her reservations about her daughter’s ambitions, since she’s experienced the kinds of sexual abuses that can take place. Jovovich tells her daughter that “What you need right now is to become strong. You need to be like a ship with full sails, with a crew that knows how to navigate.”
In the end, Showbiz Kids does an adequate job of highlighting the problems that child entertainers face and the sexual abuse that is rampant in the industry. Although much of the information isn’t new, it does highlight that this problem hasn’t gone away and that the victims are still here to tell their stories.