LA Times Explores Issue of Child Sexual Abuse in Hollywood
Over the past few months, at least two Hollywood professionals who work with underage actors have faced charges involving sexual offenses against children. The incidents have prompted a bill that would require all adults who work with kids in the entertainment industry to submit to a background check, reports the LA Times, and would prevent registered sex offenders from working with kids.
In their article, which was published online yesterday, the Times also took a look at the recent history of child sexual abuse charges in the entertainment industry. Writer Dawn C. Chmielewski examines the frequency with which such abuse occurs, and the ease with which predators can access and entice kids in such a charged -- and often unsupervised -- environment. She cites well-known examples like Roman Polanski as well as lesser-known examples like child manager Bob Villard, who worked with acts like Tobey McGuire and Leonoardo DiCaprio before being found with sexual images of young boys on his computer in 2001.
Chmielewski notes that in addition to the bill, which is expected to be filed with the California Assembly this month, the recent rash of incidents has prompted Nickelodeon to revisit its background check policy.
"Once those very unfortunate incidents took place, we made it even more stringent to include every employee who works for us — a full background check on anybody that works for Nickelodeon," spokesman Dan Martinsen said. Even the parents of young actors must submit to a screening, he said.