Earlier this week, Elijah Wood made waves when, during an interview promoting his new film, he claimed that Hollywood had a major problem with child abuse and compared it to the scandal involving Jimmy Savile. Wood said that he had never been abused, but that other child actors had been preyed upon by abusers saying
‘There is a darkness in the underbelly – if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.’
He went on to say that it was organized by powerful people within the film industry and that the victims simply weren’t able to speak out.
The 35-year-old actor recently released a statement clarifying his statements on the matter saying:
“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 first-hand experience or observation of the topic, so I cannot speak with any authority beyond articles I have read and films I have seen.”
Wood isn’t the only celebrity to speak out about the alleged abuse taking place within the film industry. Corey Feldman has recently spoken about the abuse he and fellow child actor, Corey Haim, experienced when they were young. He talked about how powerful people within the industry would often attempt to “befriend” young actors inviting them to parties and other gatherings saying, ” When somebody approaches you and says, ‘Hey, this is a Hollywood party where you get to hang out with the powerful people in Hollywood,’ well that sounds like a great opportunity.”
Feldman echoed Wood’s theory that the abuse in Hollywood was an organized problem saying:
“Yes. I believe that Haim’s rapist was probably connected to something bigger and that is probably how he has remained protected for all these years. This person uses intimidation and threats as a way to keep people quiet. And all these men were all friends. Ask anybody in our group of kids at that time: They were passing us back and forth to each other”
In a previous interview, Allison Aringrim, from Little House on the Prairie, talked about her experiences with abuse and backed up the statements Feldman made saying, “Everybody knew that the two Coreys were just being passed around. Like it was something people joked about on studio lots.”
When asked whether his abusers were still active in the industry, Feldman said that one of them was still very prominent within Hollywood. Feldman went onto say that his friend, Haim, had experienced worse abuse than him.
‘With me, there were some molestations and it did come from several hands, so to speak, but with Corey, his was direct rape, whereas mine was not actual rape. And his also occurred when he was 11. My son is 11 now and I can’t even begin to fathom the idea of something like that happening to him.’
Rumors of abuse scandals have been circulating around Hollywood for decades, but it’s only recently that several prominent actors have started to come forward and discuss the issue openly.
Featured image courtesy of Getty.