Recently, Elijah Wood spoke publicly about the problem of the sexual abuse of child actors in Hollywood, suggesting that pedophilia was a huge problem in the filmmaking business, but now Wood has again come forward – this time to clarify his words. Elijah says he was misquoted in the interview and wanted the opportunity to rephrase what he had intended to say without his statements being twisted out of context.
The Lord Of The Rings Star Elijah Wood Rephrases His Thoughts On Hollywood Pedophilia
Initially, it had been reported that Elijah Wood had claimed that the sexual abuse of children in Hollywood was a larger problem than has been reported and that the public was unaware of just how frequently pedophiles preyed upon child actors. Now, Wood says he was misquoted and that he had no personal knowledge of any incidents of sexual abuse.
“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 firsthand experience or observation of the topic, so I cannot speak with any authority beyond articles I have read and films I have seen.”
In the first interview, which was conducted between Elijah Wood and a reporter for The Sunday Times, Wood was present to discuss his role in The Trust, but the conversation veered off and soon focused on the subject of the sex abuse of child actors. Wood implied that something was going on, but said that he had never been targeted as a child, himself, nor did he personally know of any other actors involved in child molestation cases.
“It was all organized,” The Sunday Times previously quoted Elijah as saying. “There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind. There is darkness in the underbelly.”
It’s difficult to know what exactly Elijah said in the interview and if, in fact, he was misquoted, but Wood’s reported statements seemed to cast his remarks as empathy for the victims of any sexually abused victims.
“What bums me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power,” Mr. Wood was stated as saying. “That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people: They can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”
Elijah Wood Isn’t The First Actor To Draw Attention To Hollywood Child Molestation
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Much like Elijah Wood, Corey Feldman has been acting since he was a child with The Goonies (1985) and The Lost Boys (1987) among his long list of early films, and Feldman has also spoken of the problem of pedophilia in Hollywood. Corey said the sexual molestation of children was “the No. 1 problem in Hollywood” and termed it “the big secret”.
Just one year after Feldman made his claim that child molestation was running rampant in Hollywood, Martin Weiss, a manager who represented a large number of child actors, was charged with two counts of child molestation. Weiss pleaded no contest.
“Probably every child actor has brushed shoulders with a pedophile in the industry,” said Anne Henry, the co-founder of BizParentz, which is an organization for the parents of child actors.
In reality, there are no more pedophiles in the entertainment industry than there are in any other profession, says Ms. Henry, but children do come into contact with more adults in the acting profession than they do in any other industry. In cases of molestation, or any type of abuse, parents and victims are reluctant to come forward, due to the financial disadvantages they would face. While wealthy adult actors and filmmakers would have the resources of a high-priced law firm, parents would simply be mismatched in a legal confrontation.
“How would you stand up against an abuser in the industry who probably has a lot more money than you do, and power in the media,” says Ms. Henry.
California does have some protections in place. Adults working with child actors must undergo background checks and fingerprinting procedures, and even then, at least one parent must always be present on set.
Elijah Wood says his mother was always around to keep him safe and that he had a very positive experience as a child actor, thanks to her.
“She was far more concerned with raising me to be a good human than facilitating my career,” Wood said. “I never went to parties where that kind of thing was going on. This bizarre industry presents so many paths of temptation. If you don’t have some kind of foundation, typically from family, then it will be difficult to deal with.”
[Image by Mike Windle/Getty Images for SXSW]