The Real Abuse Behind the Scenes of the Hollywood Glamour


Natalie Welch

The public’s perception of Hollywood seems to be geared toward fame and wealth, but after hearing the stories of actors that have endured the true Hollywood “experience,” the horrible practices that lie within the industry have been revealed. Clearly, sexual assault is the number one problem within the entertainment industry. The issue stems from severe power imbalances between those who already hold status and those who have yet to make a name for themselves. Many young aspiring artists enter the industry with big dreams. People who bear power in Hollywood take advantage of their naive attitudes, then use that influence to gain leverage and coerce minors to participate in sexual activities. When young stars make it into the entertainment industry, many refrain from exposing the abuse due to the fear of being blacklisted and stunting their success. This is due to the way society handles sexual assault allegations ––they don’t believe the victims as they hold less power than the aggressors. 

People often turn a blind eye when it comes to pedophilia in Hollywood, likely because no one has truly realized how extreme the problem is. 

Infamous child actor Corey Feldman, known for the movie “Lost Boys,” spoke out about his experience as a child actor, in a Page Six article, a newspaper operated by The Washington Post. 

The powerful men in Hollywood would throw parties where you’d walk in and it would be mostly kids and a handful of adult men. They would also be at the film awards and children’s charity functions,” Feldman said. 

 He also explained how most of the men who attended these parties engaged in sexual activities with minors, yet are still household names to this day, while their victims continue to be ignored. Instead people in Hollywood must take the time to listen and learn from survivors, while also taking action against abusers, no matter how powerful they are. Many of these young artists feel they don’t have enough power to speak up, so it is vital that when they do, we provide them with a safe platform and support so speaking up doesn’t seem scary. Hopefully, then more will feel strong enough to come forward. 

Beyond that, it is principle to educate kids at a young age about the importance of consent. High schools need to provide accessible resources for teens to use, so if they are ever in a threatening situation, they can safely handle it. Redwood implemented a simulation in English classes by the Kognito program, which taught kids the importance of consent, and how to read the signs of sexual assault. While such simulations help to educate students about sexual assault, there is much more that needs to be done. Simply having open conversations about sexual assault can help people feel much more comfortable.

One of the most famous scandals in Hollywood was the Harvey Weinstein scandal in 2017, exhibited Hollywood’s lack of accountability. Weinstein is a well-known director that worked with hundreds of A-list celebrities. According to the Los Angeles Times, many young women came forward saying Weinstein promised them a career advancement in exchange for sex. Moreover, USA Today, published bombshell reports that 87 women had spoken out about Weinstein sexually assaulting them.

Not only is the sexual misconduct displayed by Weinstein awful, but so is the way Hollywood handled it. Those who worked with Weinstein raced to defend him. Individuals such as Seth MacFarlane went so far as to make jokes about the situation during the Academy Awards in 2013. 

“Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein,” MacFarlane said. 

MacFarlane’s comment insinuates that the female nominees flirted and sexually exploited themselves with the then Oscar-king Weinstein to get the nomination. He completely discredited the actresses’ hard work and instead fed more power to Weinstein. MacFarlane’s remarks prove how Hollywood knew about Weinstein’s misconduct and refused to do or say anything. 

Quentin Tarantino, an academy award winning director, who worked closely with Weinstein. Tarantino is one of the most well-respected directors in Hollywood, and he ignored Weinstein’s sexual harassment completely.

“There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things,” Tarantino said.

The lack of stepping up in Hollywood, as Tarantino showed, enabled Weinstein to continue his abuse towards women. 

Similarly, Rose McGowan came to her co-star Ben Affleck, during the production of “Phantoms,” and told him that Weinstein had made unwanted sexual advances on her. According to her, Affleck responded while laughing. 

“Goddammit, I told him to stop doing that.” 

Affleck and Tarentino are only two examples of many bystanders who should have spoken up. We need to properly address the root of the problem: the way the public and celebrities with power react to the victims.

People within Hollywood need to start supporting and believing the actors and actresses speaking out against this abuse. Holding abusers accountable is a critical aspect of combating such behavior. Often young kids don’t recognize when they are being preyed on; that is why it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to teach young kids the importance of consent and speaking up. It is part of Hollywood’s job to create a safe space for people to come forward and tell their stories, but it is also society’s role to listen to the victims and educate themselves. It is unacceptable that these criminals are still considered kings in the industry.