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New documentary exposes child sex abuse in entertainment industry

Although it remains a difficult subject for most people to discuss, the issue of child sex abuse is being made public in some very important ways. After the Jerry Sandusky scandal that shook communities throughout Pennsylvania, a filmmaker released the documentary "Happy Valley," in part, to keep public dialogue alive.

Recently, another documentary filmmaker has taken on child sex abuse on the opposite side of the country. The movie is called "An Open Secret," and it reveals a dark reality affecting many child stars who try to make a name for themselves in Hollywood. Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg, the documentary is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

The "open secret" that the title refers to is the apparently well-known acts of child sexual abuse in the entertainment industry. It is often allegedly perpetrated by high-level entertainment executives (almost entirely male) against victims who are aspiring young actors and actresses. Some now-grown actors, who have come forward with their own horror stories, have said that they were given alcohol and drugs before being sexually abused. Some were even kept in the cycle of abuse (and coping with abuse) when they became addicts and alcoholics.

Some of the former child stars to tell their stories include Corey Feldman and Todd Bridges. Feldman has said that his good friend and fellow actor Corey Haim suffered sexual abuse as well, which likely contributed to his drug use. Haim is now deceased.

The documentary also reportedly discusses accusations made against high-level executives. For this reason, the film is obviously controversial and has its share of critics.

Sadly, child sex abuse can and does happen nearly everywhere. As such, it should come as no surprise that it happens in Hollywood. Hopefully, this film will increase public awareness and vigilance in a way that leads to better protection of child actors and entertainers.

Source:, "First Look: 'An Open Secret' Shines Light On Child Sex Abuse In Hollywood," Daniel Nussbaum, May 7, 2015

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