Most rational Western people would grant you that raping a preteen child is a worse crime than paying Jennifer Lawrence fourteen million for a movie role while her male co-star receives eighteen million. Yet the public outcry, media coverage, and social outrage for the latter exceeds the former by many multiples of horribly lazy press crusading.
It’s easy to find instances where men are jerks to women. That happens a million times a day around the globe, half of those offenses within the Thirty Mile Zone. That women are jerks to men in equal measure is beside the point and even uttering it aloud will have you sent to a re-education camp set up behind the summer Lilith Fair tour grounds. Rich white women in coastal metropolises being made to feel uncomfortable, inferior, or merely unhappy by men with any measure of power or influence has become the go-to civil rights story of the day. It’s rare that a demographic majority can receive such especially protected minority rights, but that’s for history teachers to look back on with brilliant lecture splendor in college seminars future. Show me a movie set filled with desperate women and gross men and I will show you a dozen easy to uncover and hyperbolize offenses to the gender senses on any given Tuesday.
In sharp contrast, covering the child rape and molestation factory that is kid actor Hollywood is complicated, fraught with legal peril, and requires a diligent work effort. Three standards that will boner kill the entire current generation of lackluster journalism majors. In the land of clicks, the bait will be king. Specifically, the bait that can be produced in five minutes for fifteen dollars and coordinates with Google Trending terms. Like, say, #MeToo. You will find the word “Gender” in one-hundred percent of all entertainment and media stories covered by the mainstream media. It’s tracking.
The willful pimping of pretty children by stage parents to onscreen projects has no hip hashtag. There are very few industries where you can ship your eleven year old daughter off to work. Modeling and entertainment come to mind. Southeastern Asian sex trade might be the third. They certainly can’t work at Macy’s or the local museum at eleven. Special carve-outs were made by the entertainment industry to account for little kids skipping school to work on Kid Disney and Nickelodeon. They do need kid bodies. Gone are the days of hiring midgets to play the roles of children. As are the days of calling super short people midgets.
Exploiters of children and straight up pedophiles exist in most any environment where children tend to congregate. Trebly so when those environment inherently involve a lack of parental supervision. There’s no actual multiple to express how these child predators populate when in an industry where not only are the children put into their care, but their parents push them into wearing something slinky and insist they be a pleaser so that the family can pay their rent this month. No pressure, Morgan.
Eliza Dushku came out publicly this week and announced she’d been sexually assaulted by stuntman, Joel Kramer, on the set of the James Cameron film, True Lies. That was 1994, a film that was big break for the then 12-year old child actress. Or in the least, for her mom. Dushku claims that the then 36-year old stuntman, a legend for his work today in 2018, lured her to his hotel room where he molested her during film production. Kramer has since denied the twenty-three year old accusation. Though it’s likely true, as multiple people who knew Dushku at the time have confirmed that she told them about the offense at the very time. Also, she’s a pretty completely unprotected 12-year old working on a set with dozens of men. Unlike the dramatically decried “rape culture” promoted by Soul Cycling feminist writers for New York magazines, a true rape culture is a middle school girl left alone with dozens of grown men working long hours and chain smoking cigarettes.
Eliza Dushku’s legal guardian on the set during production, Sue Booth-Forbes, supports Dushku’s child rape claim. She would know, as she was the person charged with guarding Dushku, and clearly failed. That includes both the sexual assault, and prior to that when Dushku cracked her ribs during a stunt scene for which she was hospitalized. Remind me again why it’s horrible that children work in coal-mines but broken ribs and sexual assault in a white collar job during middle school seems kosher?
Booth-Forbes spins the events of the day and her helplessness in such as manner as to condemn the industry while naturally exonerating her own total job failure:
As I look back on the experience, there should never have been a child on that set because of the misogyny, sexual language and attitudes of the crowd of immature white men who made up the vast majority of the crew. She was treated like one of the boys, not a 12-year-old girl. I also look back wishing I had done more but forgiving myself a bit because there was really nothing I could do given the power structure of the movie industry. Everyone one involved has to turn a blind eye to such things in order to keep their jobs and not get in the way of the movie being made. Lord have mercy if something stopped the moneymaking wheels from turning.
Booth-Forbes claims she reported Kramer’s far too touchy-feely connection with Dushku as he worked with her on her stunt scenes. But nobody cared. That may be true. It also may be true that when the girl you care for is under threat of rape and the Human Resources Department isn’t doing squat, that’s when it’s time to perhaps have a backup plan. Mom was getting paid and wanted her kid to be a star any which way. Legal on-set guardian, you had but one job.
After many years battling drugs and alcohol, almost a certainty in these cases, Dushku is coming forward now because she believes it’s the right time to add her actual horror story to the questionable downtrodden tales of her industry peers at the hands of men. Also, because she’s likely heavily traumatized from being up in a grown predator’s hotel room at twelve while nobody else seemed to care for her. Not seemed. Nobody else cared for her.
This story is incredibly similar to so many tales told by so many other child actors. Sent out to work by eager stage parents as a child, in an industry that at best treats you like a piece of meat, and at worst uses you like meat for their twisted sexual pleasure. You can’t compare these Grimm tales to young actresses going up to gross fat producer’s hotel rooms to see what it takes to secure a speaking part in a feature film. Both disturbing, but only one voluntary. As a civilized people, we decided that children can’t make adult decisions. As a liberal people, we similarly decided that adults have the right to make horrible decisions. Who will care for the immensely vulnerable child actors of Hollywood? Apparently nobody.