I’ve gotten into heated discussions with people over whether kids working in the entertainment industry is comparable to child labour. The way I see it, if you’re working, you’re considered labour, so any kid working is child labour. Others try to say I’m insulting the child labourers of third world countries, because their PC definition of child labour is restricted to kids working in factories in places like Bangladesh or Honduras. Sure, kids working in third world countries have it rough, but if you think that kids working on TV are all living a life of luxury, and making a huge amount of cash for later in life, you’re sadly mistaken.
Some places like California have laws set up for kids, many places don’t. So while your ten year old can’t go work at a store, or even on the family farm, you can send them off to work on a movie set, where contrary to popular perception, the work is much less than glamorous. Filming can be long, hard, and tedious, and sometimes even dangerous. You might be working outside in snow in winter, or in the heat of summer, with no AC, or even shade. You might end up working with a sex offender, and good luck getting anyone to do anything about that. Animals normally have a handler, and laws to protect them, making sure they get breaks for water, and to rest. Kids in most states do not even have that.
Now, there’s a huge crop of reality shows based around kids. These ones have even less protections. Most reality shows are scripted, and it’s not just cameras following kids around. Jon from Jon & Kate talked about how they would do retakes if the shot wasn’t right, and they might have the kids up at 2am, outside in the snow, trying to film. He got tired of it, and wanted to protect the kids. Kate didn’t care, she was making money, and getting famous. Even better, the kids were exempt from their own contracts in the beginning, so all the money was going to the adults.
I could argue the child labour issue of kids in the media till I’m blue in the face, but it’s probably just easier to let Paul Petersen do it. He’s my personal hero, and he’s been fighting for kids in the industry for years. Paul started A Minor Consideration, and here he is on CBC radio, discussing the laws. It’s about 12 minutes long, but very worth your time.
A Minor Consideration is there for all current and former kids in the industry. If you’re a product of the industry and need help, contact AMC. If you want to help out, you can make a tax deductible donation, or attend our first ever Gala event in August. All money raised goes to helping fight for the rights of the innocents of the industry.
Royal Commission turning the spotlight on the Entertainment Industry
When the Royal Commission was announced a few years ago, we wondered if they would also be looking at the Entertainment Industry. Some people indicated it would only be looking at “institutions” but if the industry isn’t an institution, then I don’t know what is.
After my own ordeal, and of course following all the cases in the UK with Operation Yewtree, as well as hearing about the plethora of cases in the US, it’s fairly obvious, at least to me, that the entertainment industry needs a spotlight to look into some of the darker corners. It would be very naive to think that I was the only case in the Australian entertainment industry. When I went public, I received many messages of support from others who understood, because they too had been through a similar ordeal on a set.
I am thrilled that the Royal Commission has announced that they are seeking others who may have been abused within the industry, and are calling for them to come forward to talk. Even if you weren’t a victim yourself, if you have information on abuses within the industry, please contact the commission, and let them know. Your evidence could help others. It’s not just for television. Here’s their scope: “Institutions within the Royal Commission’s scope may include television networks, film and television production companies, theatrical production companies, dance, drama and performing arts schools or colleges, casting agencies or any other company, agency or organisation, public or private involved in the entertainment industry.”
Here’s the link to the official announcement, which contains the contact details for the commission. I encourage anyone who can help the commission to come forward.
When I first talked about being molested by someone on set, people acted like nobody in the industry was capable of being a sex offender. Which is just silly. Just because celebrity sex offenders get away with it in crazy numbers, doesn’t mean they’re not capable of doing it. It’s not like it’s unprecedented either. Plenty of celebrities were accused before me, and with the flood of people being outed lately, hopefully, more and more of them will have to face their crimes.
So lets have a little recap of who all these creepers are. Not everyone here has been charged with a crime. The Americans, besides having a statute of limitations which prevents charges being laid, are in particular very good at having cases thrown out, or settling out of court.
Since Josh Duggar is all over the news today, lets start with
The “Reality Star” creepers.
The UK Sex Offenders
I’m not even going to try to do sports people, there’s just too many of them. Jerry Sandusky and Mike Tyson probably being the two most famous to actually serve prison time, both for rape.
I’m starting to see why it’s taking a Royal Commission to bring out all the molestation scandals. Religious folks have been systematically brainwashed to think that molestation is OK, as long as the perpetrator asks God for forgiveness.
While a bunch of religious folk condemn gays and lesbians, are are very anti-gay marriage, they find it totally appropriate to defend child molesters and people who commit incest. It’s terrifying.
Religious people love to tell atheists that without God they’re going to go to hell. Which is funny, since we don’t believe it in. But at least the atheists are all on the internet condemning rape, child molestation and incest. You don’t need God to understand that this shit is wrong. Asking the invisible friend for forgiveness is NOT the same thing as asking your victim for forgiveness. Just because your magical invisible friend tells you he’s forgiven you, doesn’t mean the important people, the victims, have.
I know there’s a lot of good people out there who are religious who also condemn this behaviour, but it just floors me that people are seriously defending this guy, pulling the “He who is without cast the first stone” bullshit. Well, I’ve never molested a kid, so I’m going to go ahead and throw that stone.
Also, for all you sick people trying to justify his actions by saying he was a teenager, and that’s normal… Um, it wasn’t on the playground with another kid, where it was consensual. It was his fucking sisters, and they weren’t OK with it. This are a family who supposedly wait to even KISS on their wedding day. So you can’t even kiss before marriage, but it’s OK to stick your fingers in your fingers in your sister’s vagina? No. Just no.
One of the Duggar kids, of 19 Kids and Counting, has been investigated for molesting his sisters.
Someone has uploaded copies of the police report online, with all the names of both the perpetrator and the victims blacked out, but InTouch is claiming that they found out from “a source” that it was Josh who did it, when he was 14. The family was told what he was doing in a letter. Jim Bob, the father, thankfully took it seriously, and questioned the rest of the kids. They felt safe enough to talk about what had happened. Jim Bob also spoke to Josh, who admitted what he had done. So far, even though it’s bad that Josh molested the girls, it’s being handled pretty well.
After that, it gets kinda dodgy. I’m guessing since they were on a very popular TLC show that they had to try to keep it quiet. Nobody wants to know there’s a kiddly fiddler on TV….
So Jim Bob sends Josh to “treatment” which wasn’t really treatment. It was a buddy in another state. But hey, at least he was trying to get the kid away from the girls. He did way more than what a lot of other people do in the same circumstances.
Then they had Josh talk to a State Trooper. This didn’t go so well, since that same Trooper was later arrested himself for child pornography…. He didn’t do anything about Josh at the time. Now, the statute of limitations has run out for the girls to do anything. Having been raised as being nothing more than future baby makers, they’ve “prayed about it and forgiven him”. At least, that’s what they’re saying. I’m betting there’s some not so Christian thoughts in their heads.
I’m not sure whether to be happy that the family at least attempted to do something about it, and that the girls felt like they could tell their dad, or if I’m disappointed that nothing really worthy was done. I guess a bit of both. It’ll be interesting to watch the fallout from this over the next few weeks. Let’s hope Josh really got some help, since he’s now married and has his own kids.
Josh Duggar has resigned as Executive Director of the Family Research Council, acknowledging he sexually molested underage girls including some of his sisters, calling his conduct inexcusable.
Josh just told People, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager. I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret.” He continues, “We spoke with authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling.”
Well, at least he openly admits to it, and is sorry for what he did. Not saying that makes it any better, but it’s got to be way better on the girls than having him deny it.
Interestingly, this is the second TLC show that has had problems with sexual predators. Honey Boo Boo was cancelled when Momma June hooked up with a convicted sex offender that had molested her own daughter.
I’m feeling kinda conflicted over the whole John Laws thing. While part of me is rejoicing that people are up in arms over his pitiful interview, I fear that it’s going to turn into a lynch mob. People are already demanding he be fired, and while I certainly wouldn’t shed a tear if he was let go, I know it’s just not going to happen. So we need to find a realistic solution.
John Laws is old. Very old. His views are archaic, and honestly, I’m surprised anyone still listens to him. But then I went to pot luck dinner an hour ago at the RV park where I live, and the old people were discussing about how the government was wasting time talking about putting a woman on currency. So I guess there are still people who think the way Laws does…
Anyway, Laws has the Golden Microphone. He still pulls in millions in advertising. The station is simply not going to fire him. They’re probably secretly loving all the publicity. They’ve got thousands of people listening now who probably didn’t even know John was still alive. So, what’s to be done?
This is now the second time Laws has done a truly awful interview with a sexual abuse victim. This time, he said that a couple people had tried it on him when he was a lad, but he pushed them off. So it is because he was able to escape an encounter that he has no sympathy? Or is it more? Is it that he doesn’t know how to deal with it, so he gets defensive and brash? When he went on to the next caller, he talked about how abuse ruins lives. How people are affected forever by it, so it’s not like he doesn’t understand. He just has absolutely no tact when it comes to dealing with the victim.
I was discussing it offline with Peter Ford, and he said the station assured him that they had arranged for help for Brian. Because let’s be honest here, Brian is the real issue. Everyone is focusing on Laws, but what about Brian? The man was left weeping, and when Laws asked him to say Thank You, my heart sank. Many abusers make their victims say the same thing. I hope the station is truly getting help for Brian, and not just saying it to save face. At first I thought we needed to find Brian, but being a recluse, the publicity might just make it worse. I just hope he sees all the angry people out there, and understands that people DO care. He has people he can turn to, and he has places where he can go for help.
It’s awful that Brian went to the police back in the day, and he was told to move on. I’m so grateful that we’re finally moving on from those days. (Well, in the last couple years anyway… One of the other Hey Dad victims had been to the police previously too) I truly hope that if anyone was to go to the police now, that something would be done about it. That if someone was to call up a radio station (well, anyone except John Laws) and that they would be treated with respect. They would be heard, and talked to with empathy and compassion.
Honestly, I don’t know what to do about John Laws. He won’t be fired, so we have to come up with a way to make him see what an archaic, soulless man he comes across as. I know sensitivity training sounds weak, but it’s a good start. Maybe sit down with a few victims? (although I doubt any would sit down with him)
All I know is that while I’m so glad to see everyone so angry over this, I know that there has to be a way to fix it. For all involved.
Of course, if he was fired over this, I wouldn’t cry. He’s way past retirement age, and he’s got zillions of dollars, so it’s not like we’re sending an old man to the unemployment line. Plus, they fired those awful people from X Factor NZ fired for their tirade. Surely this is just as horrible.
You know what? Go ahead and fire him. Make an example of him. But make him do the sensitivity training first.
For the record – I don’t think that firing someone everytime they say something is stupid is the answer. If it was, everyone would be fired at some point. But John Laws really should bow out after this one.
Most importantly, let’s think about Brian, and all the other victims of abuse out there. Think about how YOU might react if someone opens up to you. We can all learn from this. We can all think about how we’d react if someone disclosed their abuse to us, and how to make sure that we don’t end up treating them like Laws did to Brian. We’ve all said something stupid, or something insensitive, or something we regretted and wished we could take back. Let’s use this as an opportunity to grow, and not just one to vent our anger on a stupid old man. Let’s turn this negative into a positive.
So John Laws, the man who has been on air since Moses parted the red sea, has once again had an appalling interview on air with a victim of child sexual abuse. You can listen here.
I don’t understand why this guy is allowed to get away with it. If it had been Kyle Sandilands, there would have been mass outrage. People would be boycotting the station. Advertisers would be pulling their ads. Which was ridiculous, because Kyle wasn’t at fault in that interview at all. I lay full blame on the mother in that instance. He blurted out one sentence, realized what he said, and they pulled the interview. He was mortified afterwards, and he was burned at the stake.
Somehow though, when John Laws has 10 minute long interviews, berating a victim, asking why he didn’t come forward sooner, or why he didn’t call out, or any number of other insensitive statements, he’s allowed to get away with it. Concluding that the caller had simply wasted his time. He suggested the caller go to the pub and have a lemonade, before asking for a Thank You.
Are you fucking kidding me?
Well, he did do a guest spot on Hey Dad..!
Update: Matt Young’s article on news.com.au has a clip with just the interview, so you don’t have to listen to the whole show.
The Royal Commission into Child Abuse has been uncovering a lot of horrific stories of abuse in Australia. I think while it’s devastating that so many people have been abused, and some of their stories are heart wrenching, some of the reactions to the abuse have been much worse.
Hearing people discuss the abuse at Knox Grammar has kind of shocked me. There are plenty of people online who seem to imply that these kids deserved it because their parents sent them to a fancy pants grammar school.
I’ve been to both public school, and private school. When I attended Meriden, Knox Grammar was in our circle of friends. We all huddled together on the train station. We attended the same functions. Just because we were private school kids, didn’t make us any less human. It didn’t make us any more deserving of abuse. To suggest that the parents of these kids are to blame because they were more interested in sending their kids to a grammar school than a state school is appalling. I don’t care if you have a beef with private schools getting money from the government. I don’t care if you once hated a kid who went to a private school. I don’t care if you’re secretly jealous that you didn’t get to attend a private school.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, deserves to be abused. Whether you’re a millionaire’s daughter attending Ascham, a janitors kid on a free scholarship at Knox, or a middle class kid attending the local state high school. No matter your status, or income bracket, all children deserve to grow up, free of abuse.
So last month I spoke to news.com.au and to Studio 10 about how there was still more child sex offenders in the industry. I said people would have to be naive to think there wasn’t more. Whether it’s in Australia, the US, the UK, or anywhere. Predators exist everywhere.
I don’t know why we’re so shocked when an actor is found to be a pervert. Actors are just like everyone else. Acting is just a job. Just like working flipping burgers, delivering mail, sitting behind a desk, typing all day. It’s all just work. It’s just an actor is way more visible. We all see their work. Doesn’t make them any more special, or any more gifted than anyone else. We shouldn’t put people on a pedestal for playing make believe for a living.
This morning I woke up to a bunch of messages concerning Stephen Collins. His wife had taped him during a therapy session, and it’s now been leaked on TMZ. I probably should have had my morning coffee before listening to the tape… Seriously, if you’re feeling frail, or have been the victim of abuse, I’ll give you a trigger warning. You might not want to hear it. It made me nauseous.
Comments on TMZ are saying the wife should have spoken up sooner, but I’m actually pretty impressed she had the balls to tape it at all. Hopefully this will make the police investigation that much easier. She’s divorcing him. Whether she’s leaking the tape because of the divorce, or she’s divorcing him because of the abuse, I applaud her. From the sound of her on the tape, it sounds like she’s divorcing him because of the abuse. She sounds horrified. I’m glad there’s one Hollywood wife who has chosen to leave a man who offends against children, instead of being like those other lackeys who stood beside their predator husbands in court, defending them. (Yes, I’m looking at you Robyn, Alwen and Dottie)
He admitted to several girls on the tape. Hopefully there aren’t any more. Collins is on the national board for the Screen Actors Guild. He was on 7th Heaven and The Fosters, both of which had young girls in it. Let’s hope if anyone else in the industry has been affected, they go to the police. Hopefully we won’t get a bunch of Hollywood people scrambling to his defense like they do for Roman and Woody….
Sad day in Hollywood. But at least people are finally talking about it.