Should all pedophiles be named and shamed?
When I first went public, as in to the media, and not just people around me, I talked about the abuse, and I even said who it was, but the media chose not to name the perpetrator. This caused much controversy, and a lot of heated debate.
Many people believed I should name and shame or shut the fuck up. I was told that by not coming out with a name, I was damaging an entire show, that everyone who ever worked at seven was under suspicion. That I was irresponsible and damaging people’s lives and careers.
Corey Feldman is talking about his abuse. He wrote a book detailing his abuse, and what it was like growing up in Hollywood. He too is copping flack about not naming names. He originally put the names in his book, but the publisher decided to remove them, and his lawyers have advised he NOT publicly name them.
There are two reasons you don’t just run around naming alleged pedophiles.
Number one is the litigious aspect. If you can’t prove it, if you can’t afford better lawyers than them, if you don’t have people backing you up, you’re going to be sued and possibly charged with defamation. Not naming initially gives you a chance to have other people come forward, to corroborate your statement. When I went public, look at how many people came forward, not only as witnesses for me, but other victims. I knew there were others, but I didn’t know who they were. (I still don’t know who they are.) I wouldn’t have known where to direct police. I couldn’t have remembered every potential victim or witness. But by going public, I allowed others to say, Me Too! There’s also the very real threat of retaliation. If you go super public, and then you wind up dead in a ditch somewhere, people are going to know you probably didn’t have an accident…
There’s lots of former child stars who suddenly end up dead outside a nightclub from an overdose when they start mumbling about abuse. I named my perpetrator when it was legally safe to do so. Unfortunately for Corey, and other actors in the US, there’s a statute of limitations. He actually did talk to police back before it ran out. Their police chose to ignore it. – Sounds familiar…
The second reason, and this was actually the one that mattered to me:
When you talk about what happened to you in the industry, in general, without naming names, people do raise their heads and look around. People do start to look at everyone with suspicion. Parents start to wonder who is working with their children. This is NOT a bad thing. People who push their kids into the industry should be looking at everyone who works with their kids, and keeping their guard up. Parents should assume that the industry is NOT a safe place for kids.
Before I went public, everyone was worried about potential offenders. Once he was named, everyone just went back to their business, thinking OK, we know who that one person is. We’ll keep our kids away from him, and they’ll be safe.
No, they won’t. There’s way more than one pedophile in the business. By naming ONE person, all these parents have let their guard down, and are exposing their kids to potential harm. By not naming the offenders, Corey is letting people know that there are some seriously high ranking people in Hollywood who are dangerous predators, who are after your kids. Parents need to keep being vigilant, and not focus on just one person.