It only took the media about 13 years to bust Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein for his sexual depredations once reporters had the story in hand.
But that story will prove to be relatively easy on the media. There is another, trickier Hollywood story the nation’s newsrooms have been sitting on longer than Weinstein was stalking young women.
For years, powerful men in Hollywood have been preying on young boys, and the media have remained mute largely for fear of offending the LGBT lobby.
In its article on Weinstein’s demise, the Washington Post’s Stephanie Merry alludes to the problem. “Corey Feldman,” she writes in something of a throwaway line, “has also talked about the abuse he endured as a child and the fact that his friend and co-star, the late Corey Haim, was raped at 11 years old.”
This one sentence is the only major media reference to the Hollywood pedophile scandal in the week since the Weinstein story broke. This is a sordid tale, made all the more scandalous by the failure of the media to tell it.
The story last surfaced in May 2016, at least in Hollywood. The immediate cause was a comment made by “Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood, who began his Hollywood career as an 8-year-old.
During an interview with the London Sunday Times to promote his most recent movie, the subject of famed BBC DJ Jimmy Savile came up.
After Savile’s death, it was learned that he had sexually abused as many as 400 children, boys and girls, over the course of his six-decade career.
Wood commented that “something major was going on in Hollywood” as well. He added, “It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind.”
When this interview surfaced in America, Wood backed off and said he had no firsthand experience with such abuse, but this may have been his way of saving his career.
Former child actor Corey Feldman has been more outspoken. The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Feldman soon after the Wood story broke.
He described Hollywood as a place “where adults have more direct and inappropriate connection with children than probably anywhere else in the world.”
Feldman spoke to the suicide of his friend and fellow child actor Corey Haim. “He had more direct abuse than I did,” said Feldman.
“With me, there were some molestations, and it did come from several hands, so to speak, but with Corey, his was direct rape, whereas mine was not actual rape. And his also occurred when he was 11.”
“I know every single person that interfered with his life, and he knew every person that interfered with mine,” Feldman added.
“[Haim’s rapist] uses intimidation and threats as a way to keep people quiet. And all these men were all friends,” said Feldman. “Ask anybody in our group of kids at that time: They were passing us back and forth to each other.”
Feldman was unwilling to name names. In light of the fear that kept so many of Weinstein’s victims silent, his reluctance is all the more understandable.
“California conveniently enough has a statute of limitations that prevents [prosecution] from happening. Because if I were to go and mention anybody’s name I would be the one that would be in legal problems, and I’m the one that would be sued.”
To his credit, Hollywood Reporter’s Seth Abramovitch did not hold back on his questions, asking: “Do you think this problem – adult males in the entertainment industry preying on young boys behind closed doors – still persists?”
“Oh, absolutely,” said Feldman. “It’s more now than ever because nowadays you can use the Internet to create fake profiles and fake accounts.”
Abramovitch reached out to another child star of Feldman’s generation. That person confirmed his account. And there the story died.
It remains to be seen whether anyone in the major media will have the nerve to pick it up. If editors and producer do not, they are as complicit as the men in Hollywood who continue to prey on little boys, some of whom, like Corey Haim, never get over it.