Jamie Lee Curtis wrote an essay for the Huffington Post applauding actress Eliza Dushku for coming forward to say that she had been sexually assaulted as a child while working on James Cameron's True Lies. However, in Curtis' call against child abuse in Hollywood, she spoke as though she was the first to come out for the cause, and failed to mention that Corey Feldman has been publicly campaigning for child abuse awareness in the entertainment industry for years, especially in the past couple of months.
Dushku alleged that she was sexually assaulted by famed stunt coordinator Joel Kramer at the age of 12, bringing new awareness to the pedophile problem that is rampant in Hollywood. Joel Kramer has since been let go from his agency Worldwide Industry, and new attention is being placed on the cause. But in speaking out, Curtis completely ignores the work that Feldman has been doing recently.
Jamie Lee Curtis played Eliza Dushku's mother in True Lies, and revealed that Eliza Dushku told her about the alleged abuse "a few years ago," and discusses the working relationships she'd had with child actors in her long career in Hollywood. Curtis notes that even though child actors have chaperones and guardians on set, and that there are strict regulations about how long they are able to work, the rules are often broken. She had this to say.
"I was shocked and saddened then and still am today. Eliza's story has now awakened us from our denial slumber to a new, horrific reality. The abuse of children. There are industry-wide legal protections for these young performers that have been long-held and hard fought. There are always teachers and advocates and adult family members or surrogates for the children on set and rigid rules that need to be followed. Yet sadly, as with any rules, these are often broken."
She also writes that the relationships that many actors share with their child coworkers is a complicated one. Jamie Lee Curtis says that often on movie sets, children are not able to tell if their adult co-stars are friends or work mates. Ultimately, Jamie Lee Curtis stated that it is now time for everybody to step up in Hollywood and realize their role in protecting children on the set. The actress also points to a workplace culture that has allowed abuse to occur. She explains.
"All of us must take some responsibility that the loose and relaxed camaraderie that we share with our young performers has carried with it a misguided assumption that they are adults in an adult world, capable of making adult choices."
Jamie Lee Curtis went on to say that she hopes stories like Eliza Dushku's will inspire more regulations and awareness on movie sets and the industry at large. Curtis' essay brings up a lot of similar points that former child actor Corey Feldman has been speaking about for years. Though Jamie Lee Curtis and Corey Feldman are on the same page, she chose to not mention his work in bringing the horrific underbelly of Hollywood to light. Feldman alleges that he and close friend Corey Haim were both sexually abused when they were children by men of power in the entertainment industry. Feldman has been advocating for awareness about child abuse in Hollywood for years, yet largely receives no backing from his peers. It seems that Corey Feldman's Truth Campaign may have turned off some would-be supporters, which is unfortunate because ultimately, the goal is the same: to end child abuse in the entertainment industry.
While Jamie Lee Curtis wrote an essay about the abuse children face in Hollywood, Corey Feldman is doing a lot more for the cause. Just today, Feldman made a very public call to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Senate to pass the child victims act during a vote set for Tuesday, January 16, 2018. The act will overturn the statute of limitations opening the door for victims of child sexual abuse to seek justice, and if passed, could potentially set the stage for victims like Eliza Dushku to find justice against their abusers. While this has been widely reported in the press, Curtis doesn't mention the child victims act, nor the work people like Feldman are already doing, presenting this as a problem that is just starting to arise thanks to her sudden awareness.
Hollywood is currently going through a sea-change after all of the allegations of sexual assault, women getting paid less, and more and more accusations of child abuse coming to light. It's an interesting time and should see a #TimesUp movement for child abuse in Hollywood as well, or a way for everybody to all work together. You can read Jamie Lee Curtis' essay about Eliza Dushku's experience on the set of True Lies in full courtesy of The Huffington Post.