We often shake our heads at the antics of ex-child stars. They seem to have wasted their chances at fame due to drugs and other poor choices. Whether it's their sudden overt sexuality or their random dangerous habits, past child stars seem to be magnets for personal issues.
What the public often fails to remember is that we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. The true lives of child stars are mysteries to us. The public passes judgement on stars constantly, despite having no idea as to the source of their issues.
Many of us remember Amanda Bynes, who starred in shows such as "The Amanda Show" and "All That" on Nickelodeon. You may be aware that the ex-star has faced numerous DUIs and has been placed in mental hospitals several times. However, you may not be aware of her allegations against her father. Bynes at one point alleged that her father sexually abused her. Her mother denied the possibility. Shortly after, Bynes then tweeted "My dad never did any of those things. The microchip in my brain made me say those things, but he's the one that ordered them to microchip me." It isn't clear whether or not Bynes actually suffered sexual abuse. Bynes' declining mental state makes it difficult for anyone to know exactly what happened to her.
Bynes' possible abuse is not an isolated story. Todd Bridges, who starred in "Diff'rent Strokes," came forward in 2010 about his childhood molestation. At 11 years old, Bridges was sexually abused by his publicist. Brian Peck, who works on movies such as "X-Men" and on Nickelodeon shows, has already been convicted of sexually abusing a child actor. He still works at Nickelodeon today. Disturbingly, Peck also worked on the children's movie "Jack and the Beanstalk." When asked if he felt guilty for sexually abusing a child, Peck said he had no comment.
Elijah Wood, an ex-child star himself, recently stated that, "There are a lot of vipers in this industry." Corey Feldman followed Wood's statement. Feldman, who was in "The Goonies" and other famous movies as a child, reminded the media of the sexual abuse of his ex-co-star, Corey Haim. Haim died in 2010 after a long struggle with drug addiction. Feldman himself was abused as well, stating that he experienced "some molestations" which "[came] from several hands."
Childhood stardom clearly has a secret side. Powerful figures are protected by the companies they make millions for. They rarely face serious repercussions for their actions.
The question we need to ask now is, who is watching out for these children? If the companies they work for aren't, how do we stop this rampant abuse? Clearly the current laws protecting child actors aren't enough. Adults like Brian Peck need to be held accountable for their actions so that more children aren't hurt.
As audiences, we cannot stand for the employment of pedophiles in the entertainment industry.