- Journal Archives
- Volume 18
- Volume 17
- Volume 16
- Volume 15
- Volume 14
- Volume 13
- Volume 12
- Volume 11
- Volume 10
- Volume 9
- Volume 8
- Volume 7
- Volume 6
- Volume 5
- Volume 4
- Volume 3
- Volume 2
- Volume 1
This past September, California governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that aims to protect child actors from sexual abuse by requiring the screening of talent managers, photographers, and other people who work with child actors. Professionals will provide their names and fingerprints to the state labor commissioner, and anyone who matches with the national database of registered sex offenders will be banned from representing any of the young talent in California. The law takes effect on January 1, 2013.
The protection of child actors has been a pertinent issue in the entertainment industry for quite some time. In the 1980s, after a helicopter crashed on the set of The Twilight Zone, killing actor Vic Morrow and two Taiwanese children, the issues of child labor laws and the protection of child actors were brought to everyone’s attention. However, in recent years, sexual abuse of child actors has become salient. The Times conducted a study and found that since 2000, there was at least a dozen child molestation and child pornography prosecutions involving children in the entertainment industry. Most recently, in November of 2012, Martin Weiss, a prominent talent manager, was arrested on suspicion of child molestation, followed two weeks later by the arrest of Jason James Murphy, a film casting associate, for failing to file a name change with authorities regarding his past conviction of child molestation and abduction.
This law has garnered a lot of support among the entertainment community, and has sparked some revelations from past child actors. Corey Feldman (from Gremlins and The Goonies) and Todd Bridges (from Diff’rent Strokes) have voiced their support for the law, as well as the fact that they were both molested during their time as child actors. Feldman was molested by a man involved with his father’s child talent business, while Bridges was molested by a family friend who was a musician and gospel singer. In addition to actors, a number of organizations have voiced their support as well, including the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Arts union, the Association of Talent Agents, the Talent Managers Association, and the Motion Picture Association of America.
Despite this step forward, the ultimate question still remains as to whether or not child actors are adequately protected by the law. Bridges asserted that without laws like this, Hollywood will keep attracting pedophiles that will be unmonitored and free to commit more acts of abuse. But will this law be enough? Unless the professionals required to submit their information include every type of position in the entertainment industry, there will always be the risk of people slipping through the cracks. Not only that, but it is not just sexual abuse that child actors need to be protected from. Drugs and alcohol are extremely prevalent in the entertainment industry, as well as incredibly high levels of stress related to the instability of the job, constant rejection, relocation, and the lack of normal social environments for children, such as school.
A career in the entertainment industry is extremely difficult and often destructive for most adults and therefore poses even greater risks for children. Sexual abuse is just one of those many risks, but hopefully this new law will help usher in more legislation to try and eliminate the bad influences that seem to lurk around every corner for child actors and provide them with a much safer environment to grow up in.
Recent Blog Posts
- Centralizing Cybersecurity in the Digital Age
- Justice Department Deals a Blow to Songwriters
- If You Build It, They Will Come: Baseball and the Reopening of Cuba
- First Circuit Aligns With Third: Actavis Extends Beyond Cash Settlements
- Current Issues in Technology Law: Dr. Asma Vranaki Analyzes Data Privacy Regulation in the Context of Facebook Advertisements
- Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law Rises in National Law Journal Rankings
Tagsadvertising antitrust Apple books career celebrities contracts copyright copyright infringement courts creative content criminal law entertainment Facebook FCC film/television financial First Amendment games Google government intellectual property internet JETLaw journalism lawsuits legislation media medicine Monday Morning JETLawg music NFL patents privacy progress publicity rights radio social networking sports Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) technology telecommunications trademarks Twitter U.S. Constitution