Former Child Star Corey Feldman Reminds Us That Boys Are Sexually Victimized, Too

For centuries we've ooh'd and ahh'd at child stars -- because let's face it, they're just plain old adorable with their miniature features, voices, and hilarious and cinematic wisecracks. From Shirley Temple to Gary Coleman and Macaulay Culkin, we just can't get enough of them on the screen. Nevertheless, it rarely occurs to us to dig deep into the on-goings of being a star (of any sort) in Hollywood; we're usually far too focused on other dynamics of child stars, like their public outburst or what kind of "crib" they're living in. That is, until recently, when we began hearing more and more of the major pedophile rings that allegedly take place inside many circles within the entertainment industry. It's something Lost Boys and Goonies star Corey Feldman once again reminded us of as he discussed his life as a child in the entertainment industry in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. 

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The upsetting interview shed light on a topic that's been stirring the pot in Hollywood and has gained a lot more public attention and coverage in recent years. 

Feldman describes Hollywood as a place "where adults have more direct and inappropriate connection with children than probably anywhere else in the world."

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He admits to being molested as a child, while his friend and costar Corey Haim was raped at the age of 11. And while this knowledge certainly left our stomachs churning, it's Felman's startling truth that essentially the entertainment industry is a breeding ground for pedophilia -- for adult men in the industry looking to prey on young men -- that leaves us thoroughly disgusted.

He opened up to THR, describing the staging process:

They would throw these parties where you'd walk in and it would be mostly kids and there would be a handful of adult men. They would also be at the film awards and children's charity functions.

While people, by his admission, have shamed him for not coming forward with his allegations, calling him a "coward," this goes beyond Feldman and the other, now-grown child stars who have encountered sexual abuse in this industry.

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Hell, it goes beyond the industry. The heart-wrenching testimony on his behalf and his good friend Corey Haim's should serve to be nothing less than eye-opening -- this is a discussion that we need to have. 

Society has shunned the topic or notion that men can be and are sexually abused, too. Victims of rape and molestation aren't, in fact, gender specific -- no matter how many blind eyes we try to turn to this fact.  

In sex ed, they sit us down and, without actually saying "girls," they focus all their attention on teaching young ladies to speak out if we have been violated -- and yet, with all the open dialogue, we as women still have trouble speaking out when we are victimized.

So, for a moment, imagine how scared young boys feel as this is happening to them -- when they were never taught what to do if they're ever harmed in this way. It's unfathomable, because instead we focus our energy on telling them that they must be strong, among so many other stereotypes that tie them to gender roles. In doing this, we completely neglect to give them a safe haven if they fall victim to predators. 

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We leave men ill-equipped to the dangers of pedophilia, only making it easier for pedophiles to groom their victims and keep them quiet. So, no, we don't get to look at Corey Feldman and call him a coward -- when it's society as a whole who has proven to be the real coward. 

Imagine a society that values gender roles and sexism over protecting all its children, that doesn't see the value of having this discussion with young men. That's the world we live in and that's the world we must fight to change. 

 

Image via Jane O'neal/Warner Bros./Getty Images

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