The LA Times has published a detailed story online recapping and detailing many of the high profile pedophile cases in Hollywood (Martin Weiss, Jason James Murphy, Roman Polanski) and some not as familiar but equally disturbing (Jason Michael Handy, Bob Villard, Ezel Ethan Channel). The most important information I took away from this post was that out of all this pedophile madness some good seems to be on it’s way. Please read this excerpt from today’s LA Times post:
The recent arrests prompted a bill, expected to be filed this month with the California Assembly, that would require licensing and criminal background checks for those who work with actors under age 16. It would prohibit registered sex offenders from serving as child managers, photographers, career counselors or publicists.
“Under the existing law, talent agents are regulated; however, casting directors, managers and photographers are not. This loophole makes it very easy for a predator to gain access to children working within the entertainment industry,” said the bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose).
Experts say addressing the problem is overdue.
“This is just like the Catholic Church pretending that priests never molested people in the past,” said Dr. Daniel D. Broughton, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic and expert on child sexual abuse. “What’s surprising to me is why it hasn’t come out even stronger and sooner.”
The full LA Times article is here and I strongly suggest that you read it. As parents of young performers it’s our responsibility to see to it that this bill and others like it which protect our children are passed as quickly as possible.
It is also of note that Assembly Person Campos wrote and supported legislation AB 746 (now state law) which declares that posts made on social network sites are covered under the Education Code anti-bullying provisions and allows school officials to suspend student violators.
California law allows for the suspension of a student for bullying, including bullying by electronic acts. Prior to AB 746, however, the law did not expressly provide that transmission by posting messages on a social network site is included in the definition of an electronic act.
“The increase in popularity of social networks has also brought an increase in abuse and in some instances depression and suicide,” Campos said, adding that “preventing these tragedies is why I introduced this legislation.”