'Lord Of The Rings' star says 'there is a lot of darkness' in the treatment of child actors
Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood has compared the treatment of child stars in Hollywood to the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.
Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the JRR Tolkien saga, is a former child star and the actor said there is a lot of “vipers” who exploit young actors in Hollywood.
After beginning to act in Hollywood aged eight, Wood said he was protected by his mother from being exploited. But he added: “There is a lot of vipers in this industry. There is darkness in the underbelly.”
Wood said he sympathised with victims of Jimmy Savile, the BBC presenter who abused young children from the 1960s-2000s during his career presenting shows including ‘Top Of The Pops’ and ‘Jim’ll Fix It.’ Wood told The Sunday Times: “Jesus, it must have been devastating.”
Wood was speaking out after campaigner Anne Henry set up pressure group Bizparentz to help young actors. She claims there are “around 100” child abusers working in Hollywood and estimates that 75% of child actors who later suffer drink and drug problems have been abused.
Wood said: “If you’re innocent, people with parasitic interests will see you as their prey. What upsets me is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as those in power.”
The Goonies actor Corey Feldman said he was “surrounded by molesters” when he was 14 after the film’s success in the 1980s.