Harvey Weinstein’s debacle ignited a flame that has begun to expose the culture of rape and misogyny that apparently has been alive and well in Hollywood for many years. High-profile actresses (and actors) began coming out of the woodwork to describe their own harrowing tales of abuse and sexism in the industry. #MeToo turned up the heat. Today we hear of Kevin Spacey’s alleged penchant for underage boys, thanks to Broadway actor Anthony Rapp.
Last week I wrote here at Redstate about another long-ignored Hollywood scandal that was beginning to finally poke it’s ugly head out of the shadows. The story took off and my research soon caused me to stumble over a little-known documentary made by Esponda Productions. “An Open Secret” exposes the plague of pedophilia that has been covered up in Hollywood for decades, to a sickening extent. Three brave young men in particular share their stories of being young teenagers pursuing fame and success in Hollywood. As a boy, each of the men were groomed by their pedophile managers, agents or other trusted figures around them.
The movie is two years old and at the time of my original viewing it had 150 views on Vimeo.
This is a hard subject to process, but it can no longer go unnoticed.
The film discusses the deliberate effort to silence children who tried to come forward, and how despite the rumors and even a pretty high profile conviction (manager Marty Weiss plead guilty to the rape of minor, served a third of his sentence and went back to work representing children) many of these sick predators simply keep right on working. As long as they’re making money, everyone seems willing to overlook the damage.
Astonishingly, the producers were able to bring in Michael Harrah. Harrah (now in his 60s) is an extremely well-known and successful child agent and manager and has been for decades. There had always been rumors of Harrah grooming his young clients to become his victims and to this day he has teenage boys living in his home, under the guise of making audition scheduling easier on parents and kids.
What made this man think appearing in a documentary about the very thing he’s accused of is beyond logic. The film crew was very pointed in their questioning and discussion and made no bones about why they were interested in talking to him. Perhaps that is the twisted narcissism of the pedophile mind – that if only they can tell their side of the story they can explain away all the ickiness.
Indeed, Harrah’s response to a very intense, emotional phone call from one of his (now adult) accusers is an eerie echo of Kevin Spacey’s lame apology to actor Anthony Rapp after he was accused of trying to molest a young Rapp at a Broadway party when Rapp was just 14 years old. Both men used the same basic excuse…”I don’t remember the incident but if it happened I’m sorry. It was inappropriate.”
There are no words for this type of depravity. And all this from inside the glass houses atop giant high horses from which these people condemn and vilify the unwashed masses for their lifestyles, political leanings and religious traditions.
“An Open Secret” is both emotional and tragic, but well-crafted and ultimately deeply moving. One almost feels shame when the film ends. To think this had been going on behind the scenes of our favorite shows and movies for so long and most of us in consumer-land knew nothing.
This movie should be the final nail in the coffin of an industry that has fostered a culture of abuse for too long. Unfortunately , it is only the beginning – but at least it does seem to be beginning.
“An Open Secret” is available to view for free on Vimeo until 10/31. It is well worth your time.