I’m slowly feeling my way to arguing that Hollywood’s actively corrupt culture causes structural brain damage that leads to bizarre behavior and politics.
Be warned. This is not so much a post as it my working through my feeling that “there’s something here,” but I’m not quite sure what it is. Writing this out is part of my attempt to see if there’s a thread tying things together beyond just the general horribleness of Hollywood live behind the scenes and screens. I’ll start by setting out the things I want to tie together.
It started two days ago when I read a post with a very long title: “WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Mother of Sexually Abused Boy Bander Breaks Her Silence, Implicates Disney, CAA, Hollywood Records, LAPD, DA & Industry Elite in Pedophile Ring & Cover-up.”
The post is as long as the title implies but the gist is simple: Ricky Garcia, a former Disney child star, filed suit in September against “his ex-manager Joby Harte, 37, Joby’s Hot Rocks Media business partners Paul Cohen and Sheri Anderson Thomas, talent agency APA, former APA agent Tyler Grasham, and manager Nils Larsen, currently employed by Management 360.” In the suit, Garcia alleges that all the defendants knowing sexually abused him, starting when he was 12.
Because I don’t follow the entertainment industry, I hadn’t noticed this latest exposure (or alleged exposure) of industry morals. To their credit, the entertainment media reported on the suit when it was filed. For example, People wrote:
A Disney channel actor and member of the boy band Forever In Your Mind has reportedly filed suit against his former manager and a host of others, claiming he was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted when he was as young as 12 years old.
Ricky Garcia, now 20, alleged that he was groomed to be a “sexual plaything” by ex-manager Joby Harte, who would then “pass [him] around” to his industry friends, according to documents obtained by PEOPLE and first reported by The Hollywood Reporter and TMZ.
The defendants have not yet had the opportunity to respond to the complaint in court, and PEOPLE has been unable to reach either Harte or Larson for comment.
PEOPLE went on to detail some of the other nasty and illegal behaviors alleged.
Since then, though, the entertainment media and the mainstream media have not commented on the story. Part of that, of course, is that civil litigation, in its early phases doesn’t produce a lot that’s noteworthy. The lawyers are exchanging letters, bringing motions to dismiss, and serving discovery requests. It’s early days yet. However, the silence is also unsurprising because neither the media in Hollywood nor New York gets the friendly, funny, heart-warming “inside stories” readers look for if the media is telling the truth about the entertainment industry.
In the post to which I first linked, Ricky’s mother, Tammy, goes into great detail about what happened. She describes how she and Ricky headed to Hollywood for his career. It was a good move for them because Ricky’s father was unemployed, so Ricky, like so many child stars from the 1920s forward, was going to become the family’s financial mainstay.
Once in Hollywood, Tammy was politely told to get lost. Ricky’s career, the various agents and handlers said, needed him to be with industry people, not his mommy. Dazzled and intimidated, she complied. If that sounds familiar, that’s precisely what Billy Ray Cyrus describes when he talks about how he vanished from his daughter, Miley Cyrus’s life when she became a Disney/Hollywood star – and that despite working on her Hannah Montana show with her.
What Tammy claims not to have known, and perhaps at some level did not want to know given how seductive fame and money are, was that Ricky was apparently being systematically abused by the adults in whose care he found himself. He and his Disney peers were being plied with alcohol, sexually abused, and passed around at parties, including parties that big name stars hosted, by a gang of industry pedophiles, including a lot of Disney types.
Again, if this sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve heard this story over and over and over from Corey Feldman, who has talked for a long time about the sexual molestation he and his friend Corey Haim allegedly experienced when they were young at the hands of a gay pedophile ring in Hollywood. Haim doesn’t talk about the issue because, after years of struggling with drug abuse, in 2010 he died at 38 from pneumonia.
So that’s the first thing: Yet another tail of horrible pedophilia coming out of Hollywood and focused especially on the Disney studio.
The second thing, which I remembered after reading the above post, is a long Twitter thread from years ago about Dan Schneider, a director at Nickelodeon who, before being abruptly fired after these revelations, was apparently famed in the industry for (a) a foot fetish, (b) for putting young teenage actresses in bizarre, sexually titillating scenarios, and (c) allegedly having molested those same teenagers. Tiffany FitzHenry, the same gal who published the post that initiated this line of thinking, wrote about Dan Schneider cleaning up his Twitter feed and about some of the accusations against him.
Regarding these allegations about rampant gay and straight pedophilia in Hollywood, I absolutely believe it. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I knew some Hollywood types. When I’d see movies with them, as the credits rolled, you could hear them saying, “Oh, he’s a pedophile,” “He likes them young,” and things like that.
Another reason it’s very easy to believe that this is true is because the same thing was taking place in England. When British media fave Jimmy Saville died, the stories started coming out about his decades of molesting young people. And as those stories came out, more and more famous Brits got sucked into the pit. Some, undoubtedly, were just drugged-out stars in the late 1960s and early 1970s who didn’t inquire too deeply about their groupies’ ages. Others, however, were definitely lifelong predators.
I could also go on about Jeffrey Epstein and the scary prevalence of pedophilia in the ranks of the rich and powerful, but that’s not where my thoughts are going. Instead, I want to talk about two ideas that come from these links in that short chain.
The first idea is the fact that the creative side of the entertainment world is absolutely and thoroughly corrupt, yet we continue to bring it into our homes and feed its products to our children. (By creative side, I mean writers, producers, directors, actors, and the business people behind them. I’m not talking about the cameramen and set builders and others like that.) As the late, great Andrew Breitbart understood, politics is downstream from culture – and, in America, Hollywood and the New York media set the cultural tone.
Ben Shapiro, in his book Prime Time Propaganda, has media types freely boasting about how they used their TV shows for propaganda. Their boasts are about effectuating political and social change that was not sexual (anti-war, civil rights, and women’s rights, for example), not about destroying cultural norms. Nevertheless, it’s clear that just as these old-time Democrats sneaked political propaganda into their shows, modern Leftists are using TV shows, especially those aimed at children and teens, to change American values and morals.
Thus, the entertainment industry went from being rightfully proud about its eventual stand ending segregation and supporting equal rights, to using its conduit into American brains to destroy traditional sexual morality, traditional family values, traditional work values, traditional patriotism, and just about everything else that created and bound together a core American culture built around Judeo-Christian moral values and the Constitution.
In a rare moment of industry insight, even Homer Simpson began to figure out that there’s a problem in American society, although the writers pointed the finger at retailers, not at themselves.
While I somehow can’t find an English-language YouTube showing this particular scene, here’s the setup: The “Daddicus Finch” episode was yet another in a long line of slightly boring “Homer and Lisa bond” episodes. What made it stand out for me was the trigger for Lisa suddenly seeing Homer as an Atticus Finch character. An unwilling Homer took Lisa clothes shopping and was horrified by what he found in the store:
HOMER: Let’s get something sweet for my little girl. Sugar and spice and everything . . . what the?! [Seeing the signs for products.] “Twerking girl”? “Ho, Sweet Ho”? “Baby’s First Thong”?
SALES CLERK: Those are just a few of our high-end brands. We also have “Call of Booty,” “Raggedy Anorexic,” “The Edge of 13,” and, for boys, “Jack the Stripper.”
HOMER: Oh, for crying out loud! Okay, that’s it. I’ve heard enough and three past that. My daughter is still a sweet little girl. [Grabbing a string bikini off the rack.] What the? [Grabbing a thong off the rack.] Oh, come on! [Grabbing a sleazy swimsuit off the rack.] My daughter’s not a sex object. She’s a respect object. Innocent girls. Knee socks. Grow up too fast. I will see you all in court. [At which point all the Mom’s in the store applaud and Lisa sees Homer as Atticus Finch.]
As the #MeToo moment crested, I wonder how many people were thinking, “But what about the children?” Just recently, what Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam pointed out that the #MeToo victims were almost entirely adult women who made conscious choices: “These [women who came forward with claims] were ambitious adults.” And again, “There are many victims in Harvey’s life and I feel sympathy for them, but then, Hollywood is full of very ambitious people who are adults and they make choices.”
Before going any further, the fact that ambitious women slept their way to the top doesn’t excuse the men from being sleazy, greedy, abusive bullies. It just means that those women who weren’t actually raped made affirmative choices to yield to those horrible men in order to have a career.
The women could have left Hollywood. And no, of course that’s not fair. No one should have to make that choice, but it was still a choice.
But at the same time all of this was going on – and it’s a Hollywood story as old as Hollywood — there were people, both male and female, who were not making choices and those people . . . getting back to where I began this post, were the children. Their parents and guardians let vulnerable children navigate alone a world of evil sexual predators and the children got absolutely and completely victimized.
So now, in this wandering post, I’m finally getting to the issue I’m trying to wrap my mind around, but that’s still so inchoate I’m not sure what to do with it. I’ve already said we should turn off the TV sets and ignore the movies, rather than let these corrupt people set our cultural agenda.
When Disney was purveying princesses, it was pretty harmless unless you were a feminist. But now that Disney’s selling paganism in its movies and non-stop sexuality in its TV shows, there’s good reason for parents just to say NO.
The other thing I want to point to – and this is finally the current event issue I wanted to talk about — is the horrific behavior of many Hollywood stars both in terms of Trump Derangement Syndrome and in terms of their response to Soleimani’s death. I know some of what we’re seeing from Hollywood is stars who live in a bizarre bubble and are disconnected from the real world. And I know that some of it is because these same stars are self-conscious about being uneducated, so they ape the opinions of people they think are better – namely, Leftist media hacks.
But what I’m wondering is whether some of their really peculiar responses are because those who came of age in Hollywood suffered from sexual molestation when they were young. We know that chronic sexual molestation damages people.
It turns out that the brains of people who suffered childhood abuse, both sexual and otherwise, change physically. According to the University of Miami Health System, “The study, published in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, shows that sexually abused and emotionally mistreated children exhibit specific and differential changes in the architecture of their brain that reflect the nature of the mistreatment.”
That’s a big deal. It means that some of the stranger people in Hollywood have an actual excuse for their craziness.
And what kind of craziness? One website contends that they show social difficulties, impulsive behavior, underachievement, depression and anxiety, poor emotional intelligence, struggles with intimacy, and aggression and misbehavior. Another website concurs that adults who were sexually abused as children have a host of problems, ranging from inappropriate emotion responses, to symptoms of PTSD, to warped self-perception, to troubles with social functioning, etc. And another website, in addition to stating the same symptoms as the others, includes substance abuse, hypersexualized behaviors, psychotic-like symptoms, mood fluctuations, anger and irritability, and a failure to maintain long-term friends or romantic partners.
Does the above sound like much of Hollywood writ large? It spells out someone who is angry, narcissistic, insecure, lacking empathy, and just emotionally damaged all around. And maybe that explains how you end up with this:
Dear #Iran, The USA has disrespected your country, your flag, your people. 52% of us humbly apologize. We want peace with your nation. We are being held hostage by a terrorist regime. We do not know how to escape. Please do not kill us. #Soleimani pic.twitter.com/YE54CqGCdr
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) January 3, 2020
If I’m correct, these people are more to be pity then censured – and it’s on us that we raise them to heights in which they have a genuine effect on American social culture and political discourse.