Are Hollywood Stars Enabling Sexual Predators By Not Naming Names?

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Published December 14, 2011

| FoxNews.com

Several stars have come forward recently with casting couch tales, saying they were appalled and shocked they were asked for sexual favors in order to get coveted jobs in Hollywood.

But for all of the talk of outrage, few of the alleged perpetrators have been named. In fact, a number of entertainment industry experts and insiders declined to even comment on the hot-button issue when approached by FoxNews.com.

So why are entertainment pros mum when it comes to sexual predators in Hollywood?

“Actors don’t name names for several reasons. Many times it is because they want to move on from that unpleasant experience, or perhaps they succumbed to it, or the ‘perpetrator’ was so huge that they do not want to defame that person because they think highly of their work,” Los Angeles-based celebrity psychologist, Dr. Nancy Irwin, told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “Others don’t want to be labeled a ‘snitch’ or feel nobody will believe them because it is such a cliché. Sadly, the cliché does perpetuate, probably because the creative process in and of itself can be a seductive process, and the temptation is non-stop in Hollywood.”

Hollywood-based career strategist Suzannah Galland said she hears many horror stories from friends who are top actresses. These victims don’t name names “out of fear,” but she says code of silence can turn tragic.

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“Two (friends) have told me of date rapes perpetrated by major male stars. In both cases, these women agreed to a friendly dinner,” she said. “One of these friends had no interest in a romantic relationship at all with the star that was pursuing her, and she made that clear to him. All the same she was in awe of the man’s talent, and happy to discuss possible roles with him. An alliance would have been hugely helpful to her career. So she was trusting when he invited her after dinner to stop by his hotel, where he had a stack of scripts to show her. Once the door was shut, he raped her. ’I never told anybody,’ she explained to me, ‘because he is who he is and I was ashamed.’”

Another friend confided to Galland that she was approached by an award-winning actor she found attractive. However, when she went back to his place to “discuss scripts,” things took an ugly turn.

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“Even though she was willing to be romanced, that never happened. He beat her then raped her. She spent years in recovery, conflicted and ashamed,” Galland explained. “She made no public complaint.’”

According to Irwin, by not revealing the predators, celebrities are contributing to the problem and putting others at risk of becoming the next victim.

“I always encourage actors to file a complaint anonymously through the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) because they care about this issue deeply,” she said. “It is up to talent to set the boundary and disallow abuse. If this happens enough, and SAG disciplines the abuser, hopefully they will seek the professional help they need to halt this inappropriate and damaging behavior.”

SAG National Director of Affirmative Action and Diversity, Adam Moore, said that despite gains made over the years toward workplace equality, performers still often face workplace discrimination and sexual harassment on set or during auditions.

“Neither discrimination nor harassment is your fault. When you see or become a victim of discrimination or harassment, don’t ignore it and don’t pretend it did not happen -- let someone know,” Moore advised, adding that the issue is taken incredibly seriously by the union. “Have no fear that this will get out to the industry: your call is entirely confidential and nothing will be done without your express consent. Every action taken against this behavior means it is less likely to be repeated. You have a responsibility to yourself and your fellow Guild members to see that all performers are treated with respect in the job search and in the workplace.”

If SAG deems a complaint appropriate, the Guild sends a copy of their policy along with a letter advising the alleged perpetrator of the complaint, and demands that the production company involved investigate the concern and take immediate action to remedy any inappropriate conduct.

Someone might want to tell some of today’s top stars about SAG’s complaint process.

Megan Fox told British GQ that she was “heartbroken” over the number of legendary Hollywood directors that had tried to bed her since she found fame. Lisa Rinna claimed she missed out on a role in a prominent television series because she refused to give a producer “a quickie.” Gwyneth Paltrow recently told Elle Magazine that when she was just starting out it was suggested that a business meeting be finished in the bedroom. In an interview with People magazine, Charlize Theron divulged that in her modeling days, she was invited to a well-known director’s home for a casting call – only to find him in his pajamas mixing drinks. And in her best-selling book “Suck It, Wonder Woman!” Olivia Munn dished out a jaw-dropping supply of stories from sleeping with a famous director in her rookie days to visiting an agent’s home who had a collage of vaginas on his wall.

And it’s not just women.

"I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia," 80’s sensation Corey Feldman told ABC's "Nightline" last August. "That's the biggest problem for children in this industry... It's the big secret."

Hollywood publicist Angie Meyer urges victims, famous or not, to come forward and name names.

“To set a precedent, just one person needs to come forward to ignite an investigation, and involve authorities,” she said. “In order for these perpetrators to become fearful of consequence – the ramifications must be so severe that they risk losing more than their reputations, job and any continuous Hollywood career.”

But former theatrical agent and founder of online casting service GotCast.com, Alec Shankman, said that as long as celebrities continue to their stories – even without exposing the culprit – they are still helping to curb the problem.

“Hollywood is a very small community and careers are very volatile, so often people feel that the risks and making waves in the community might outweigh the desire to speak out and name names,” he explained. “Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the behavior can be stopped entirely. Much like sexual harassment in the workplace, it is an ongoing issue. But as long as young, new talent are properly educated and informed about all of the legitimate ways to reach success, they will be more likely to avoid any of the less legitimate opportunities that might present themselves."

Deidre Behar contributed to this report.

 

 

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