Published October 30, 2013
LOS ANGELES – Corey Feldman, arguably the biggest child actor of the 80's, dropped some bombshells in his tell-all book "Coreyography," detailing rampant child sexual abuse in the entertainment industry. Almost three decades later, experts say not much has changed.
"Pedophiles and predators in Hollywood are just as rampant today, if not more so. The entertainment industry is much larger than it was in their day. Think how many cable channels there are. In Corey's day, there were channels 2-13," Anne Henry, co-founder of BizParentz Foundation, an organization that supports families of children working in the entertainment industry, told FOX411. "We also have the Internet today, which allows predators to virtually stalk and contact child actors in a more personal way."
Multiple professionals warned that predators and pedophiles – both 30 years ago and today – do not choose their prey randomly.
"They are typically very careful when choosing," said Allison Arngrim, the former "Little House on the Prairie" star who wrote about her own experiences as a victim of Hollywood child abuse in the book "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch.” "They look for kids whose parents are maybe going through a divorce, are very naïve, suffering with addiction problems, or are simply crazy stage parents who will look the other way."
There are also parents who don't want to rock the boat, even after finding out their child was abused. A source told FOX411 that a member of a well-known band recently found out that his underage child was having sexual relations with another successful industry figure 25-30 years her senior. The incident was brushed under the rug out of fear of ruining the reputation of the perpetrator and his colleagues.
"In Hollywood, there are parents who will practically prostitute their kids in the hope they can make money and get ahead. It is a horrible trap that the kids are in," Arngrim said. "These people aren't seeing their kid as a kid. It's more common than you think."
Feldman’s book delves into the lack of guidance and support he had from his own parents, a depressed, drug addicted Playboy model mom, and a musician father who routinely encouraged his young son to get high with him.
“When we hear stories like Corey Feldman's it is clear to us that their family lives were not optimal. If even a fraction of what he says about his parents is true, they weren't physically present every place,” Henry said. “Those kids would have been at risk of predators in any venue...because their parents weren't vigilant, all the way through their teen years.”
One change between then and now, however, is new legislation making it illegal for registered sex offenders to work with children in the entertainment industry. BizParentz, SAG-AFTRA, the Association of Talent Agents, and the MPAA worked together to pass bill AB1660 in California.
"It also serves a preventative purpose as it requires fingerprints for anyone working with children in Hollywood, just as is done for school teachers, day care providers and sports coaches in California," Henry said.
(The legislation only applies to California, and it’s not clear if or when other states will follow suit.)
But Henry said the buck ultimately still stops with the parents.
"The biggest safety insurance is simple that parents must be with their children. Always. Every time. In California, it is the law that parents be within sight and sound of their child while they are working," she said. "Unfortunately, all states do not have this as a law. Outside of the set itself, in venues like acting class and management meetings, parents still need to recognize that they can't ever leave."