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Hollywood Weighs In on Dakota Fanning 'Rape' Scene

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," January 18, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: The controversial new film "Hounddog", featuring the violent rape of child actress Dakota Fanning, is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this week along with a number of other sexually explicit films.

In "Black Snake Moan" actor Samuel Jackson, well, he chains a half-naked Christina Ricci to a radiator. In "The 10," Winona Ryder has relations with a ventriloquist dummy. And nothing may top "Zoo," based on a real-life case about a man who died of a perforated colon after being intimate with an Arabian stallion.

We're joined now by actress Janine Turner.

I know. I'm as shocked as you are. Believe me, but...

JANINE TURNER, ACTRESS: Wow.

HANNITY: ... Yes, welcome to Hollywood, as weird as it can be.

TURNER: Yes.

HANNITY: In the case of Dakota — first of all, I think she's a great actress. She's really — whatever it is, she's got it. She's terrific. She's just a star.

She's a 12-year-old girl. A violent rape scene. What parent would allow their daughter to do that?

TURNER: Well, you know, I have to just say that I haven't seen the movie and I haven't seen the scene, and I think Dakota Fanning is the greatest little treasure to emerge in Hollywood since Elizabeth Taylor.

And as a mother I can't help but think that Dakota's mother wouldn't want to put her in a situation that was compromising. So specifically, it's really hard for me to comment on it.

But in a general way, I can say that I think to have to put a 12-year-old child into a rape scene in a movie is not even a necessity. I think it's ludicrous. It's not even essential.

HANNITY: And by the way, the people behind this film sent out a press release. They're critical of this program, and yet, we have invited them on repeatedly. We've asked to see the film. We've asked them to show us the scene. We'll show it on TV and let our audience see it.

It seems to suggest, though, that they can do this at a tasteful way, that a rape scene with a 12-year-old girl can be done tastefully, and I don't see any way imaginable that that could be possible.

TURNER: Oh, well, once again, I haven't seen it, but you know, I think in the olden days, when there were taboos on what could and could not be seen in the movies or even in television — especially in movies — directors found ways to tell stories in very imaginative ways, where the taboo subject wasn't seen. And these movies were mesmerizing and became instant classics, a lot of them.

And I just think that we're lazy, and I think that our society is suffering from all the violence that we see on television and in the movies and on video games.

HANNITY: Yes.

TURNER: And why, why, why, is what I want to know.

HANNITY: But you know, maybe you can explain this to me. There are so many of these childhood actors that, later in adult life, they have so many problems, an inordinate percentage of these kids that were acting when they were young. Why do you think it is?

Because it seems to me — my thought here is that there's no thought to Dakota Fanning. There's no thought to, you know, what damage or what potential damage could exist for her. It's all about the mighty dollar, and it's all about, you know, getting the highest, you know, gross that they can.

And I'm just wondering, there obviously is something wrong with fame for young kids, isn't there?

TURNER: Well, first of all, I think they should — the union should seriously think about establishing a new rule where — I mean, we have rules that kids — I did "Leave it to Beaver" as June Cleaver. Children can only work a certain amount of hours, and they have to eat and they have to have school and have to rest and have to have social workers. And you can't curse on the set.

So why — I think there should be a rule that says, hey, you know, if you're under the age of 18 you don't do nudity and you aren't put in scenes that are compromising or sexually graphic in this sort of way. That's my personal feeling.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Janine, it's Alan. Welcome back to our show.

TURNER: And then — hi, Alan.

COLMES: How are you? As I understand it, there was no...

TURNER: How are you?

COLMES: Why are you laughing?

HANNITY: Because you popped in her ear.

COLMES: That can be a funny thing.

Look, as I understand it, there was no nudity. She was not nude. She wore a body suit. There were precautions. Look, I'm misunderstood on this. I'm getting a lot of hate mail on this.

Here is my concern. Who steps in and says you can't do this? Do you want the government to say...

TURNER: No.

COLMES: ... this can't be represented on the silver screen? That's what some people are saying. They want prosecutions to take place.

TURNER: Yes.

COLMES: They want to go to North Carolina and have the police go and arrest people. So how do you deal with it?

TURNER: I don't believe in that. Well, I don't believe in prosecutions, and I don't believe the government should be involved in any sort of way. I'm not for government — that's very liberal of me, isn't it? I don't believe that government should be involved...

COLMES: See, I'm bringing you around. Go ahead.

TURNER: ... in the creative situations. I think a union rule could be quite helpful, because it takes the decision away from the child and the mother that a child under the age of 18 can't be in the scenes.

I'm not saying there's nudity, but from what I'm hearing it's a scene that — where she has to act out being raped.

COLMES: Right. You had Jodi Foster in "Taxi Driver," and she also was in this movie called "The Accused," which was the true story of a gang rape that took place in a bar on a pool table. Jodi Foster...

TURNER: She was older. But Jodi Foster was much older.

COLMES: You've got Brooke Shields in "Pretty Baby" who was not older. She turned out OK.

Isn't this really a case-by-case basis, depending upon the actress, the family, what they decide to do?

TURNER: I don't believe in black and whites, necessarily, or stereotyping. I think that there are probably great experiences that children have had in Hollywood, and I think there are not so great experiences children have had in Hollywood.

Probably more children have not had a good experience, and I think it's because it's "Love you, baby. Love you, baby. How are you? How are you?" You get the movie.

And then, you know, down the line when they're 16 or 21, where are those people? It's very, very lonely.

COLMES: All right. Well, we'll be pursuing this and following it. Janine, we thank you very much for coming on our show to talk about it tonight.

TURNER: You're welcome.

COLMES: Thanks very much.

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