Review: An Open Secret Spotlights Child Sexual Abuse in Hollywood
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: August 16th, 2015
You may miss a few moments of An Open Secret, either while looking away during its unsettling stories or closing your eyes in frustration. The film centers on a handful of young men who say that as child actors they were sexually assaulted by older men in the entertainment industry. Manipulations, cover-ups and exploitations are recounted, and in several cases accountability was weak; some of the culprits, were told, still work in Hollywood. The victims and their parents defy the stereotype of hard-driving dream-seekers. They come across as merely trusting, which led them to rely on those who promised successful careers. Such faith was exploited by men who later turned out to be predators. He just told me its normal, like, this goes on all the time, this is what you have to do, one young man says he was told after being molested by his manager. Everybody does this. Shame and fear of reprisals initially led him to stay silent, and may be keeping more victims from speaking out. [Director Amy] Berg connects that manager, Martin Weiss, who pleaded no contest to two counts of child molestation in 2012, to a string of other men in Hollywood who have also been accused or convicted of similar crimes. Further aggressive reporting is needed. This topic deserves a tenacious call for answers. Still, An Open Secret is affecting, particularly when the victims recount their experiences in voices that crack with emotion or pause with pain. Even if you do look away, hearing them speak is enough.