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Elijah Wood On Hollywood’s Child Abuse Crisis: ‘There Are a Lot of Vipers in This Industry’

Elijah Wood On Hollywood’s Child Abuse Crisis: 'There Are a Lot of Vipers in This Industry'

Update: Wood has taken to social media to clarify his comments:

“The Sunday Times interviewed me about my latest film but the story became about something else entirely. It prompted a number of false and misleading headlines. I had just seen a powerful documentary and I briefly spoke with the reporter about the subject which had consequences I did not intend or expect. Lesson learned. Let me be clear: This subject of child abuse is an important one that should be discussed and properly investigated. But as I made absolutely clear to the writer, I have no first-hand experience or observation of the topic, so I cannot speak with any authority beyond articles I have read and films I have seen.”

Child abuse and sexual assault cases in Hollywood are hardly considered to be an industry-wide problem, but according to actor Elijah Wood, if you can imagine it, it probably happened.

Wood recently told the Sunday Times that the disturbing Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal that shocked the U.K. following the television and radio personality’s death in 2011 is likely illustrative of a wider problem that few people in Hollywood are actually aware of, aside from perpetrators and victims.

“Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood,” Wood said. “It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry–people who only have their own interests in mind.”

Having started his acting career at the age of 8, Wood has the unique ability to see the industry from the perspective of both a child and an adult. Unlike many child stars whose parents can let success in show business play a disproportionately important tole in their lives, Wood says his mother was “far more concerned with raising me to be a good human than facilitating my career.” For this reason, Wood says he never went to parties that could have exposed him to the dark underbelly of show business.

Asked whether he believes sexual assault continues to take place in Hollywood, Wood said all signs point to yes.

“From my reading and research, I’ve been led down dark paths to realize that these things probably are still happening,” he said. “People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.” 

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