The director of the film, Avi Shankar, released a statement on Tuesday confirming the news that they would be “moving forward” without the 33-year-old actor. Salling was set to play the villain in the film co-directed by Shankar and Stewart Yost. The story explored the ramifications of a world filled with superheroes and is starring Kellan Lutz, Denise Richards and Jane Seymour.
Shankar is personally paying for the actor’s scenes to be re-shot and donating a percentage of the profits from the film to a charity for abused children.
“I hope that Mark finds inner peace,” the helmer wrote. “Hopefully some good will come of all of this and I pray that when the dust has settled, the hyper-connectivity of the information age that has brought to light the transgressions of several public figures, will also force us to look within our society to identify and eliminate the root cause of the rape culture we exist in.”
Salling was arrested on Dec, 29 after officials took his laptop, hard drive and USB flash drive from his home in California. Investigators said that the devices contained thousands of pictures and videos of child pornography. If the actor is convicted, he faces up to 5-20 years in federal prison.
Read Shankar’s full statement below:
The innocence of our planet’s children is something that must be protected at all costs. As entertainers, our role is to be the “conscience of humanity,” striving to make the world better for future generations. Sadly, we live in a country where statistically at least 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, 80,000 children are reportedly sexually abused every year, and at least 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. According to available data, every two minutes, an American is sexually assaulted. Even more troubling, exponentially more cases go unreported as in most situations, authority figures are ill equipped to help.
The aforementioned statistics are nauseating, reminiscent of a third world country, and until very recently, kept out of the limelight. Child abuse is a cultural cancer whose tentacles penetrate far deeper than a single celebrity caught with illicit images on his computer, just as date rape is a is a far more prominent issue than the repeated transgressions of one mediocre entertainer from the 1970’s. Child abuse is a democratic disease existing across socioeconomic lines affecting every walk of life. It affects all of us, and more importantly, its existence needs to cece to exist. Period.
Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets will be moving forward without Mark Salling. He has been cut from the mini-series, I will personally be paying for the reshoots, and I hope that Mark finds inner peace. Furthermore, a percentage of profits from the project will go to a charity for abused children. Hopefully some good will come of all of this and I pray that when the dust has settled, the hyper-connectivity of the information age that has brought to light the transgressions of several public figures, will also force us to look within our society to identify and eliminate the root cause of the rape culture we exist in.