Elijah Wood (Photo: Fotonoticias/WireImage)
UPDATE: Elijah Wood has said that his comments to the Sunday Times were misinterpreted and spoke to The Hollywood Reporter to correct the record. "The Sunday Times interviewed me about my latest film, but the story became about something else entirely,“ he said to THR’s Seth Abramovitch. "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.” He continued: “But as I made absolutely clear to the writer, I have no firsthand experience or observation of the topic, so I cannot speak with any authority beyond articles I have read and films I have seen.” Go to The Hollywood Reporter to read the full follow-up story.
By Arlene Washington, The Hollywood Reporter
Elijah Wood is speaking out on the dangers of child abuse hidden within Hollywood. The Telegraph reported that in an interview with the Sunday Times, the Lord of the Rings star expressed that abuse within the industry still exists and is kept under wraps by those with power in Hollywood.
“There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” said Wood. The actor, who currently stars alongside Nicolas Cage in The Trust, compared child abuse in Hollywood to the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal in the U.K. where the late entertainment host sexually abused boys and girls without being charged.
“You all grew up with Savile—Jesus, it must have been devastating,” said Wood. “There is a darkness in the underbelly—if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”
While child actor Corey Feldman (The Goonies, Gremlins) says he is among those in Hollywood that are victims of abuse, Wood said his mother’s efforts to restrict him from attending Hollywood parties at a young age helped him from being caught up in the dangerous side of Hollywood.
“She was far more concerned with raising me to be a good human than facilitating my career,” said Wood. “If you’re innocent, you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed. People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”
The Telegraph also reported that Anne Henry—the co-founder of Bizparentz, which provides support to child actors—says that her organization is currently supporting 100 victims of abuse and that a "tsunami” of claims were on the way.
Wood expressed that the issue of abuse continues since victims “can’t speak as loudly as people in power.”
“That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people,“ he said. "They can be squashed but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”
Flashback: Elijah Wood talks Frodo in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’: