Yesterday, Tabloid Baby was less than restrained in criticizing Hollywood in general, Francis Ford Coppolla in specific, and the LA Times in the abstract, for allowing a well known, convicted pedophile to continue working in Hollywood. The man in question is Victor Salva, director of Powder, Jeepers Creepers, and the new release Peaceful Warrior. From her post, “Amoral. Disgusting. Hollywood. LA Times”:
When Victor Salva made a movie back in 1988, he took time from setting up scenes to have oral sex with the movie’s star, a 12 year old boy. A director, whose power over ingenues and grown men alike can be scary enough, who wangled his way into a stage family and assured the parents he could be trusted to force their child to follow his directions– had sex with the little boy. Stated simply: He blew the kid. Or had the kid blow him (these “oral sex” charges aren’t specific). Salva is a troubled, disgusting, overweight pig. His victim was a child.
One of the film’s locations was the Napa Valley residence of his buddy Francis Ford Coppolla. After Salva’s conviction, Coppolla went on to champion Salva as an artist who deserved a second chance, explaining:
“You have to remember, while this was a tragedy, that the difference in age between Victor and the boy was very small — Victor was practically a child himself.” (Actually, Salva was 29 to the boy’s 12.) (source: LA Times)
Tabloid Baby points out that turning a blind eye towards child sexual abuse is commonplace, pointing to directors Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, and Bryan Singer (although I take issue with her implication that Singer was ever accused of being a pedophile), and also attacks the LA Times for writing an objective piece instead of taking Hollywood to task (which I also take issue with… I think the Times piece speaks for itself).
Here’s where I ask our readers for feedback: In theory, I think most people (including myself) would agree with Tabloid Baby’s rule: “If you’re a director on a movie, and you’re directing a child as your star, and you molest the child– you don’t get to direct another movie!” But in practice:
- Should we think twice about paying to see movies by the same people who have been convicted of such heinous crimes?
- Should society have a moral statute of limitations for condemning people of past crimes that they already served a sentence for?
- And since we are in Hollywood, should the people who work on these films, accept advertising from the films, and screen these films also be taken to task?