Jeepers Creepers: Hollywood Continues To Support Pedophiles

creeper.jpgYesterday, 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?

14 Replies to “Jeepers Creepers: Hollywood Continues To Support Pedophiles”

  1. I hate pedophiles, and I think that it’s a travesty that this man is still directing movies. Hopefully his new film doesn’t have any kids in it.

  2. to play devil’s advocate here, is there no such thing as rehabilitation, for salva and or any other pedophile? the prison system thinks so, otherwise they wouldn’t have released salva. granted, i’m sure the recidivism rate may be higher for those who commit sexually based crimes than those who commit non sexually based crimes (meaning the odds are against salva), but what about those who truly better themselves behind bars and are deemed by a probation committee as fit to enter the general population again as (hopefully) productive members of society? how do you know salva is not one of them?

    let’s say that salva hasn’t committed any sex crimes since being released from prison in 1989 after serving a 15 month sentence (salva’s sentence concerns me more than anything. for a 29 year old man convicted of molesting a 12 year old child, he should have been sentenced to a more harsh sentence) according to http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-salva11jun11,1,1760527.column?coll=la-headlines-entnews&track=crosspromo. he’s made six movies since being released and more importantly, hasn’t reoffended, so while everyone still criticizes him as a child molesting monster, why can’t he be praised as a ex con (who hasn’t reoffended in over 16 years) who ultimately became a productive member of society? isn’t that the american justice system’s goal of rehabilitation?

    if there’s anything we can all agree on, it is this: the american prison system hardly rehabilitates prisoners as it promises, so the number of those who do succeed is smaller. the prison system is a business and those who inhabit prisons are profit, so why should we rehabilitate them with the hopes that one day, some will be free and productive members of society? with that being said, shouldn’t salva be granted some credit, not for his prior disgusting actions, but for his turnaround?

    in the american justice system, it is said that “you are considered innocent until proven guilty.” salva was proven guilty for a terrible act and was eventually released. until/if he ever reoffends, as far as i’m concerned, he’s living his life as a productive citizen and the justice system couldn’t hope for anything more.

    ted, it sounds like you believe that a man is “guilty until proven innocent,” which is commonly practiced today in the american justice system, myself being one of them. yes, it is undeniable that salva was guilty of child molestation in 1989, but what is he guilty of now?

  3. While child molestation is probably the most horrific crime there is…I think it’s on par to murder……the fact that he seems to have made a turn-around and is facing the issue head on is admirable. We ALL make mistakes….and redemption, compassion and forgiveness are the only way we can move forward and evolve as a society. It’s a difficult dilemna…how to forgive someone for such a thing, but perhaps it’s the highest response we can have. I admit….I have a hard time extending forgiveness towards this man…and I am close to someone who made this film….so I have had to wrestle with it and TRY to understand and be open about it. hard task, no doubt.
    But perhaps it’s taught me to soften up about something I’m so rigid about. This movie is about being present and in the now…and redemption. So maybe it’s all appropriate.

  4. Tammara and Jon bring up interesting points. Where does that put a person like Mel Gibson who non-criminally endorses anti-Semitism and Holocaust-revisionism? Or even Someone like Kelsey Grammer, a vocal Republican of the nasty sort? Or the Woody Allen case, where he’s done nothing illegal but is still clearly a moral aberration?

  5. If someone is convicted of staging a bank robbery, they’ll likely never be allowed to own a gun or work in a bank ever again.
    With Salva, he used his position of power, as a director, so seduce a young boy. While I’m sure he’d have a difficult time getting a job as a school teacher, he was able to return to the director’s chair six years after his first conviction.
    Indeed, I’m also sure that everyone on set is aware of his past crime, and that any underage kids on set are with an everwatchful parent and/or studio teacher.
    Of course, the entertainment industry is also flush with music artists who use their past prison sentences for murders and dealing drugs as positive PR.

  6. “Tabloid Baby” is not a woman, but a team led by a man, Burt Kearns, Tabloid Baby being the title of his controversial book.

    After reading both the post and the article, I’d agree with his insight on the L.A. Times’ insiduous amorality. The writer goes to lengths to point out Salva’s tortuous journey from childhood, and does wring out sympathy for him. On the other hand, Salva does say he is STILL wrestling with his “problem,” is still undergoign therapy and is therefore not cured, and his recent motion pictures, the Jeepers Creepers series, does seem to be focused on young boys in peril.

    As for Singer, he was sued for stripping down young boys in a locker room scene. The Tabloid Baby site has a link to the details.

  7. Is there a distinction, perhaps, between punsihment for a Wrong Act, executed through a criminal justice system, and punishment for Wrong Moral System, executed by societal/consumerist rejection?

  8. I received an email stating that my, and Tabloid Baby’s comments on Bryan Singer are “completely false.”

    I’m not sure what portion is false. I didn’t say much. But please refer to the court records. Among the evidence presented was that outtakes of the naked boy footage from Singer’s “Apt Pupil” film were shown at “Hollywood parties.” Singer and company were indeed sued. They SETTLED out of court.

    Details from the E! Entertainment website (Google “Singer Apt Pupil lawsuit” and find much more…):

    St. Albin and Glomboske v. Sony Pictures, Tristar/Columbia and Phoenix Pictures
    Filed: April 15, 1997
    U.S. District Court, Los Angeles

    Status: On September 22, 1999–the day the trial was supposed begin–lawyers for both sides announced they had reached a settlement. Terms of the deal were kept confidential. There was no comment from the studio, filmmakers or production companies involved.

    The Case: Philip and Constance St. Albin, the parents of a 14-year-old boy, and Jeffrey and Brenda Glomboske, the parents of a 17-year-old boy, are suing Sony Pictures, Tristar/Columbia and Phoenix Pictures–producers of the film version of Stephen King’s novella Apt Pupil, which stars Ian McKellen and Brad Renfro and will be released early next year–for gross negligence, false imprisonment, sexual harassment and invasion of privacy.

    Director Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) and producers Jane Hamsher and Don Murphy (Natural Born Killers) are also among the numerous defendants listed in the complaint, which doesn’t specify damages.

    Backstory: At issue is an incident that occurred April 2 on the set of Apt Pupil. According to court documents filed by Los Angeles attorney Martin Rub, the boys, who were extras, were told to wear G-string underwear for a gym-class shower scene–a scene depicting a young man’s severe psychological reaction to hearing stories about the Holocaust.

    The plaintiffs contend that, after guardians were told to leave the set, the boys were bullied into removing their undergarments. This, after the minors and the guardians were “falsely informed that the shower scene would be filmed under strict supervision, and with absolutely ‘no nudity,’ because of the young age of said extras.”

    The complaint adds the minors were “yelled and screamed” at to “take your slips off,” and were led to believe that failing to do so would blackball them from future film work.

    The suit says the boys were naked for four hours, during which time they were subjected to unsanctioned filming and to glances from various crew members, extras and other onlookers.

    According to a Phoenix spokesperson, all appropriate consents were obtained and guild requirements were met by the filmmakers. She adds that a state welfare official was on the set at the time.

    Shortly after Rub filed an amended complaint adding the Glomboskes to the suit, Los Angeles attorney Peter Gordon filed a similar action involving four other minors on the set.

    According to Rub, after an investigation, the FBI recommended criminal prosecution against eight people involved in the production. The Los Angeles County District Attorney, however, refused to pursue the case, he says.

    Rub adds that footage of the unclad male youths has turned up at several L.A. parties.

  9. Sam:
    What was Singer accused of personally doing?
    Do the charges suggest, in any way shape or form, that Singer is a pedophile?
    No.
    Do the charges suggest anyone else is a pedophile?
    No.
    Singer is not charged with committing any particular act that should compare him to Victor Salva.
    You wrote: “As for Singer, he was sued for stripping down young boys in a locker room scene.”
    And suggested the proof was in the Tabloid Baby article – which it was not.
    Finally, your implication is also that Singer must be guilty because said charges were settled out of court.
    This is, of course, the Tabloid writer mentality, and probably also why you write so viciously about the LA Times article… hope the fake drama helps the book sales.

  10. The plaintiffs contend that, after guardians were told to leave the set, the boys were bullied into removing their undergarments. This, after the minors and the guardians were “falsely informed that the shower scene would be filmed under strict supervision, and with absolutely ‘no nudity,’ because of the young age of said extras.”

    The complaint adds the minors were “yelled and screamed” at to “take your slips off,” and were led to believe that failing to do so would blackball them from future film work.

    David,
    I didn’t write viciously about the L.A. times article. But I do agree that attempting to make us “understand” a pedophile who acts upon his illegal urges (and for all we know has acted upon them since– see Michael Jackson), and to somehow forgive that sickness in the name of “talent” in the name of “telling both sides of the story” is a practice that is particular, if not limited to, the “hip” show business scene.

    As for Brian Singer, we are being a bit disingenuous to pretend he was not in charge of the set and the scene during the filming of Apt Pupil, and that he was somehow exonerated.

    You avoid the point when hurling barbs about books and “Tabloid.”

    “Tabloid” can be a very good thing when in the right hands. It is merely straight-talking, often opinionated journalism that lets the reader know where the writer stands. Hopefully, in the caue of justice.

    “…The suit says the boys were naked for four hours, during which time they were subjected to unsanctioned filming and to glances from various crew members, extras and other onlookers…

    “According to Rub, after an investigation, the FBI recommended criminal prosecution against eight people involved in the production. The Los Angeles County District Attorney, however, refused to pursue the case, he says.

    “Rub adds that footage of the unclad male youths has turned up at several L.A. parties.”

  11. Director Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) and producers Jane Hamsher and Don Murphy (Natural Born Killers) are also among the numerous defendants listed in the complaint, which doesn’t specify damages.

    So why is Singer being singled out as a pedophile while Hamsher and Murphy, as well as assistant directors Fernando Altschul and Tom DeSantos who are identified as the ones that asked the extras to fully disrobe, are left out?

    But I do agree that attempting to make us “understand” a pedophile who acts upon his illegal urges (and for all we know has acted upon them since– see Michael Jackson), and to somehow forgive that sickness in the name of “talent” in the name of “telling both sides of the story” is a practice that is particular, if not limited to, the “hip” show business scene.

    In my experience, forgiveness is a widespread and frequently encouraged practice. Silva’s victim’s mother seems to agree:

    “But as long as Victor is kept away from kids, I don’t have a problem with him working. Everybody has a right to his life, so I have no animosity. I have forgiven him a long time ago.”

    Nobody’s attempting to “make” anybody understand Victor Silva. But the assumption seems to be that if you write an article about a sex offender and you don’t vilify him then your reporting is imbalanced. Seems a little backwards to me.

  12. 5000! notes an important point that even the producers were at fault, even though its unlikely they were on set.
    And Sam, you’re right that the director, Bryan Singer, is in charge of the set. However, he isn’t the one accused of barking the orders. And, again, my larger point is that the even the charges don’t allege that anything pedohiliac was occuring on set. Again, the charges are harsh, and the alleged crime is disgusting, but I think there’s many reasons to question the validity of all of the prosecutors charges, which read a bit like a shot gun approach that attempted more to receive a large settlement vs. prosecuting anyone for actual crimes. As you point out, the D.A. refused to take the case.
    More importantly, I actually liked the piece from Tabloid Baby, which attacked the movie industry for overlooking directors past atrocities as pedophiles. But you lumped Singer in with the equation, which smells to me like exploitation.
    All that said, I appreciate the comments. But I’d like ask, are you, Sam, a writer for Tabloid Baby?

  13. um, I find the funniest part about all this is that Silva’s new movie, Peaceful Warrior, is about male gymnasts, no doubt showing them in the costumes and clothing that befit a gymnast, and most likely, it will feature young boys doing gymnastics. Which is just funny that they would let him direct a movie like that.

    That’s all.

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