Hollywood Law Which Protects Children Has Been Largely Ignored

A law passed five years ago in California to protect child actors and performers from sexual abuse. The law requires certain members of the entertainment industry to obtain Child Performer Services Permits before working with minors. In an industry known for issues with sexual predators, Hollywood professionals have not been abiding by the rules.

Workers must get fingerprinted and pass a background check before they can obtain a permit. The law is meant to keep people with histories of abuse away from children in the entertainment industry. According to AB 1660, registered sex offenders are prohibited from working with artists or performers under age 18 in California.

Fingerprints and background checks are required now due to sexual predators reentering the entertainment industry under new names in the past. The most notorious example was child actor manager, publicist and coach, Robert Villard. He was charged with many sex crimes against minors, yet reentered the industry several times under a fake name, Bob Moniker. Robert Villard is one of many pedophiles who ignited the need for AB 1660.

Hollywood professionals are not following through

A recent investigation by Deadline indicates that many Hollywood coaches, managers, agents and photographers have not gotten their required permits. In fact, not one Hollywood publicist has complied with the law. None have been fined or charged for a lack of compliance.

Hollywood publicists do not hold permits, yet represent child stars on major TV shows such as Modern Family, Stranger Things, Stuck In The Middle, Black-Ish and more. Managers of minors on shows and films such as Shameless, A Wrinkle In Time and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 do not hold permits either. Essentially, no matter the level of professionalism, Hollywood workers are not obtaining the permits they require.

Keeping kids safe

Parents with children working in the entertainment industry can carefully vet the professionals their children work with. While parents can check the National Sex Offender Registry, the database is not helpful if the offender is using a fake name. Parents can confirm that managers, publicists, coaches and headshot photographers have permits through the Department of Industrial Relations.

It is likely that many workers in the entertainment industry are not aware of the law and its requirements. Holding workers accountable is an important step towards keeping children in the entertainment industry safe from abuse.

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