Elijah Wood managed to navigate his early years in Hollywood as a child star without suffering any sexual abuse, but doesn’t think others are so lucky.
“There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” the actor told the U.K.’s Sunday Times while discussing pedophilia in the entertainment industry.
“You all grew up with Savile – Jesus, it must have been devastating,” Wood said, comparing child abuse allegations in America to Jimmy Savile’s scandal in the U.K. “Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized.”
“There is darkness in the underbelly — if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened,” Wood, who started acting at the age of 8, said. He credits his mother for helping him avoid that darkness, because she was “far more concerned with raising me to be a good human than facilitating my career.”
“I never went to parties where that kind of thing was going on,” he added. “This bizarre industry presents so many paths to temptation. If you don’t have some kind of foundation, typically from family, then it will be difficult to deal with.”
Wood, who can currently be seen alongside Nicolas Cage in crime thriller “The Trust,” thinks sex crimes are “probably still happening” in Hollywood, but that they are being covered up by powerful figures.
“From my reading and research, I’ve been led down dark paths to realize that these things probably are still happening,” he said. “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.”
And Wood is most upset that the victims of sexual abuse aren’t heard as much as the people in power in these situations, and that that’s reason why sexual abuse cases continue to appear.
“They can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged,” he said.