Hollywood is a unique environment. The entertainment industry can be a prime profession for pedophiles and child molesters because it is a common practice for children to be in the company of adults who are not their parents, have photos taken by strangers in order to obtain work, and befriend adults who can aid in their professional growth. Child predators can easily work as professional photographers, managers or talent agents and use their job to lure unassuming children and parents to trust them.
Sadly, recent news reports reveal the concerns about pedophiles in the entertainment industry are not just Hollywood sensationalism. Two Managers have been arrested in the last month of 2011 for child-abuse related offenses.
Pedophiles and child molesters have a profile of questionable behavior, which accompanies their day-to-day life. Some of those characteristics include, collecting exploitive child photos, working in environments where they have access to children and befriending families and friends of children to gain their trust. While not all people who have these characteristics are pedophiles, many of the tactics used by pedophiles can be disguised through certain types of professions.
Although the majority of child managers, modeling and acting agencies are legitimate, there are still loopholes within the law that make it very easy for a predator to gain access to children under false pretenses.
Proposed Legislation: This bill would require any person who represents artists who are minors and whose job requires them to be unsupervised with children, to submit his or her name and a fee to the Labor Commissioner to permit screening of that individual to determine if he or she is a registered sex offender. No person who is identified as a sex offender under this procedure would be permitted to represent artists who are minors. It would exclude licensed talent agents, who are already subject to regulation under the Talent Agents Act, LC 1700, and studio teachers, who are subject to the rigorous Teacher Credentialing Standards of the Education Code.
Existing Law: Existing law only applies to licensed talent agents, where it requires that applicants for the license provide their business history and financial information along with fingerprints and affidavits from personal references. This bill would extend similar requirements to others who also work with children in entertainment.
AB 2072 (Montanez), Legislation of 2006, was a similar bill which passed out of the Assembly but was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
For More Information
Contact: Dana Mitchell, (916) 319-3453