Since the Weinstein sex scandal erupted into the national conversation, Hollywood’s other dark underbelly of male-on-male sexual assault has slowly arisen in the public consciousness. With the recent accusation against A-list star Kevin Spacey, alleging that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy 30 years ago, the problem has morphed from grotesque rumor to a sad reality.
Speaking with The Guardian, various male actors, both gay and straight, allege that Hollywood not only has a problem with males preying on younger men, but that it is rampant.
“It’s a very taboo subject,” said Alex Winter, who claims to have been sexually abused as a pre-teen child actor. “I don’t know of any boys in any pocket of the entertainment industry that do not encounter some form of predatory behavior. … It’s really not a safe environment.”
Los Angeles attorney Toni Jaramilla, who has represented men in sexual harassment cases pertaining to Hollywood, said males in position of power prey on younger males routinely; the victims rarely speak out for fear of reprisal.
“It’s a pervasive problem in Hollywood,” Jaramilla said. “The common challenge is the fear of not being believed and the fear of having the situation turned around against them, to suggest that they are instigating it, or they are finding opportunities to sleep their way into a role.”
Keven Spacey was accused by openly gay actor Anthony Rapp of nearly coercing him into sex while at a party in the late ’80s.
Wilson Cruz, another openly gay actor, recently said at a Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) awards event that “older gentlemen” routinely propositioned him when he was young. “I did not take them up on it, but it was uncomfortable. I was in my 20s, and I thought: ‘Is this what one does?’ And also: ‘Am I going to ruin my career by not doing it?’… I think it’s been quietly accepted as the norm in a lot of ways.”
Charlie Carver of Teen Wolf made a similar statement at the same event: “I’m not a stranger to it. This will hopefully open up a discussion about men and power dynamics in general — maybe it has to do with exerting masculinity.”
Tyler Grasham, a Hollywood agent, is also alleged to have assaulted young male actors. He has since been fired from his position at APA.