It takes all kinds in Hollywood, but this time it’s a rights group fighting a proposed California law that would ban any registered sex offenders in the business district from being able to represent or work with children.
The ban would ensure that, managers, photographers, acting coaches and other professionals in the entertainment industry would be subjected to providing information stating they are not a registered sex offender when they are representing minors,
One supporter of the law makes a good point of why such a ban in Hollywood is needed.
“We need this protection because there are things you would do with your child in this industry that you wouldn’t do anywhere else,” said Paula Dorn, co-founder of BizParentz Foundation, an advocacy group for child actors. “Parents are not unnerved by a stranger talking to their child after a play, because they think they’re getting scouted. But in normal life, if someone walked up to your child at a park, you’d be like, ‘Wait a second.'”
However, the president of the group California Reform Sex Offenders Laws, Janice Bellucci, who tries to defend the rights of the states more than 93,000 registered offenders says of the new law, “It’s just too broad.”.
“There are individuals on the registry whose offense occurred more than 50 years ago and there are many people whose offenses had nothing to do with children,” Bellucci explains.
Bellucci has suggested that the ban should only apply to those offenders who have been convicted of sexual crimes against children under the age of 14.
The bill was proposed after incidents such as manager Marty Weiss, who was arrested last year on child molestation charges, and it was found out that “Super 8” casting director Jason Murphy failed to register as a sex offender for a previous conviction.
Actors Corey Feldman and Todd Bridges have also spoken out in support of the law describing their own experiences of being abused by Hollywood insiders as child stars.
On May 30th, the proposal received a 74-0 approval from the states Assembly, and now must go through Senate committees.
“[The] vote demonstrates that the protection of children is a non-partisan issue,” said Assembleywoman Nora Campos in a statement. “The purpose of this bill is simply to ensure that any person who works directly with a child performer is not a registered sex offender or any threat to the safety and welfare of a minor.”
However, Bellucci intends to fight the ban all the way to the end.
“People think that everybody who is on the [registry] is the same,” she said. “They think everyone is a monster.”