“The film Hollywood doesn’t want you to see” dropped its first trailer on Wednesday.
An Open Secret, directed by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Amy Berg, examines the prevalence of child sex abuse amongst the bright lights and allure of the Hollywood entertainment industry.
The film is, expectedly, not without controversy. One of the victims included in the film is Michael Egan, who withdrew several sex abuse lawsuits against X-Men director Bryan Singer and other Hollywood executives last year. Last month, Egan reportedly pleaded guilty to investment fraud in North Carolina and could face up to five years in prison.
In a statement, executive producer Gabe Hoffman defended Egan’s inclusion in the film, saying the scope of his involvement extends only to accusations made against Marc Collins-Rector, the Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) founder who pleaded guilty in 2004 to luring five minors across state lines for sex.
“In the film, Egan does not discuss any of the allegations made in the lawsuits filed on his behalf in 2014,” Hoffman said. “Those lawsuits, subsequently withdrawn, were filed well after, and completely independently from, his participation in An Open Secret.”
“Clearly, Egan has experience great difficulties in his life following the sexual abuse he suffered while a teenager at DEN,” Hoffman added. “We applaud Mike’s courage to appear in the film, and decry any efforts to use these unrelated difficulties to undermine the film’s credibility and deflect from the issue of child sexual abuse in Hollywood portrayed in the film.”
Berg, the director, is no stranger to controversial filmmaking. She scored an Oscar nomination in 2007 for her film Deliver Us From Evil, about disgraced Catholic priest Father Oliver O’Grady, and also directed the BAFTA-nominated documentary West of Memphis, about the legal case against the West Memphis Three.
An Open Secret will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this month, before getting a limited theatrical release in 20 cities beginning June 5.
Check out the film’s first trailer above.