Gabe Hoffman, the producer of An Open Secret, a documentary about child sex abuse in Hollywood, argued in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News this week that the mainstream media has historically ignored red flags about potential child abuse in the entertainment industry.
Hoffman, a hedge fund manager by trade, is the producer of An Open Secret, an explosive 2015 documentary about child sex abuse in Hollywood. Speaking with Breitbart News this week about the film, Hoffman argued that, despite the recent #MeToo movement, the mainstream media doesn’t seem ready to cover Hollywood’s pervasive child abuse problem.
One alleged example, according to Hoffman, is children’s television producer Dan Schneider, who was recently dismissed from Nickelodeon after a 20-year tenure. Schneider has long been criticized for his unusual behavior on social media that allegedly involves an unusual obsession with the feet of young girls. Conservative news outlet RedState reported on Schneider’s unusual online presence in October.
“But along with all his success, for years Schneider had been under a cloud of suspicion over the treatment of some younger stars of his shows,” Deadline Hollywood wrote in their report on Schneider’s dismissal. “Among the things that have raised eyebrows are his tweeted photos of the toes of his young female stars.”
“For years, and years, and it’s not one tweet or two tweets. It’s dozens of tweets about kid’s feet, close-ups of kid’s feet, asking for pictures of kid’s feet, complimenting kids on their feet with close-up pictures,” Hoffman said in his interview with Breitbart News.
In a tweet that is still public (and has been archived here), the account for Schneider’s show “Sam & Cat” asked young viewers to tweet back with a photo of their own feet.
SAM & CAT TOMORROW! Write on the bottom of ur foot, take a pic and use #SAMandCATSaturday we'll RT and follow until our fingers get sore!
— Sam and Cat (@SamAndCat) September 13, 2013
In another tweet, Schneider linked to a photograph of a foot from one of his underage stars. “Pic! This TOE belongs to one of the stars of one of my shows. WHOSE TOE IS THIS:” Schneider wrote.
“You combine that with the video clips, which are from Dan Schneider’s shows, which are massively inappropriate. To describe one briefly, the girl is wearing a very skimpy tank top, she is probably 14 years old and looks like she is 12. She is laying on her back in a bed…she’s got a bottle of water and she’s spaying it all over herself like it’s a porno shoot with an orgasm scene,” Hoffman said.
Various internet threads on Twitter and Reddit compile the inappropriate sequences that have taken place in Schneider’s television shows. Many scenes feature an unusual focus on feet.
Hoffman commented, “Is this evidence of child sex abuse in itself? No. But that is a reason for the mainstream media to ask some darn questions. Take a meeting at Nickelodeon and show them all of this stuff and say ‘hey, are you cool with this? What’s the story here? This looks inappropriate.”
“I would just tell you that I have personally pitched that story to dozens of people in the mainstream media for years,” Hoffman said. As far as Hoffman is aware, no mainstream media outlet has asked Nickelodeon about Schneider’s bizarre social media presence. “Nobody would do that simple investigation,” Hoffman said.
However, Hoffman says that there are a few journalists in the mainstream media that are chasing stories about child sex abuse at Nickelodeon.
Hoffman’s film, An Open Secret, which is available to watch for free online, tells the story of several young men who were sexually abused or allegedly sexually abused by adults in Hollywood. The documentary focuses on several abusers who have been either charged or convicted of child sex abuse crimes. The documentary even includes an on-camera confession of child sex abuse from a suspected perpetrator.
Towards the end of the interview, Hoffman highlighted a new California law that allows victims of sexual abuse to speak about their abuse even if they had signed a non-disclosure agreement.
“A provision within a settlement agreement that prevents the disclosure of factual information related to the action is prohibited in any civil action the factual foundation for which establishes a cause of action for civil damages for any of the following” including “childhood sexual abuse,” the law reads.