“We’re absolutely talking about the tip of an iceberg.”
This is how the trailer of An Open Secret, Oscar-winning director Amy Berg’s documentary on the dark underbelly of Hollywood where child sex abuse is apparently commonplace, ends. Although the documentary was released two years ago, it has found its way into discourse, once again.
The documentary is just a window to Hollywood’s dubious practice of child abuse and an environment that protects the offenders rather than bringing them to the book.
Produced by Gabe Hoffman, the film had a small US release but was recently put up on Vimeo for everyone to watch. After the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment row, the producer told The Hollywood Reporter that the docu was free to stream for a period of 9 days “to commemorate serial predator Harvey Weinstein finally being exposed.” The disgraced producer has been accused by multiple women of rape and sexual harassment.
Interestingly, ever since the harassment allegations surfaced, people have been complaining about the producer’s abusive tendencies being an ‘open secret’ in Hollywood. An Open Secret, too, depicts Hollywood debauchery at its best (or worst) and it’s even more relevant now.
The docu covers high-profile parties with free-flowing alcohol and drugs, which seemingly gives powerful old men the chance to intoxicating underage actors. Shedding light on starry-eyed kids who, often, don’t realise what’s happening to them, the documentary takes a strong stance about this not being their fault at all. An Open Secret shows what thrives behind the garb of talent managers, casting agents, directors etc.
The kids, on the other hand, are really a bunch of really young teenagers who just want to be seen Disney’s next show or to become the next Lizzie McGuire or Derek.
The docu covers stories of actual offenders like Brian Peck, who continue to work in the business despite being charged for two acts involving sexual misconduct with a child. Another actor to feature in the documentary is Evan Henzi, who claims he was abused over 30-40 times by Marty Weiss, a youth-talent manager, for over a period of five years.
Although the makers struggled to get distributors when they set out to release the documentary, they are still seeking distribution as they believe there’s a huge market for them, especially now.
Watch the trailer of the film here: