Elijah Wood Is Helping To Empower Survivors Of Child Abuse In Hollywood By Speaking Up About The Issue

He's putting Hollywood on notice

We often hear about child actors whose lives take a dark turn, but it's more rare to hear the real stories of why this happens, and what some of these children experience in this potentially toxic industry. 

Last week, actor Elijah Wood shed some light on the issue when he told the The Sunday Times about allegations of sex abuse from child actors in Hollywood. The 35-year-old Lord of the Rings star, who began acting when he was 8, recalled the many "vipers in this industry" that took advantage of children.

"I never went to parties where that kind of thing was going on. This bizarre industry presents so many paths to temptation," Wood said, according to People. "If you don't have some kind of foundation, typically from family, then it will be difficult to deal with."

Wood said that although his mother protected him from the abuse, he worries that this exploitation is still occurring and many child actors might be vulnerable.

"If you're innocent, you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed," he said, according to The Huffington Post. "People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey. What upsets me about these situations is that the victims can't speak as loudly as the people in power."

People on social media praised Wood for speaking out about this problem and for empowering survivors of abuse to come forward:

After actress Julianne Hough spoke out in 2013 about her abuse, Hollywood's dark history of misconduct resurfaced in the media. The 2015 documentary An Open Secret exposed the abuse by recalling allegations from former child stars Corey Feldman and Michael Egan.

When actors and actresses shed light on this darkness, it helps initiate positive changes in the industry.

For survivors of sexual abuse in Hollywood and elsewhere, organizations like The Joyful Heart Foundation and Darkness To Light are there to help children and their families.

Cover via Mike Windle / Getty Images