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By: Johnson Myrtial
Montgazette Staff Writer

The Richard K. Bennett
Distinguished Lectureship
for Peace and Social Justice
hosted Paul Petersen, a
former Hollywood child
star, spoke about the
exploitation of children in the
entertainment industry and
what can be done to stop it,
spoke at Montgomery County
Community College, Science
Center Theatre.
In effort to educate people
about some of the issues
minors face in Hollywood’s
entertainment industry, Paul
Petersen explained that when
it comes to minor issues, it
is a big subject that every
parent should be focused
on. When it comes to the
working conditions of the
minors behind the big walls of
moviemaking in Hollywood,
how cautious are parents
really when it comes to the
consequences of children in
the spotlight?
Based on Petersen’s
industry experience as a
child actor, he would not
define Hollywood as a safe
place for kids. He explained
that children are exposed to
drug, sex, nudity, corruptions
and playing adult characters
in a very inappropriate way
that can psychologically
affect the child later when
they reach their adulthood.
He used examples of some
former child actors, like Rusty
Harmer, who ended up taking
their own lives or others who
have turned to drugs to cope
with the impacts of fame on
their childhood.
Petersen asked the
audience: “who can stop all
the corruption,” and then
he replied, “nobody.” He
says that Hollywood is very
powerful, many have tried
and failed.
Petersen has taken up the
cause and founded a childactor
support group, “A Minor
Consideration,” to improve
working conditions for child
actors. The group also assists
in the transition between
working as a child actor and
adult life, whether in acting or
in other professions.
The event was well
attended and everyone felt
more enlighten on these
important issues. For more
information, please visit
aminorconsideration.org

article

Photo by Alivia Faison Paul Petersen, former Hollywood child star, addressed the audience during a recent talk about exploitation of child actors and actresses.

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