Coming forward

James Van Der Beek and Michael Gaston reveal they were sexually harassed by male Hollywood execs

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, actors both male and female have been stepping forward to shed light on the often grotesque behavior encountered at the hands of powerful male Hollywood execs.

Related: Man sues Grindr over elaborate sexual harassment scheme orchestrated by his ex

Following in the footsteps of actresses like Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Emma de Caunes, and many others, male actors like Terry Crews have been opening up about their own experiences being groped and mishandled by men in positions of power.

In a series of tweets, former Dawson’s Creek actor James Van Deer Beek reveals several instances being sexually harassed by “older, powerful men”:

“What Weinstein is being accused of is criminal. What he’s admitted to is unacceptable – in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out. I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger…I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome.”

Prison Break‘s Michael Gaston shared his own encounter: an unseemly run-in with a grabby theater director that still “makes his heart pound”:

 

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28 Comments

  • barkomatic

    It seems any young person in Hollywood who isn’t an established A-lister sooner or later has encounters like this. I’ve heard of far worse situations where young male stars were coerced into sex with old guys who had power over them. Even under age youths get passed around if their parents aren’t aggressive about protecting them. Something needs to be done about the sexual shark tank that is the entertainment industry.

    • Low Country Boy

      Very well said. I especially like the term “sexual shark tank.” Well done, Sir.

    • viciouslies

      Tag a bitch… Yo, Bryan Singer, what’s good?

    • Stephen

      Read about the 2 Corey’s … child actors, they were both passed around as pedophile celebrity victims many times … each. Corey Feldman spoke out about it. The talk with the press almost sent him into another bout of addiction. The PTSD of raped young actors in film and TV is a wake up to every parent, never leave your child in admin. offices, a photo shoot or on set alone! The other Corey died young. The pain just loops for decades.

      I cannot believe it happened except I was shoved in a closet after a late tv shoot at 11 p.m. and had a hand over my mouth while I was violently raped against the wall.
      9 years old. My parent was picking me up outside and never came in. I cried for an hours drive. Asked, “What you screwed up your lines? Someone screamed at you?”

      When I told my parent screamed, “ Damn you, suck it up! You complain about that man, you will be put us on the street and you will never have a job again!”
      Sold out by my family! Raped by my director! My parent even literally threatened me to never tell my agent. Therapy helped a little. I am sorta disconnected most times. Still.

      I blew off my family at 16. Got a check at lunch … escaped 1/2 way thru gig left out a back door. Nothing but my clothes and a bag I had backed that morning. Ran out of the city … bless Greyhound! Stayed on bus for 3 days. 3000+ miles away. Waiter in a truck stop. Best job ever. Guys were funny. Kind. Lots of jokes. I was safe. Hotels in small towns believed I was 18. No questions.

      Made connection with police after a week so my search stopped. ‘No contact’ restraining order to parent. Lost all my money. Never saw a nickel. I changed my name. To hell with them all.

      My biggest fear was being sued for breaking contract. I was terrified. Never wanted to work again. Years later I tried connecting with family, it was the nephews and nieces that I could enjoy. Over decades I tried, escaped, Tried escaped.
      Gave up trying. Family is merely biological familiars. But love the kids! Happy people. Creative!

      10 years later I did local Community theatre acting. No TV or film work again.

    • Crystix

      I am sorry for your continued pain Stephen. Thank you for sharing. I too was molested, but by family, and I still see the repercussions of those “lets not talk about that” transgressions. It grants power to speak out. Thank you for granting yours.

  • Donston

    Very unlikely any men with established careers or up-and-comers will come forward. And most people who actually indulged many “advances” are unlikely to make any noise. And of course, no one will name names. I at least give Mcgowen credit for actually connecting a person to the harassment.

  • not a clone

    unfortunately these incidents happen not just in hollywood.. but in you local school, coffee shop, department store, macdonalds.. any place that a person can excercise power over another

  • Xzamilloh

    Well, Milo Yiannopoulos, if you have names regarding those underage sex parties, now’s the perfect time to drop them.

  • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

    I’ve been following a lot of this on woke twiiter and apparently this (or even aknowlegeing YOUNG boys abuse by holly execs) is “typical male derailing tactic” to deflect the topic from the real victims ie women

    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      *hollywood

    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      Acknowledge*-ing my terrible spelling

    • Xzamilloh

      It’s unfortunately a by-product of third wave feminism (not feminism in its entirety). These individuals are quick to throw out the textbook definition of feminism about the equality of men and women, but in practice, their words and actions are the definition of misandry. It’s why the word “feminist” nowadays has a such a man-hating twang to it.

  • JamJewel

    Michael Landon spoke of his experiences with the casting couch when he was an up and comer in New York in the 1950s. Corey Feldman has blamed the death of his friend Corey Haim on depression from pedophilia for years and we all know who he was accusing without naming names. Robert Downey Jr has said that the behaviors exhibited by his character in ‘Less than Zero’ were factual representations of what happens in Hollywood. So there have been many ‘writings on the wall’ that we have simply chosen to ignore. And which continues today since many are still not naming names.

    • dean089

      Yes, Cory Feldman has been trying to expose these ‘boy parties’ for years but everyone just says he’s a drug-addled train wreck who’ll say anything. That may be true, but it’s very likely all that is due to his treatment as a child actor. Meanwhile, last year Elijah Wood confirmed everything Cory Feldman has said, adding that the only reason he escaped was because his mother didn’t allow him to attend these parties. So this is yet one more thing that everyone in Hollywood knows about but won’t acknowledge.

    • Donston

      Unfortunately, Feldman has apparently adopted many of the same predatory and megalomaniac instincts that he (allegedly) had to contend against, which isn’t an unusual development. Along with drug addictions, extreme bouts of depression, extreme sexual behaviors and internalized homophobia or self-rejection if you are gay or gay-leaning.

  • crowebobby

    Tony Curtis, on I believe it was the Merv Griffen show, said Marilyn Monroe became such an impossible diva to work with once she was a star to get payback for all she had to put up with and “do” on casting couches to get where she was . . . and added “We all did.” Some guy in the audience called out: “You mean you, too?” (Or something to that effect) and Merv said: “I think he’s already answered that.”

  • Tobi

    Hollywood Moguls. Casting Couch. Quelle Surprise.

  • ptb2016

    The casting couch has been an infamous part of Hollywood since it began. Stories of actresses making it big thanks to the favoursthey were often forced to bestow onexecs are endless, Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe being amongst the most famous. I’m sure Rock Hudson would have had a tale to tell as well, his private life remaining protected until his last year’s by execs who doubtless needed favours to help him out. It is shocking and immoral and I am so pleased that at last one of these awful men has been called out on it.

  • He BGB

    Two words: Henry Willson. Goggle him.
    Alot I have read about Marilyn Monroe and maybe even Crawford, is that they gave sexual favors as gifts. The story of one of Crawford’s directors saying he went to her house after hiring her, she said you know what all you’re getting? and opened her robe to reveal she was totally naked, all this!

  • Bradsman

    Marilyn was on call as a young starlet, in case an elderly producer named Joseph Schenk could manage a hard on. This business has gone on when men have power, probably since the beginning of time.

  • baggins435

    I read something years ago about Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. They were talking after finally hitting it big and Monroe said something like “Thank God, I don’t have to suck any more dicks.” And Dean said “Neither do I.” Everything I’ve ever heard about “casting couches” indicates the powerful didn’t discriminate when it came to young men or women. My parents even made comments that there were rumors when they were growing up about what this or that actor/actress had to do to get a coveted role. Such has always been the case where there is a huge difference in power/status throughout history.
    Back right after college I had an older gay co-worker, one of the very few who knew I was gay, who was promoted to my supervisor. He would grab my crotch or twist my nipples when he found me alone or call me into his office, shut the door and make inappropriate comments or “suggestions.” You really feel like a mouse trying to avoid a cat. Fortunately, I finally heard back on a job I had applied for months previously and I quit with less than 2 weeks notice. I never said anything because it was the ’80s and there were no non-discrimination policies, much less laws, then. In fact, years later a man working on an off-shore oil platform in my state tried to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against his male boss and co-workers and the the judge threw the case out saying a man couldn’t be sexually harassed. No matter how far we’ve come, it still isn’t far enough.

  • Jaxton

    Oh the poor dear.. the poor, poor dear. Did he report the assault to the police? If not, why not?

    I have no sympathy for you, Mr Van der Beek.

    • Tobi

      I doubt Mr. Van der Beek will be concerned about your lack of sympathy, Brian, it’s a given that he doesn’t even know you exist. Oh, lucky, lucky him, huh?!

    • Curtispsf

      You’re a pretty cold hearted bitch, aren’t you dear? I bet you’re the type of guy who likes pulling the wings off insects and burning butterflies with a magnifying glass. Am I right?

    • geb1966

      Your ignorance regarding this issue is showing, dear. You’ve obviously NOT been in a situation where you were harassed or abused by someone who had some sort of power over you. Reporting such behavior could cost you your livelihood, as well as your reputation, given the “blame the victim” mentality that was rampant back then…and is evidently still alive and well in your world.
      But then given some of your other condescending comments on other posts, I am not surprised.

  • Luna1979

    This subject has been going on for years and no one can give a damned name? I’m sorry, my integrity is priceless. I couldn’t work in that industry while I knew innocent people were being raped and not say who did it. Sue me, destroy me, but at least others might be saved. I found out years after the fact that my brother was raped as a kid. He’s straight, and I always wondered if that made it worse. We’ve never discussed it because he’s spent his life on drugs and he can’t have normal relationships with anyone. He never told my mom who did it. I wished for a very long time someone would have exposed the bastard because it couldn’t have been his first attack. I can’t imagine how many others there might have been. Are they all as effed up as my brother?? He’s been a zombie for 20 years!

    • geb1966

      Your comment about wondering if it was worse for your brother “because he is straight” is ridiculous. Being violated is an awful experience regardless of your sexuality. Was it “worse” for the straight boy than a gay boy because the gay boy probably enjoyed it on some level? NO!!

  • Curtispsf

    @Stephen. I have hear rumors that David Geffen was one of the men who molested young Corey Haim. Corey Feldman, and possibly Haim himself, mentioned the age of the molester and it lines up directly with Geffen’s age. It is time for Feldman to NAME NAMES. Out the perpetrator OR eliminate Geffen as one of the molesters.

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