A former Hollywood child star spoke out about inappropriate behavior between children and adults in the TV and movie industry. Danielle Fishel began working on the 1990s sitcom Boy Meets Girl when she was 12 years old. She spent seven years in the industry from that age, and now, aged 42, she looks back and realizes that some of her interactions were alarming.
Fishel runs a podcast with her old co-stars Rider Strong and Will Friedle, and on a recent show, they were asked about the reality of being teenage heartthrobs. While the boys said it made them uncomfortable, Fishel described it as a little more intense. She explained how she had wanted to be a grown-up and was keen to be seen as an adult, so when grown men treated her as a woman older than her years, she saw nothing wrong with it.
“It felt like it was validation that I was mature and I was an adult, and I was capable and that they were seeing me the way I was, not for the number on a page. And in hindsight, that is absolutely wrong,” Fishel said. She added, “I had people tell me they had my 18th birthday on their calendar.”
Several former child stars have spoken up as adults about the relationship between kids and adults in the entertainment industry; one of these was the actor Corey Feldman. Feldman shot to fame when he starred in 1980s smash hits Gremlins, The Goonies, and The Lost Boys. The star once claimed that the “biggest problem” in Hollywood is pedophilia. He also sensationally stated that his close friend and Lost Boys co-star Corey Haim, who died at 38 in 2010, was raped by a major movie star when he was a young boy.
Feldman also claims that the rich and powerful in the film industry protect its stars from exposure. He alleges that high flyers in Hollywood tried to derail his documentary, Truth: The Rape of the Two Coreys.