by Furry Girl


When I was a youngster, Corey Feldman was my favorite teen idol.  I'd watch Stand by Me, License to Drive, Blown Away, and other films of his while swooning.  I didn't have a lot of cliche girlie traits as a tween girl, but crushing on this popular actor was one of them.  Today, while reading my favorite source of entertainment news and criticism, The AV Club, I was excited to see an interview with Corey Feldman.  While I was a huge fan of his in my earlier years, I've never read any sort of serious commentary by him about his life and experiences as a popular child star.  His account of his experiences struck me as similar to the story of sex worker activist Jill Brenneman, who was forced into prostitution and controlled by a violent pimp in her teen years, and came back to sex work later in life on her own terms when she found that other jobs just couldn't pay the bills, or were even more demeaning and dangerous.


Well, at 3 years old, kids don’t really find their way into anything or make any type of decisions.  At 3 years old, it’s called child slavery, and that’s what I endured: child slavery.  So I was a slave child who got very fortunate in his early career… or I guess my parents got very fortunate, I should say.  And through the success that I established as a child, I was able to somehow grasp whatever I was doing, and I had some sort of talent for it and ended up making a career out of it.  But I think it was all meant to be.  I believe that things happen for a reason.  I think there are no coincidences in life, so obviously it was meant to be that I was there, but I wouldn’t say it was my choice.  I would say that it was just the path that was laid out before me.

I had a very rough and tumultuous childhood.  I often wish that I had the opportunity to make my own choices in life and choose my own path.  But at the same time, I realize that things happen the way they’re supposed to.  Therefore as a teenager—when it was far too late for me to go back and there was really nothing that I could do other than embrace it or hide my head in the sand for the rest of my life, because I couldn’t walk anywhere on Earth without being recognized—I finally decided to embrace it and take it as a serious business and a career.  And that’s where we are today.

[...] when Rob Reiner chose me [to appear in Stand by Me], he said that when he met me and looked into my eyes, the thing that he connected with was the fact that I had such an incredible amount of pain in my eyes.  He said he didn’t think that there was any other young actor my age that could’ve had the reality of that amount of pain in their eyes when they were reading the lines.

Anti-sex worker activists make much of demonizing all clients/porn viewers over their potential to (even unknowingly) watch porn or patronize a sex worker who is being coerced, trafficked, or mistreated.  Getting off to imagery of suffering, or having sex with someone with an abusive pimp, even if you had no idea that was the case, is an offense on par with being a rapist.

Am I a beneficiary of child slavery because I've watched The Goonies enough times to know the movie forwards and backwards?  Should I be arrested and prosecuted for owning the VHS tapes of The Lost Boys and The Burbs, wherein a kid was pressured to perform to earn money for his parents (pimps), even though I had no idea I was watching an exploitative situation?  Imagine if anti-sex worker activists treated all forms of entertainment the same way they treat porn, stripping, and the hiring of escorts/prostitutes.  Where are the Nick Kristof-led raids of acting classes for children, the protests against movie studios that utilize under-18 performers, and the arrests of live studio audiences at the taping of TV family sitcoms?


(Sarah Wooley wrote a piece in a similar vein earlier this year, Why I wince though Hollywood sex scenes and not porn.)

1 Comment

  1. Comment by Trackbacks — February 18, 2019 @ 2:50 am

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