"If these [people accused of pedophilia] were conservatives, if these were priests, if they were religious people, this would be a huge story. But as it is, it's gonna get swept under the rug unless more people come forward."
Those are the words of Andrew Klavan, the popular conservative fiction writer. Klavan was referring to the broadening scandal surrounding Hollywood executives and creators who have been accused of child abuse. The most notable is Bryan Singer, the director of The X-Men, Superman Returns, and other blockbusters.
Andrew Klavan is right -- if these were Catholic priests, the media would be in a pack at the front gate of Warner Brothers. But he's wrong that more people have not come forward. Last year actor Corey Feldman, who was a child star in the 1980s, released a memoir detailing the sexual abuse of minors that goes on in Hollywood. Feldman and is friend Corey Haim were told that it was perfectly natural for men and boys to go to bed together. Haim was allegedly eleven the first time he was sexual assaulted.
Yet for me the most interesting case involves the film Kill Your Darlings, which was released last year, and just came out on DVD in march. Kill Your Darlings is directed by John Krokidas, a well known gay activist. It stars Daniel Radcliffe -- Harry Potter himself -- and Dane DeHaan, who currently appears as the Green Goblin in the new Spider-Man movie. The film tells the story of the early years of the Beat writers -- Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and Lucien Carr. The central story involves Lucien Carr, a handsome and charismatic artist and provocateur who, while at Columbia University, gathers the group of writers who would later gain fame as the Beat Generation.
Carr was also, according to many witnesses -- Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, who wrote a book about the incident, and Carr's family -- the victim of prolonged sexual abuse and stalking by an older man named David Kammerer. Kammerer was twenty-six and Carr twelve when the two men met; a difference of fourteen years. Kammerer was Carr's Boy Scout Troop Leader. He followed Carr wherever the younger man went, changing cities whenever Carr would. In the early 1940s followed Carr, now in his twenties, to New York and Columbia University. Then, on August 13, 1944, Carr killed Kammerer in a late-night altercation. The murder weapon was a Boy Scout knife. Carr spent two years in jail, the judge being lenient when the extent of Kammerer's obsession was revealed.
Electric material for a great film about sexuality, pedophilia and obsession, right? Not in Hollywood. Kill Your Darlings depicts Lucien Carr as a conflicted homosexual and David Kammerer not as a stalker but as a bright professor who writes Carr's papers for him. Carr is also attracted to poet Allen Ginsberg, played by Daniel Radcliffe. In one scene the two men kiss.
As a fan of the Beats and someone familiar with their history, this struck me not only as false history, but a something of a cover-up of child abuse. A few weeks ago I contacted Caleb Carr, Lucien Carr's son and author of the bestselling book The Alienist. Caleb Carr validated what I suspected: Kill Your Darlings is a complete whitewash of history. The Carr family was never contacted by the film's director or the actors. The movie is a defense of Lucien Carr's stalker and abuser, and the apotheosis of Allen Ginsberg, who made no secret about his love of young boys and even defended pedophilia. In the film Ginsberg is seen as the brave rebel who won't let the administration of Columbia lie about the gay love between Kammerer and Carr.
This is a lie in service of child abuse. Caleb Carr makes this quite clear. My entire interview with Caleb Carr -- who, like me, has gay friends and is opposed to homophobia -- along with is account of the events that led up to his father killing Kammerer, can be found here.
After my investigation was published, I wrote and tweeted to Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, who plays Lucien Carr, and Kill Your Darlings director John Krokidas. I asked them to respond to Caleb Carr's account, and to respond to more general questions about Hollywood and child abuse. I never heard back.
In journalism, three similar events is supposed to indicate a pattern. Last year Corey Feldman detailed the sexual abuse of young people in his memoir, Coreyography. Then Caleb Carr went on the record about Kill Your Darlings. And now Bryan Singer stands accused, and not without a lot of circumstantial evidence.
Andrew Klavan is right. If these were priests their careers would be over.