Shirley Temple Talked Sexual, Emotional Abuse During Her Career, Was She Surrounded By Pedophiles?

Shirley Temple Talked Sexual, Emotional Abuse During Her Career, Was She Surrounded By Pedophiles?
Credit: Source: Still of Shirley Temple from 'Kids in Hollywood' Jack Hays Productions/Fox

Shirley Temple will forever be associated with sweetness, her cute songs, and dance, as well as the song "Good Ship Lollipop" but is there a darker side to America's most famous child starlet?

Many people believe that Shirley Temple was surrounded by pedophiles and have gone so far to say her early movie roles from the 1930s were little more than fodder for perverts. Shirley Temple wrote an autobiography Child Star where she described several instances of sexual harassment at the hands of Hollywood studio heads.

Corey Feldman said in an interview that the biggest problem in Hollywood is now and always has been pedophilia. You may watch that interview where he made that quote in the video player below.

"I can tell you the number one problem in Hollywood was, and is, and always will be, pedophilia. That’s the biggest problem in this industry. I was surrounded by them when I was 14-years-old; literally surrounded. Didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until I was old enough to realize what they were, what they wanted, and what they were about, and the types of people who were around me. . . they were like vultures."

If pedophiles were behind Shirley Temple's early films, then that would indicate that Hollywood has always been an unsafe and dangerous place for children.

Feldman shares many similarities with Shirley Temple as the two entered show business at the age of three-years-old, encountered pedophiles, and ended up without access to the millions they earned through their work.

Born in 1928, Shirley Temple was enrolled at the Meglin's Dance School in 1931, and at the tender age of three-years-old, was scouted by Charles Lamont for Educational Pictures. Shirley Temple would then star in eight, one-reel movies called Baby Burlesks for Lamont and Jack Hays.

Baby Burlesks were parodies of adult films and featured preschool children between the ages of three and five years old acting out adult scenes with highly overt sexual tones.

You may see the Lamont produced movie Kids in Hollywood below where Shirley Temple stars as Morelegs Sweetrick. The movie was released in 1933. After her time with Educational Pictures, Shirley signed a contract with Fox Studios.

While Shirley Temple was undoubtedly a child prodigy who earned recognition for only needing one take to film her scenes, Shirley later revealed disturbing details about the process used to commence filming.

According to Shirley, the preschool children were separated from their parents and if anyone acted up, they would be placed in a black box equipped with a block of ice. The door to the box would be closed and the child would be left to freeze in total darkness.

You may watch Shirley Temple in War Babies, one of the earliest Baby Burlesk films, along with an interview where she described the black box with ice in the videos below.

Conspiracy theorists have linked Shirley Temple to the long-standing rumors of Hollywood pedophile rings and many people in the 21st century find many of Temple's early films disturbing.

Some have pointed out that Shirley Temple was often motherless in her films or an orphan who would be adopted by a single man. Many of her famous songs and dance routines were performed with adult men as well.

While Shirley Temple quickly rose to fame and became the top star in America, there were a few people who took issue with the context of her movies.

Novelist and film critic Graham Greene was sued by Fox Studios when he reviewed Wee Willie Winkie and pointed out Temple's overt flirtatious behavior throughout the film.

"Watch her swaggering stride across the Indian barrack-square: hear the gasp of excited expectation from her antique audience when the sergeant’s palm is raised: watch the way she measures a man with agile studio eyes, with dimpled depravity. Adult emotions of love and grief glissade across the mask of childhood, a childhood skin-deep. "

Greene was quick to note that Shirley Temple's biggest fans were middle-aged men and clergymen who could satisfy their perverse desires watching Shirley on screen.

The review was discussed in a Slate article following Shirley Temple Black's published obituary in 2014.

It's impossible to know for sure what sexual abuse, or if any occurred during the Baby Burlesks filming, but there was definitely physical and emotional abuse.

Some would argue today that the content of the films is highly disturbing, inappropriate, and appeals to pedophiles.

While Shirley Temple was credited with surviving Hollywood virtually unscathed, she did share a disturbing account of sexual harassment and abuse that occurred to her when being considered for the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

Fox wouldn't loan Shirley Temple to MGM and the role ultimately went to Judy Garland.

You may fast forward to 12:20 where Shirley Temple Black discusses how MGM producer Arthur Freed exposed himself to her when she was 12-years-old.

What do you think? Do you feel that Hollywood's history with pedophilia dates back to the 30s when Shirley Temple was cast in the Baby Burlesks?

Do you find the movies disturbing? Do you think Shirley Temple was surrounded by pedophiles? Is it possible that Corey Feldman is right that Hollywood's biggest problem always has been and always will be pedophilia?

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  • Tim Jenkins
    Tim Jenkins Jan 22, 2020 6:44 PM PST

    I know what it is like to be molested as a child by someone you trust. It happened to me first when I was 6 years old by my cousin on my mother's side of the family. At that time my Sister and I were not adopted yet we were staying with new Mom and Dad to see how it was going to work out. Then when I was 10 i was molested by my grandfather on my father's side a few years after my Sister and I were adopted. I was afraid to say anything because I was afraid that the family wouldn't want us anymore. My sister had finally gotten a Mom and a dad that cared about her and I wasn't going to let anything destroy that. So I put up with the abuse as long as I could. I was having problems in school and used those problems as a way to get out of the house. I saw an add on tv and decided that I wanted to go to a group home for children. I love my Mom and Dad but I had to get out of the house, far enough away that I didn't have to deal with my Grandfather anymore. I was scared to come home on holidays such a Thanksgiving and Christmas because I knew that my grandfather would be there with open arms to abused me again. Now I'm 53 years old and the captain of my own ship. I was fortunate, the abusive life that I had as a child did not come back to haunt me as an adult. As I get older I am able to look back on the issues that happened in my childhood with an understanding that is clearer then when I was a child. Sometimes as children we are unable to see clearly because we're looking at the issue thru the eyes of emotional distress and hurt feelings. There were times when I could see that my Father wanted to do the same thing to me that my Grandfather had done to him when he was my age but he stopped himself from doing anything to me and for that I am eternally grateful and I love my Father with all my heart. My Grandfather has passed away now and he is in God's hands. My Grandmother who knew about it and never did anything to stop it she has passed away as well and is in God's hands to. To all that suffer abuse at the hands of another, much prayer to help you through this tourmultious time in your life and may you grow up to be stronger and your eyesight clearer as you get older.

  • Georg
    Georg Jan 3, 2020 4:36 AM PST

    99.999999% of Hollywood is composed of pedo psychopaths. Lots of Jeff Epsteins, Roman Polanskis, Harvey Weinsteins, Arthur Freeds, Louis B. Mayers, Darryl F. Zanucks, and many others. Hollywood is a haven for psychopaths w/ sexual deviations.

  • Christian
    Christian Sep 15, 2018 4:43 AM PDT

    Shirley never said she was sexually abused during her career. She said she had one incident of pedophilia when she was 12 after she left Fox Studios and went over to MGM to audition for Wizard of Oz. Arthur Freed exposed himself to her during a meeting. Louis B. Mayer was hitting on her mom during another separate meeting at the same time. They told each other about what happened on the way home and they agreed they didn't like MGM and that it was BETTER at Fox. This is according to Shirley. There's a 30 minute YouTube video where Shirley explains to Larry King what happened at MGM around the 12 minute mark.

  • Missy
    Missy May 1, 2018 4:34 AM PDT

    I do believe what Corey Feldman said is accurate. I don't believe the entire film industry is run by pedophiles but some parts of it definitely is. Corey Feldman also said on 'The View' that there are some really good people behind the film industry as well. The film industry is no different than the outside world. There are good people and wicked people. I definitely refuse to watch 'Baby Burlesk' and the 'When I'm With You' song scene in Poor Little Rich Girl does make me cringe when she says 'I love to hug and kiss you..Marry me and let me be your wife' to her own Father. Not sure if the intentions behind that were good or bad but I refuse to watch that movie ever again. However, I don't get that feeling watching 'Heidi' or 'The Little Princess.' Unless she outed more than just Louis B. Mayer I have no idea what the motives of those behind Fox Studios were. Hopefully not sinister like the obvious Hollywood pedophiles.

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