Criminal offenses and sexual charges are no joke, and too often, celebrities and people with influential power have gotten passes or were treated with extreme leeway. There are many celebrities and actors that people would be surprised to learn to have sketchy backgrounds.
Amongst the criminally convicted is a famous director who, believe it or not, has still been actively working for Disney. Take a look back at Victor Salva’s troubling past and how he ended up directing Jeepers Creepers 3.
Victor Salva’s journey in the spotlight
IMDb has outlined and documented Salva’s journey in the film industry. A California native, Salva became interested in screenwriting at a very young age. In an interview with BBC Salva shared that it was one of his English teachers who encouraged him to get into both writing and filming.
By the time Salva graduated from high school, he had already written and directed dozens of his own amateur films. After winning many prestigious awards and gaining momentum and attention, Salva found himself working with the big shots in Hollywood. It was clear that he had a passion, but, unfortunately, that wasn’t his only.
Victor Salva’s criminal background
Early on in Salva’s directing career he found himself in pretty big trouble. While filming the 1989 film Clownhouse, Salva sexually assaulted a cast member while on set. Sadly, making matters worse, Salva’s victim was just 12 years old at the time.
Jonathan Winters was the boy at the center of it all. Winters’ mom sensed something was wrong when Salva told her she had to stay off set. Los Angeles Times shared that Salva was sentenced to three years in prison, but, ultimately, the director’s crude actions didn’t seem to alter or sway the trajectory of his career.
Victor Salva’s crimes didn’t stop Disney from making a movie with him
In 1995, Winters and his family were caught off guard to see and hear Salva’s name associated with the film Powder. The young boy who underwent an incredibly traumatic experience at Salva’s hand couldn’t believe it. As a result, Winters and his supporters began handing out brochures educating people on Salva’s concerning past while picketing screenings of the new film.
It is hard to believe that even after Winters’ public demonstrations at Powder that Salva continued to receive directing roles in Hollywood. In 1995 he wrote and directed Rites of Passage. What is even more disturbing is that it is still actively happening. Just four years ago Salva once again took the reins and power while working on the set of Jeepers Creepers III.
It is even more startling and upsetting knowing that Disney would continue to work with Salva during a time when information is so accessible. With social media and news more prevalent than ever, despite many people speaking against Salva, his platform and job opportunities have not taken any hits.
It definitely seems a bit bizarre that a convicted child molester is so successful, and hopefully, moving forward, Disney or any other company will think twice before working with the director who has such a sketchy reputation.
How to get help: If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for free and confidential support.