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Watching “Jeepers Creepers 3” makes you complicit in Hollywood’s rewarding of sexual predators

Your money is better spent on supporting victims of child molestation instead of the movie.

Victor Salva was convicted of child molestation in 1988.

Victor Salva was convicted of child molestation in 1988.

Carlos Villicana, Assistant Arts and Life Editor

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It seems obvious to me that any person disgusted by child molestation would never consider funding the work of child molester. Yet as of Sept. 26, Box Office Mojo reports that “Jeepers Creepers 3” has collected over $1.77 million in ticket sales. The film is directed by Victor Salva, a registered sex offender.

Since the film was greenlit in 2015, movie fans have argued the morality of paying to see Salva’s third installment in the “Jeepers Creepers” franchise. The debate is split between people who want to see the film and those who believe doing so allows yet another sex offender to hold a position of power within the film industry I side with the latter. I refuse to watch this movie, I do not wish to pay or be entertained by a pedophile.

For those of you who don’t know, Victor Salva was convicted of sexual misconduct in 1988. The director confessed to filming himself having oral sex with 12-year-old actor Nathan Forrest Winters while filming his feature film debut “Clownhouse” in 1987. Salva served 15 months out of a three year prison sentence and has directed nine more movies since, one of which was distributed by The Walt Disney Company. Winters never again acted, saddled with the trauma of this experience beyond the length of Salva’s far too short prison sentence.

Some have argued that boycotting “Jeepers Creepers 3” is unfair to the cast and crew that are not guilty of Salva’s crime. However true it may be that the collective cast or crew did not molest a child, these people have still chosen to work under Salva. One Google search of the director’s name will provide you with a page full of references to child molestation. His status as a sexual predator is both widespread and easily accessible knowledge. People, including Winters himself, have protested Salva’s films before. Anyone choosing to work with him should expect that “Jeepers Creepers 3,” its director as well as the cast and crew will face backlash.

“Atmospheric and macabre, with no happy endings, but not to be taken totally seriously,” Salva once said of his own films. I agree; his filmography is garbage which isn’t worth another thought, but the discussion surrounding his newest movie is to be taken seriously.

“Jeepers Creepers 3” had a one-night-only special screening on Sept. 26, and it clearly made money. It drew enough interest and profit to lead to a second one-night-only screening on Oct. 4, and an Oct. 28 airing on the SyFy Channel. People have chosen to ignore Salva’s past and reward him for his work, arguing that they wanted to see the film so they should be allowed to. My problem with this is that the movie exists at all.

In a world with constant uproar over the lack of directing jobs for women, people of color and LGBT filmmakers, we have a child molestor that is rewarded with a film which will play in theaters nationwide.

When debating whether you want to watch “Jeepers Creepers 3” or any other film by Victor Salva, ask yourself if you truly want to send the message that the story devised by a child molester matters more than that of the aforementioned people or the molester’s victim. I certainly don’t.

Yes, you can pirate the film to watch it without getting any money into Victor Salva’s pockets. But why even watch it? It’s just a movie, one among the hundreds upon hundreds that are released every year. The options are limitless when it comes to the amount of films you can see or things you can do instead of watching another film by yet another working director who is a pedophile.

 

“Jeepers Creepers 3” is nothing but a horror film about an ugly monster. No one’s health will suffer for not seeing it. Giving the film your money allows Victor Salva to continue taking funds that could be used by others, such as aspiring filmmakers who have never been convicted for having oral sex with a child.

When picketing an advance screening of Salva’s 1995 film “Powder,” Winters and five friends held signs that read “Support the victim, not the victimizer.” That is the action everyone should take. Winters is currently crowdfunding for a non-profit organization that would serve as “the voice for our children who virtually have none in our judicial system” called “we R their voice.” Supporting victims of child molestation is a much better use of ten dollars than funding the exploits of a sex offender.

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