A Tumblr photo of 13-year-old Willow Smith and shirtless 20-year-old actor Moises Arias lying on a bed together has raised more than eyebrows. While Willow was fully clothed and there was no hint of sexuality in the photo, parents Will and Jada Smith have come under fire for perhaps allowing their daughter to move into the adult world too quickly. The incident raised enough concern that the Los Angeles Department of Children & Family Services opened an official investigation into the incident, according to Radar Online and other news sources. Willow’s parents are reportedly cooperating fully with authorities.
Growing Up Too Fast
Young celebrities rushing to act like 20-year-olds when they’ve barely entered their teens — and sometimes well before that – would seem to be a recipe for disaster. Actor Sam Rockwell who stars as a child-actor agent in the new movie Trust Me and was himself a child star, offered the following advice to parents of child actors in a recent USA Today interview:
“Proceed with caution. … Nobody should be scrutinized in their 20s. They shouldn’t be rich and famous in their 20s. They should be broke in their 20s like I was. … If a child actor is getting a sandwich and a cappuccino brought by a grown man or woman, it gives them a weird sense of ego. Some kids do OK – Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Leonardo DiCaprio – but there are a lot of horror stories.” Referring to the unsavory agent he plays in Trust Me, Rockwell admitted, “My character would endorse it big time because he’s a scumbag.”
Too Many Temptations
The list of child celebrities who have fallen prey to the addictive temptations of drugs and alcohol while chasing an adult lifestyle they were not emotionally prepared to deal with is legendary. History continues to repeat itself as evidenced by the travails of Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan. The Transitions Recovery staff hopes Willow will not follow in their footsteps.