Mark Salling Fired From 'Gods and Secrets' Following Child Pornography Indictment
Mark Salling will no longer be appearing in Gods and Secrets.
Following the former Glee actor's indictment on child pornography charges, executive producer Adi Shankar issued a statement announcing Salling's removal from the project, adding that he would be personally paying for re-shoots of the 33-year-old's scenes.
"Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets" will be moving forward without Mark Salling," the statement read. "He has been cut from the mini-series, I will personally be paying for the reshoots, and I hope that Mark finds inner peace."
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The filmmaker went a step further to promise, "a percentage of profits from the project will go to a charity for abused children. Hopefully some good will come of all of this and I pray that when the dust has settled, the hyper-connectivity of the information age that has brought to light the transgressions of several public figures, will also force us to look within our society to identify and eliminate the root cause of the rape culture we exist in."
"The innocence of our planet’s children is something that must be protected at all costs. As entertainers, our role is to be the 'conscience of humanity,' striving to make the world better for future generations," the statement continued. "Sadly, we live in a country where statistically at least 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, 80,000 children are reportedly sexually abused every year, and at least 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. Even more troubling, exponentially more cases go unreported as in most situations, authority figures are ill equipped to help. Every two minutes, an American is sexually assaulted."
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"The aforementioned statistics are nauseating, reminiscent of a third world country, and until very recently, kept out of the limelight," Shankar added. "Child abuse is a cultural cancer whose tentacles penetrate far deeper than a single celebrity caught with illicit images on his computer, just as date rape is a is a far more prominent issue than the repeated transgressions of one mediocre entertainer from the 1970’s. Child abuse is a democratic disease existing across socioeconomic lines affecting every walk of life. It affects all of us, and more importantly, its existence needs to cece to exist. Period."
Last week, Salling was indicted on two counts of child pornography following his arrest last December. According to court documents obtained by ET, the actor knowingly possessed child pornography on his laptop computer, a hard drive and 16 gigabyte USB flash drive.
ET has reached out to Salling's rep for comment. If convicted, the charge for receiving child pornography carries a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. Possessing child pornography also carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.