Leading theme park designer implicated in Hollywood abuse scandal

November 10, 2017, 5:39 PM · The abuse scandals that have rocked Hollywood and the entertainment business over the past several weeks have now come to the themed entertainment industry, according to a news report.

Variety is reporting that former E.R. actor Anthony Edwards is accusing Gary Goddard of molesting him when he was a teenager. Variety reports that this is the same Gary Goddard known to theme park fans for his work on some of the industry's most popular and enduring attractions.

Working at Landmark Entertainment Group, Goddard produced multiple attractions for Universal Studios in the 1990s, including The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Jurassic Park: The Ride, and the recently closed Terminator 2 3D. After founding The Goddard Group in 2002, Goddard has gone on to produce Broadway shows, the Grammy Museum in LA, and multiple projects for Asian theme parks, including South Korea's Lotte World.

In addition to his work in the themed entertainment field, Goddard directed the 1987 movie Masters of the Universe.

Edwards wrote that he met Goddard when he was 12, when Goddard would have been 20, according to the birth dates on their respective Wikipedia pages. Variety quoted Goddard's lawyer as saying that Goddard was in China and that "we have not discussed this article."

The Goddard Group's website at www.garygoddard.com appears to be down now, redirecting to google.com. The Goddard Group's Twitter account and Facebook page are no longer available, either.

Update (Nov. 12): Variety has updated its story with a denial from Goddard's spokesperson.

As to the allegations that Mr. Edwards made in his post today, I can unequivocally deny them on Gary’s behalf. Gary played an important role in helping start Anthony’s acting career and acted as his personal manager. He has nothing but the greatest respect for Anthony as a person. Gary is saddened by the false allegations. The post by Anthony, as well as many of the news stories today reference a legal claim made against Gary approximately four years ago regarding sexual harassment. The complaint was demonstrated to be fraudulent as it was completely fabricated, and ultimately withdrawn by the complainant and his attorneys.

The Goddard Group's website is back online now, though the social media accounts remain missing.

Replies (11)

November 10, 2017 at 5:49 PM · Thinking that this problem is isolated to Hollywood would be naive. Whilst maybe worse in the entertainment industry doe to the large number of young, vulnerable and attractive people, this problem is far more widespread. Hopefully by bringing it to the attention of so many people it made clear that it is not acceptable, and it stops (or at least gets less prevalent) across the board.
November 10, 2017 at 6:11 PM · This isn't the first time Goddard has been accused of similar actions. He was wrapped up in similar allegations leveled against Bryan Singer, although a civil suit was dismissed. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hollywood-sex-abuse-film-an-open-secret-released-online-first-time-1048706
November 10, 2017 at 7:08 PM · It's sad to see so many awlful things done by people we woudn't have ever imagined, but it's grat to see so many people talking and so many perpetrators going down.
November 10, 2017 at 10:41 PM · Aren’t people innocent until proved guilty in America too?
November 11, 2017 at 9:07 AM · @ Yes but they are presented, name and photo, before a judge can tell what the verdict is. In a lot of countries that is undone or even illegal because (as you can see in the reaction) people will already judge the person without knowing the facts.
November 11, 2017 at 5:28 PM · The media does not follow “innocent until proven guilty”.
November 12, 2017 at 6:05 AM · No, but there are restrictions on media reporting when legal action is likely. They certainly can say such and such has been arrested on / facing charges of as that’s a matter of public record.

If they’re saying something else, then they are risking contempt of court charges.

Whether or not something has gotten to to legal stage, They are always at risk of a libel/defamation suit, unless they’re got a rock solid reasoning behind any conclusions they might cause. Robert probably can fill you in better what happens over your side of the pond.

November 12, 2017 at 7:18 AM · In the US, news media has Constitutionally-protected freedom of the press, which pretty much keeps the government out of restricting news coverage. But that does not protect news outlets from civil legal action. An innocent person portrayed as guilty in a news story may sue for libel, for example. So that's why we use modifiers such as alleged, implicated and so on until a conviction is secured.

In this case, the news is the implication as well as the disappearance of the company's online presence. I also added context to explain who Goddard is and why he would be relevant to this site's readers. And that's all I wrote.

Not just because I know media law. Because that's all the news is right now. There's plenty worth speculating about on this beat. This story is not one of them. I'll wait for more facts before proceeding here. But when I get more facts, I will report them.

November 12, 2017 at 8:57 AM · Just updated the post with Goddard's denial.
November 12, 2017 at 11:39 PM · The news hit Friday, and it isn't Monday yet, but the relative silence form the theme park community is unsettling. Goddard's penchant for young men is well known, and there are numerous people who have already gone on record claiming assault by Goddard (just do a search of public posts on Facebook of "Gary Goddard"). Yet, Theme Park Insider is the only outlet within the industry that has covered this?
This near silence does not make an industry that caters to children look very good. That so many are looking out for their careers and afraid to call him out because it may affect their pocket books is disturbing and cowardly. If this community isn't looking out for the well being of children, why should we be entrusted to capitalize off them on any level?
November 17, 2017 at 1:38 PM · As a former LEG employee I agree with your statement 100%

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