Saturday, October 3, 2009
In 1977 famed actor and director Roman Polanski (who was 44 at the time) gave drugs & alcohol to a 13 year old girl while doing a photo shoot for Vogue. He proceeded to take nude photos of the girl and then raped and sodomized her. Polanski admitted guilt to all of these charges but then fearing that a plea bargain would be reneged on by the judge, fled the United States to France where he has lived in exile ever since.
This week, while traveling to Zurich to receive an award at a film festival there, Polanski was arrested by Swiss police and is facing possible extradition back to the U.S to answer for his outstanding charges.
What is baffling is how the Who's Who of the Hollywood elite such as Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and Harvey Weinstein, among others have rallied to their friend's defense.
Debra Winger read a statement which said his arrest was "Philistine" in nature and that his next "masterpiece" was awaited. Whoopi Goldberg, speaking on her talk show The View said its not like it was "rape-rape".
For years Hollywood has joked non stop at the sexual scandals of priests within the Catholic church. Comedians have had a field day and hardly a crime investigation show has aired that hadn't at least one episode where a priest and pedophilia were front and center. And now that same Hollywood cabal is defending sexual conduct with children. The hypocrisy is staggering...
What I find amazing is that the calls for Polanski's release in Hollywood makes no acknowledgement of his heinous crimes. I could appreciate an argument that at least paid lip service to the fact that a 44 year old man drugged and raped a 13 year old.
Instead we get the argument that the great art he has given the world should be some kind of "get out of jail free" card. Debra Winger sounded amazed that he was even arrested because, you know, he's an Academy Award winner and all.
And you know what...he is a great artist. As a film lover, I love Polanski both as actor and director. A 1995 movie with Gerard Dipardieu and Polanski called A Pure Formality is a personal favorite of mine. But that doesn't put him above the law.
Hollywood has instead put blame not on Polanski, but on "Puritanical" American law enforcement. Crazy Puritans!!... if it wasn't for them 13 year olds would be fair game.
The truth is, 30 plus years have passed and the Roman Polanski that raped that young girl doesn't exist anymore. Instead, the person the police have in custody is an old man who has lived in France and been married to his wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, for twenty years. Furthermore, the victim in all of this, Samantha Geimer, is a woman in her 40's now and does not want Polanski prosecuted anymore. I don't blame her, this just brings all the ugliness back up to the surface again. I'm sure she just wants to move on with her life.
But there is no statute of limitations on what Polanski has done and Hollywood must now go to the board and write 100 times so they remember it, "Raping and sodomizing children is a bad thing."