Roman Polanski. I have so much to say on this subject it will be a long, rambling mess.
In re: his tragic life
What a tragic life he’s led. Losing his wife and unborn child to Charles Manson and his merry maniacs is enough to send anyone over the edge. I get it, I really do.
In re: his crime
I also understand that the rape happened in a more permissive time. Pedophilia was not a common word in the American vernacular. The general public (and, tragically, many churches) did not talk about it in good company. Arrests and jail time were rare, and though perhaps the behavior that led to such consequences was not exactly accepted, it was certainly most often swept under the rug, or best ignored.
But not by this girl’s mother (though how she could be surprised in the face of her utter neglect in sending her unaccompanied child to hang with the guy is beyond me).
Perhaps Roman Polanski was used as an example, a deterrent. Perhaps someone was taking a moral – or a political – stand. But so what? A forty-four year-old man should not be having sex with a thirteen year-old girl. Period.
But let’s forget that for a moment, too.
In re: the arrest and plea
The thing is, he WAS arrested. For RAPE. He DID plead guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. No matter how he or anyone else felt about it, he plead guilty.
In re: fleeing like the coward he is
And then he ran. Far. Because he feared the judge was going to put him in jail, instead of a wink and a wrist-tap sentence of “time served.”
And has evaded taking responsibility for HIS, HIS, HIS actions – the crime he has admitted – for the past thirty-two years.
That’s not what a real man would do. A real man would have taken responsibility. At least sometime in the last thirty years.
Now, I know you’re going to tell me that the case against him is wrought with problems. There are charges of misconduct. And the victim doesn’t want the case to go forward. That should change everything.
But to me it changes nothing. He ran. He didn’t stand up. Appeal! Please! Get the case thrown out if it won’t stand.
And then stand trial for your thirty-two year flight from responsibility.
You know, be a MAN.
If he had stood up like a man and served his sentence, then lived his life admirably since, fine. I’m all for second chances. But I’d sure never leave him alone with my kid – or any other.
But that isn’t what he did, is it? He fled. And he expected to hide behind the more permissive cultures in Europe for the rest of his life. And he was correct in those expectations for thirty-two years.
In re: Switzerland grows some kahunas
And then Switzerland started growing a conscience. We all know they started opening up their legendary secret banking records, forcing the world’s cheats into accountability. Amen, my Swiss friends.
And now they decided to honor a thirty-two year-old warrant for Polanski’s arrest.
Because, Mr. Polanski, it doesn’t matter how angelic, how philanthropic, how upstanding you’ve been for the last thirty years, you don’t get to avoid this responsibility.
You just don’t get to.
In re: Roman Polanski, entertainment industry god
It has always boggled my mind that Polanski has enjoyed great popularity and support since he fled. Actors, directors, filmmakers, entertainers can’t line up fast enough to support him. His movies – only one of which (Rosemary’s Baby) I have ever seen – are widely applauded. He is considered a cinematic genius.
I’m sure he is.
But he raped a child. Even if she gave a 13 year-old’s version of consent. It is legally rape, folks. No matter what plea he copped. And I could never help wondering how these actors and actresses justified working for him.
“Sure, he raped a kid, but he’s really a super dee-duper terrific guy! And a genius!”
What do they say to their kids? “He plead guilty to having sex with someone your age? Honey, don’t worry about that old sex with a kid, thing. It was waaaaaaaaaaaay before you were born. Well, yes, he did flee to avoid jail. But he had a really good reason! That mean old judge was going to put him in jail! And I want you to watch and learn how he and all of the rest of the people that support him are justifying not only his original crime, but the wonderful way he has been canonized by us so that we make it all not his fault! After all, it was kinda consensual! I want you to learn from him how not to take responsibility for your actions. And if you ever commit a crime, I’m sure he’ll tell you how to flee and live abroad – well, for thirty-two years, anyway! And, if you’re lucky, and if you kiss his ass enough, perhaps one day YOU can be in one of his films! Oh, joy!”
In re: the petition
And they startle me even more, now, with this infamous petition.
Yes, theses idiots started a petition demanding his release, accusing Swiss authorities of a failure to appreciate the genius that is Roman Polanski, and the hereto before unknown fact that international film festivals share the same sanctuary status as churches.
Um, huh? Sanctuary?!?!?!!!!
The SACD petition that Martin Scorcese, David Lynch and over 100 other industry insiders signed says, in part:
By their extraterritorial nature, film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this.
The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed (and we all know what happens when we assume, don’t we?) he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no one can know the effects.
Um, so???????????????????? By that logic all murderers and rapists should be able to travel unencumbered, for the good of the arts.
These superstars of intellect and morality go on to say:
It seems inadmissible to them (filmmakers) that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by the police to apprehend him.
It doesn’t seem inadmissible to me at all. It seems poetic.
In re: the idiots supporting Polanski
His supporters include the not-so-surprising, like Woody Allen (um, didn’t he screw, then marry his adopted stepdaughter?). Then there are the ones that do surprise me, like Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme and Michael Mann – all terrific filmmakers with apparently extraordinarily bad judgment. I can only hope that they are sorry they sign that ridiculous piece of drivel.
Debra Winger issued a separate statement:
This fledgling festival has been unfairly exploited and whenever this happens the whole art world suffers…
Yes, but it was perfectly okay for Polanski to unfairly exploit that thirteen year-old, Debra. Seriously, folks, my eyes are starting to bleed.
In re: “it isn’t rape-rape”
Whoopi. Whoopi Goldberg. She actually defends Polanski on “The View”, first saying that he wasn’t charged with rape (Wrong! He WAS, but he plead to the lesser charge) and that nonetheless, she’s sure it wasn’t “rape- rape.”
Whoopi. It will take a looooooong time to live that down. Sure, it wasn’t stranger-rape. The girl was not kidnapped, beaten and left for dead after her rapist put his penis inside her.
That doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape. This guy was in fact much smoother, more insidious. He made this 13 year-old, who wanted nothing as much as she wanted a career, feel like the adult she wasn’t by giving her alcohol, and drugs, and made her feel pretty and special.
Before he put his penis inside her.
That’s rape in the eyes of the law. And in my eyes, too. It’s rape-rape, Whoopi.
In re: do the right thing
It’s always easier to pay now instead of later, Mr. Polanski. When you pay later there are always penalties. And interest.
Do the right thing.
Do the right thing.
Do the right thing.
1400 words, give or take. That is, thankfully, all I have to say on this subject.