Celebrity makes people stupid. That's the only explanation for Harvey Weinstein calling Roman Polanski's drugging, rape and sodomy of a 13-year-old girl a "so-called" crime, or Whoopi Goldberg shrugging it off as not a "rape-rape." Today, LA Times columnist Steve Lopez brilliantly summed up my feelings about the case…and, I suspect, the feelings of anybody outside the entertainment industry, where it's assumed that anyone with talent, fame and an award statuette should get a free pass for illegal, immoral, and just plain inept behavior. Is it any wonder that Woody Allen supports Polanski? Lopez writes, in part:
I'd like to show all these great luminaries the testimony from Polanski's underage victim, as well as Polanski's admission of guilt. Then I'd like to ask whether, if the victim were their daughter, they'd be so cavalier about a crime that was originally charged as sodomy and rape before Polanski agreed to a plea bargain. Would they still support Polanski's wish to remain on the lam living the life of a king, despite the fact that he skipped the U.S. in 1977 before he was sentenced?
Yes, Polanski has known great tragedy, having survived the Holocaust and having lost his wife, Sharon Tate and their unborn son, to the insanity of the Charles Manson cult.
But that has no bearing on the crime in question.
His victim, who settled a civil case against Polanski for an unspecified amount, said she does not want the man who forced himself on her to serve additional time.
That's big-hearted of her but also irrelevant, and so is the fact that the victim had admitted to having sex with a boyfriend before meeting Polanski.
Polanski stood in a Santa Monica courtroom on Aug. 8, 1977, admitted to having his way with a girl three decades his junior and told a judge that indeed, he knew she was only 13.
There may well have been judicial misconduct.
But no misconduct was greater than allowing Polanski to cop a plea to the least of his charges. His crime was graphic, manipulative and heinous, and he got a pass. It's unbelievable, really, that his soft-headed apologists are rooting for him to get another one.
11 thoughts on “Polanski’s Crime, Hollywood’s Arrogance”
Am soooooooo with you on this. Media should not give the folks supporting him a mouthpiece and these supporters ought to take a peek outside their weird world and see that the consumers of their movies are not with them on this.
It may be an old crime, chronologically speaking, but the new defense is galling and nauseating.
Agreed. Are we so enamored by celebrity and status that we dismiss a crime such as rape? Would the same public be so forgiving if that girl was their own flesh and blood? Or would they trade their own integrity and justice so they could be on TV?
I woke up this morning to see that some people in Hollywood were passing around a petition to free Polanski and nearly blew another gasket.
I posted a blog yesterday to let off some steam and was going to write a follow up blog today about the idiots who are supporting him. My point was going ot be what if it was your daughter or son.
Your blog and the LA Times article summed up my feelings. I will just link to you instead.
My blog doesn’t get anywhere near the traffic yours does and I still got a few notes on Twitter defending the idiot.
Thank you for the post. I need to go calm down now. My mind is buzzing.
Well said. I have created a petition where people who support his extradition can sign their name: http://thomashawk.com/2009/09/petition-supporting-the-extradition-of-roman-polanski.html
I’m trying to understand the time-line here. 1- Polanski rapes a thirteen year old girl. 2-Polanski is caught and pleads guilty. 3- Judge disagrees with the plea agreement’s punishment. 3- Polanski is scared of a harsher sentence and skips bail instead of continuing the case in court or on appeal.
How is this different from a run-of-the-mill goon who declares unfairness and skips town? Is Stephen Blackmoore apoplectic now? Should Alex Kelly have gotten a free ride because he had to spend 8 years fucking hot Swedish chicks and going skiing? What about Ira Einhorn, he had to spend twenty horrible years in France? France!
I’m glad to hear not all in Hollywood and I hope not most, are so repugnant. If Whoopi Goldberg doesn’t know that it was “rape rape,” she should read the transcript of the 13 year old’s testimony. It’s online. And if anyone thinks Polanski was somehow railroaded, they should read the transcript of his plea. He clearly acknowledges that the Judge is not forced to take the bargain, and that, if he doesn’t, Polanski can go to trial instead.
Amen. He may be a great filmaker and the victim might wan to move on, but I don’t see how Polanski walks away from what he did. I don’t think anyone who wants him to walk has thought it through carefully. They haven’t asked how they would feel if it were their daughter.
If he’d been a soccer coach or insurance salesman the other celebs would want to nail his arse to the barn wall.
There was nothing “Braveheart” about Mel Gibson’s drunken tirade, but the fact that the Hollywood dandies still scorn him while giving Polanski a free pass for rape speaks volumes about their deviated priorities.
It’s odd to me that Steve Lopez and so many others would consider the wishes of the victim “irrelevant.” If this is not being done for her then why is it being done? Learning that your wishes are irrelevant seems to me a way to *discourage* young women from reporting crimes against them.