Roman Polanski drugged, raped, and sodomized a 13-year-old girl and then fled to Europe to avoid imprisonment. If his name was Tyrell Washington, and he was black, and did everything Polanski did except direct movies, people would be thrilled that he was arrested. But because Polanski is an Oscar-winning director, we get abhorrent comments like these:
France's culture minister Frederic Mitterrand also criticized the U.S. "Seeing him alone, imprisoned while he was heading to an event that was due to offer him praise and recognition is awful," he said. "He was trapped. In the same way that there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America, and that has just shown its face."
In Germany, there was also support for the director. The Berlin Film Festival demanded Polanski be freed. "The Berlinale protests the arbitrary treatment of one of the world's most outstanding film directors," the fest said in a statement. "We declare our deep respect for Roman Polanski and we demand his immediate release."
The German Film Academy also condemned Polanski's detention. Academy presidents Senta Berger and Guenter Rohrbach said in a joint statement: "The German Film Academy finds it revolting that Roman Polanski has been arrested for an act committed more than 30 years ago."
I'm the father of a 14-year-old girl, maybe that's why I find all this anger over the arrest of a child rapist disgusting and infuriating. I don't care if he's made good movies. Why?
Because Roman Polanski drugged, raped and sodomized a 13-year-old girl…and fled the country rather than go to jail for his horrible crime.
What is truly "revolting" is the defense of this criminal and the stunning hypocrisy that it represents.
What the French government, German Film Academy and other fans of the director are saying is that raping a child, and being arrested for it thirty years later, is "awful" and "revolting" … if the rapist happens to be a talented actor, writer or director. They don't seem capable of drawing a distinction between Polanski the director and Polanski the rapist. Yeah, his movies may be great, but he drugged, raped and sodomized a child…and then he ran.
We don't forgive other rapists for their crimes…we hunt them down. Why should Polanski be given special treatment? Because he's talented? Because he's married with kids? Because he's old? Because his now-adult victim has forgiven him? Because the judge may have intended to renege on a plea bargain and make Polanski do the prison time he deserved?
Hell no. Why? Because there's a message here, folks. And the message is: you can't drug, rape and sodomize children and run from the law. You will be punished for your heinous crimes.
How would Polanski feel if someone drugged, raped and sodomized his children? Would he want the rapist to walk free if he has directing talent?
I know that the French government, or the Berlin Film Festival judges, would be making the same appeals on behalf of a black American plumber who'd committed the same crime. We all know it.
I, for one, am pleased that the Justice Department has not given up, has not been blinded by celebrity, and has finally nailed him. I hope they drag him back here and make him do his time.