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.