Hollywood: Go Polanski Yourself

From today’s Los Angeles Times:

Roman Polanski is getting more support from the movie industry in his battle to avoid extradition to face sentencing in a sex case in Los Angeles.

Several noted directors have signed a petition in support of Polanski at the Cannes Film Festival.

Thus do Jean-Luc Godard, Mathieu Amalric and Bernard Tavernier join the ranks of that “grand assembly of filmmakers, actors and producers” who last September signed a petition urging the release of Roman Polanski from the Swiss authorities who had arrested him. (For the full scum immersion experience, read Harvey Weinstein’s repellent defense of Polanski.)

Those conscience-challenged Hollywooders who have rushed to the defense of the pedophile Polanski declare that the gnomish old pervert should remain unpunished for having drugged and raped a child because:

1. He had a tragic past

2. He is artistically gifted

3. He’s popular

4. He has suffered enough

5. He is repentant

6. The woman who as a child was drugged and raped by him has said that she supports letting him live free and dropping the matter altogether.

Here is what is so wrong with each of those defenses that it’s no surprise they’re championed by people who spend all of their time creating illusions and slavering over their own press releases:

1. Polanski had a tragic past. Charles Manson had a tragic past. Lots of prisoners (not to mention lots of people who didn’t become reprehensible criminals) had a tragic past. Should we release from prison Charles Manson and all the other inmates who had a tragic past?

2. He is artistically gifted. Right. So only the artistically untalented should serve time for their crimes. Good lord. How obtuse do you have to be not to realize that being artistically gifted is not a virtue.

3. He’s popular. So was Hitler. So was Ted Bundy. I know this is difficult for people in show business to understand, but being popular is also not a virtue.

4. He’s suffered enough. Right. Because living a life of luxury in France and regularly vacationing in Gstaad is suffering.

5. Polanski is repentant. Really? Then: a. Why has he never said anything to that effect?; b. Why doesn’t he want to serve his time?; and c. Why has he yet to pay his victim the half a million dollars he agreed to 15 years after he fled the U.S. to avoid sentencing? What part of guilt don’t the people declaring that Polanski is repentant understand?

6. Thirty-two years after the fact, his victim would prefer to let the whole thing drop. Since when does a victim’s kind forgiveness (or unkind vindictiveness, for that matter) determine the sentencing of the perpetrator of the crime against them? Just because I forgive the man who shot my father doesn’t mean he shouldn’t go to prison for his crime.

A few other points:

A year before Polanski raped the thirteen-year-old Samantha Geimer, he had begun sleeping with Nastassja Kinski, who was then fifteen. Are we to assume he feels bad about that, too? Because he’s never said a word to that effect.

Geimer’s mother at all facilitating her daughter being drugged and raped makes the whole situation around what happened worse, not better.

That Geimer could have consented to being drugged and anally raped is beyond comment. She was thirteen. Polanski was forty-four. Even if a child does “consent” to having sex with a middle-aged man, the pertinent questions remains: why (not to mention how) was the man involved asking the girl for sex? (And to be perfectly clear: nowhere in the disturbing transcript of the grand jury proceedings in this matter is there any indication that Geimer “consented” to anything. Her testimony is that she repeatedly said “no” to the methodical and determined advances of the diminutive Polanski.)

The Hollywood Defenders of Mr. “I’d Like to Sleep With Rosemary’s Baby” have largely framed the criticisms leveled against their support of Polanski as efforts by religious conservatives to yet again impress their hopelessly outdated morality upon a manifestly compassionate and enlightened intelligentsia. Except, wait. Doesn’t Hollywood also make a big point of embracing and supporting feminists in their noble cause of ending sexual violence against women? Or do they just mean women — but not girls. Pick a lane, cretins.

In a 1979 interview, Polanski had this charming thing to say: “Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!” But maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe in Polanski’s native language, “fuck” means the same thing as “protect.”

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  • You know, I seem to remember a case recently with a bunch of priests who got in trouble … most of the offenses had been many years ago. Most of those priests also did a lot of good things in their lives — even better than making movies!

    I don't seem to remember anyone saying that we should let them all off the hook.

    Hollywood views itself as too good to play by the rules that we normal people obey. As you said … they can Polanski themselves.

  • I think there is a lady named Julia trying to comment but is being held in moderation. I'm getting her comments via email.

  • Chris: I've deleted Julia's comments because .. well, here's the email I just sent her:

    I delete those of your comments which I do because over the months it's become clear that by them you mean not to in any way productively engage, but only to provoke and offend. You're just being snarky. I don't have to allow that, and I don't.

  • Looks like a good reason to me!

  • You guys both raised seriously good points.

  • Just one more point on Whoopi Goldberg's "rape rape" comment …

    She's right. It's not like he attacked a grown woman who might have been able to defend herself or at least call for help … he drugged and molested a 13-year-old. He managed to find something more evil and cowardly.

  • The only defense that makes sense to me is the legal one (that the judge had offered a deal which Polanski accepted, but later the judge changed his mind).

  • Beth

    The judge did not offer a deal and then change his mind. The prosecuting attorney offered a plea bargain. Plea bargains must be approved by a judge. Apparently, Polanski heard unofficially that the judge was not happy with the plea bargain and intended to impose a harsher sentence —which the judge has the right to do. (The plea bargain was for 6 months in jail with the 4 ½ months he spent under psychiatric evaluation to count toward that 6 months. It is certainly understandable that the judge might have felt that this was not an adequate sentence for the crime.) Hearing this, Polanski fled before his scheduled appearance before the judge. It is understandable that he fled. He did not want to go to jail. Although it has been put forth as a defense, this does not indicate innocence—just a wish to avoid jail. Given the means and opportunity I would bet that the majority of criminals in jail today would do the same.

  • Thanks, Beth. The Hollywood types keep saying over and over again that the judge broke a promise … but they apparently view reality as something with which they can take some creative license.

  • Greta Sheppard

    Bravo, John…. I'd love to see you on C.N.N….. head to head with Wolf Blitzer and other 'liberal' reporters who are soft on 'little girls being raped by older men! '

  • Leif Sr.

    The foundation of equality for all people and races begins with justice, not a protect class of individuals.

  • Hard to argue with that. Aren’t these the same people who demonized Bush and Cheney? Kind a like a take on the old George Carlin line about Ali ; it’s ok to rape kids but don’t even think about sending in the Marines.

  • Nothing against you, John, but this is the first post on your blog to make me nauseous. Thank you for speaking up.

  • Wow. Awesome comments. Really terrific. Thanks, guys. (Ric: I need to blogroll your blog. I thought I HAD, but i seen not. Sorry! Done now. Same with you, Wickle. And Greta! Wow, I've really been lagging with that stuff….)

  • Chritsine

    I am totally shocked by this. Over here in the little old back country of NZ we haven't heard much about this so after reading this and researching I am sickened and disgusted. Apart from the fact that she was a CHILD, any drugging and raping of anyone of ANY age is disgusting and should not be let off…but a CHILD??

    I was thinking for all those who are supporting this worthless piece of slim, maybe we should drug them and set rapist on them one by one and see if they will let them off? Or maybe because they are famous then the rape is somehow worse. Or maybe they won't see a problem with it if we only let TALENTED people rape them……..

    Ok, gonna go cos I am getting so mad I think I my keyboard is going to break

    Oh and fyi, last night about 400 metres from my house a two year old girl was abducted……if they catch the freak that took this precious child I hope he is not famous and so won't get any support

    What has the world come to?

  • Chritsine

    How much support would he be getting if she had been a legal age?? How can anyone support someone who would do this to a child?? Anyone??

    AHHHHHHHH……ok going to find a punching bag, so so so so so mad

  • Christine, I'm praying for the little girl who's missing.

  • John,

    I'll do all I can to promote this post. I can betcha that if the same circumstances were applied to some Farmer Brown from here in Vermont, not a single Hollywooder would be in support. As a matter of fact, the opposite would happen, and we'd all want to hang the guy in his own barn by his parts-unmentionable.

    I'm sickened when the elite profess that they are subject to a different set of rules; that they are more enlightened and somehow exempt from "No Admittance Beyond This Point". And I smiled (I may have been avoiding vomiting in my own mouth; hard to tell) at your observation that their rules are allowed to contradict one another, depending on the cause-du-jour.

    Thanks for the fine reporting.

  • Audrey

    Thanks John. This is one of the most compelling posts I have read on the subject.

    I am promoting your column.

  • Latoya

    Good God have mercy on us. I have not heard of this case before, but Lord it makes me so upset at the injustice of it all.

  • RogerC


    If you had one opportunity to speak to Roman Polanski, what would you say?

  • Roger: The first thing that comes to mind is, "How do you sleep at night?" The second is, "Why haven't you paid Samantha Geimer the half million dollars you agreed you would?" I'm afraid the third thing I might ask him is how far he thinks he could run if I gave him a thirty-second head start.

  • floot

    "d. He’s suffered enough. Are people in Hollywood so phenomenally wealthy that they think living a life of luxury in France and regularly vacationing in Gstaad constitutes suffering? That’s it. I’m going into the film business"

    Gah, ain't that the truth? Harvey Weinstein's impassioned "He's paid for his crimes" made me want to fly to the US just so I could thump him. I am at a loss to know in what possible world Polanski has "done his time"

  • I thought the worst part of Weinstein's piece was "Whatever you think about the so-called crime, Polanski has served his time."


    What do the beautiful people call drugging and raping little girls, if not a crime?

  • floot

    Don't even get me started on the "so-called crime" business… Weinstein appears to be on another planet with that one. It's… appalling.

  • Going to tweet it now, John. Appreciated your words.

  • Jessica

    Really Harvey? Is that where you draw the line? California wants a circus and THAT is where you draw the line. Unbelievable.

  • Joe Carlton

    The US prison system is a barbaric hellhole. If Polanski were going to be punished according to sentence… no problem. I'd support it. But that's not what happens. The California prison system is a sewer of extra-judicial punishment, where he'll be beaten, intimidated, raped, robbed, sold, extorted and subjected to racist hate crimes daily. Abu Ghraib is a picnic in comparison. Nobody got forced into sexual slavery or sold for $2 a pop at Abu Ghraib. The world would vomit all over itself if it had any real concept of the crimes and degradation which occur every day in the US prison gulag. It's totally uncivilized and unconstitutional, and the people calling for his head are complicit in it. They don't just implicitly condone these barbaric violations of human rights; they explicitly relish and applaud them.

    The Swiss authorities should make his extradition conditional on respect for his human rights as a prisoner. He should only be transferred when the US can provide iron clad guarantees that he will serve his sentence (time in prison, 3 square meals a day) and NOTHING ELSE. Since that's not going to happen — Mexican and black prison gangs, not the US authorities, determine what happens inside the California prison gulag — Polanski should not be released to the US.

  • jean leduc

    Mr Shore,

    What a talentless putz you are. This whole case is making everyone retarded. If you were to get your way, RP would be executed, and even that would be unlikely to be sufficient.

    Where is the outrage NOW over your own government's invasion of Iraq and the millions of innocent dead? But instead it's THIS story that is worse somehow than WWII.

    Best, JL

  • "Talentless putz"???

    Dad? Is that you?

  • Jon

    What a couple of these comments imply is that 1) what could POTENTIALLY happen to RP in a US/Califor-nigh-ay prison is somehow worse than drugging and anally raping an underage female and 2) every moral argument has no merit when weighed against unrelated political issues and can not stand on its own.

    That being said, I guess I'm movin' me to California and findin' me a teenage tramp, by golly! You know, 'long as she gives me permission to have my way with her. I just hope Carlton and JL are on my jury.

  • Jon: FUNNY! Big with the laughs!

  • John, in all seriousness, you've obviously stuck a nerve and I don't think it tickles! Keep up the good work.

  • struck, that is.

  • Chritsine

    wickle: thank you, I joined the search for her today when the police started door knocking and got to my house. THey have a description of the person she was last seen with but no one is coming forward. Awesome thing about a small country like NZ is that the army has been deployed to look for her, first case like this of its kind in this area of NZ. Prayers are appreciated, it's the only thing we really have left now

  • Well, John THANK YOU for you article.

    I live in France and am absolutely disgusted by the overall "elite/artistic/politic" reactions here.

    Even in the news or talk shows, most of the time you hear people defending Polanski… but there is NO ONE to defend the victim. At the "best" media remain neutral on the case…

    Let me just say this : I see almost NO ONE around me defending that guy… and polls show that french in general have the same opinion on this as I do.

    On this case, there is a HUGE gap between the "elite" of the society and "common" people.

    This guy commited a crime, and should be judged… That's the law, PERIOD.

  • Marite

    The thing going around in Hollywood and Europe's elite that support Polanski is that the victim was an underage prostitute.

    Perhaps this is what Whoopi meant when she said it was not a rape-rape. And it might also be the basis of Debra Tate's "The sex was consensual" statement.

    Good Grief !

  • Whoopi is a woman, a mother and grand mother… and I really can't understand her reaction.

    There's no such thing as "rape" and "rape rape".

    My wife has known sexual abuse as a child. We have a daughter together but the scars remain.

    And what horrify me is how too many times the victim of the rape becomes… again… the victim of gossips, critics, etc. implying that "in one way or another she must have deserved it".

    This is what is implied on talk shows here when you see Polanski's defenders ("well, have you seen the 'victim' ? She already had been drunk before and wasn't a virgin.. that says all").

    It's horryfing. I can understand the victim wants this to stop as even 30 years after the incident, she's the one still suffering from this.

    Even with a grown up adult, rape is RAPE. When a woman says "no", it really means "NO"

    THIRTEEN, she was thirteen… When during the whole process did anyone FORCE Polanski to have sex with her exactly ?

  • Polanski and Geimer's mother being arrested and imprisoned is what should have happened 30 years ago. I don't know why the judge on the case at the time thought 6 months was a reasonable amount of imprisonment for this kind of heinous act. He should have been serving years, along with the mom. Because the justice system didn't crack down on them then, it is a mess now. The bottom line is that they should both pay for what they did or facilitated. Additionally, I really don't understand our justice system; it's sick.

  • John,

    Don’t take “talentless putz” too seriously. I don’t think you’re a putz.

  • new creation

    My life begins in my mid-kindergarten year. I do not remember anything before Mrs. Hillary's classroom. Well, I do remember feeling terrified a couple of times but no memories of birthday parties, Christmas mornings, school, or bedtime stories. I have relatives who are guilty of child abuse. I have witnessed attacks on my siblings. I remember the screaming and the crying and the bruises. I remember hiding and feeling powerless.

    Despite my past I do not "want RPs head." However, I do want RP to own up to his crime. I would prefer he do so willingly, which, obviously, is nonsense. I understand we live in a broken world where there are many wrongs being committed every day. I would love to have a healthy correctional / rehabilitation system where RP could receive the help he so obviously needs to just begin to understand the magnitude of his crimes, which also, is probably nonsense. He's been running from his past for 30+ years and if the truth were known, probably 70 years. I would like his enables, masquerading as supporters, to cease encouraging RP to minimize his crimes.

    I also want everyone to stop speaking the 13 year-old victim’s name (which also is nonsense…heavy sigh). She has not recovered despite any statement to the contrary.

    No one ever recovers.

    For those unacquainted with abuse, the best analogy I've can share is that of lossing one of your children. Except in the case of child abuse, the child you lose is yourself. Imagine what it might feel like it someone said, "Its been 30 years! The case is dead!"

    Whenever I read her name or a statement she’s made to the press, I cry. For example, her comment that the media ruined her life, not RP, is very sad, because it is both incorrect and very true at the same time.

    I think most victims are cautiously guarded in their comments on RP. We don’t want any more attention. Enough people hate us already. Enough relatives have chastised us already. Enough people have told us to forget the past! Just (I hate this word) give it to God! Grace is enough. Love your neighbor. We’re all sinners!

    I am posting this here, rather than on my blog, to avoid yet another round of criticism and scorn from my siblings, who would see such a post as a thinly veiled attempt at pointing my finger yet again at my poor tormentors. I cannot even begin to formulate a coherent response to Woopie, Harvey, and the other Romanizers.

    I wish we lived in a world where this does not exist. I will live there one day. In the meantime, I pray for a world where people would receive all the help and support necessary to live damaged. This, of course, applies to the RPs of this world and their victims but not necessarily in that order.

  • Joe Carlton

    The best part about the criminalization of everything is that you lynch mobbers get stuck with bill. Yep, all those child molesters and rapists and murderers and gang bangers… You know who’s paying their room and board? You are. It’s like a big welfare hotel, and they’re pumping iron and bulking up, all on your dime. It never dawns on you that “lock ’em all up and throw away the key” will bankrupt you in the long run, and in fact, it’s already gotten to that point. The prisoners in CA are already stacked up like cord wood, and the Feds have ordered a release of 40,000 to ease overcrowding. Just a couple of months ago, Chino was wrecked and burned in a full-scale gang war between black and Mexican prison gangs. Meanwhile the state is bankrupt and paying bills with IOUs.

    In that context, what’s the point of adding Roman Polanski to the pile of 2,000,000 people already incarcerated in the prison-happy US? Why prosecute an 80 year old man, who is no threat to anyone? Despite the fact that his victim got over it a long time ago, and has publicly called for him to be left alone?

    It’s idiotic. You can’t afford it. You’re trying to make a statement about the authority of the state, but CA has no authority because it’s bankrupt. It’s verging on a 3rd world country. In fact, it’s just a matter of time until you can’t afford to hold even the most violent criminals. You think the gulag is protecting you, but in fact, it’s a training facility for a huge army of felons who hate your guts, and couldn’t care less about your earnest notions of right and wrong.

    That’s the big picture.

  • Jon

    You are right Joe, anarchy is the answer. Time to rid ourselves of these pesky laws.

  • John,

    I resonate with your comment to give Polanski a 30 second headstart and see how far he gets!!!

    Concerning this whole "Polanski" issue and what he did to this 13 year old girl, I personally desire to not just "throw a stone" at him and his Hollywood types, but all of Mt. Everest!!! But then I have a problem! I hear the words of Jesus say to me, "If you are without sin, throw the first stone." OUCH!!!

    I am REPULSED by what Polanski did, but my fear is that my own sin does not repulse me as much. One sin before a Holy God is worthy of eternal condemnation. So before a Holy God, Polanski and I are equally deserving of God justice, since we have both violated His law.

    I know you are simply "calling a spade a spade" and not seeking to bring harm, death or eternal damnation on this man.

    Please keep speaking God's message of Truth…because it is the only message that will set sinful mankind free.

    God bless!

  • Alright, John, I read that article about Polanski’s “everyone wants to F— little girls” comment.

    Let me clarify: No, I don’t. I was making pancakes at my 13-year-old son’s middle school yesterday, and the thought of having sex with his classmates never once crossed my mind. The fact that I’m mentioning it, even in this context, makes me feel exceptionally dirty.

    No, Polanski, most of us don’t have even the slightest desire to “F” little girls. That you surround yourself with people that do confirms the low opinion most of us have of you.

  • Beth

    Joe, you are absolutely right about the immorality and ineffectiveness of the CA prison system. But just because your arm is broken does not mean you should not fix your broken leg.

    One of the reasons to extradite Mr. Polanski is so that all girls and women that have been victims of a sexual assault know that society is on their side and condemns the illegal act committed against them.

    Another reason is so that Mr. Polanski and other pedophiles get the message that their crimes will be punished. In some cases at least this will discourage them from further crimes.

    Another reason is so that everyone knows that in America you cannot buy your way out of justice. It is not fair to go after the poor criminal, who can’t afford a life in France, and to let the rich criminals go. This is not the case in many places around the world, and America needs to stand as a moral beacon.

    Finally, how do you know that he is not a further menace to society?

  • lovelyrose

    John you are the big brother I always wished I had….

    Hollywood's zealous support of this despicable man is indeed frightening. Especially considering the power they exert over the unsuspecting masses.

    Consider this latest phenonemen of "cougaring" from the show Cougartown. My teenage sons are already experiencing reprecussions of that. Suddenly, older women brazonly accost them in the supermarket, dropping it like it's hot. Female dogs! If we continue to allow this kind of corruption of our youth, we are no better than 3rd world countries which allow childhood prostitution!

    RP is a disgusting pervert. A special place in hell is reserved for him. May he quickly behold it…

    Thanks John also for the "7 Reasons Women Stay" posts. Excellent advice. It's required reading for the women in my family… be blessed!

  • Thanks, Steve. And though I definitely understand and absolutely appreciate what you've said, I personally am okay with not having any sins of my own be as repulsive to me as having drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl. I'm bad, but I'm not that bad. But, again, I do understand and agree with the core of what you're saying. It's always easiest to point the finger at the wrong others do.

    Lovely: Wow. That was … well, lovely. Thank you for these kind and encouraging words.

  • It is really hard for me to stomach some of the things this man has done and the way some people are taking up for him. I can not understand how anyone could justify RP's actions. I can only imagine how I would feel if a man had performed these acts on my daughters. Very sick indeed and the statute of limitations should never run out on something like this.

  • Gold Star!

    John, this post is BRILLIANT.

    It's intellectually rigorous, and deserves a wide readership.

    It may be your best work yet.

    Thank you.

  • C Floyd

    I have to wonder Joe, would you feel the same if this had been your daughter? If this had been your son woud you feel this way? Maybe if it were you that was drugged and then raped irregardless of your age you would not be so compelled to protect this scum bucket! Anyone that touches a child in this manner or protect those that do, should burn in hell.

  • Robert D. Meek, Jr.

    Rape is rape, regardless of gender, age, etc.

    My first S.O. was a victim of childhood molestation from elder 2 elder brothers, & his father. At first, I was in a state of disbelief. "This only happens on TV," I thought, when he told me.

    But being a RN, with a scant education in psychiatric nursing, I knew enough to know that in due coarse of time, I was seeing evidence of it in almost everything he said, and did.

    Ultimately, it was what let to the demise of our relationship, but worse than that, I came to understand I had seen a person on constant pain, every minute of every hour, every hour of every day, all the time; and that he was trapped, incapable of finding relief, learning to trust. He was, effectively, in a living hell.

    His father was a dark, evil man. One could sense it. If any human ever embodied evil, he did. He did many thing, including rape his only daughter, father his only grandson through her, beat her trying to make her lose the baby, etc.

    His eldest brother had no remorse, and carried on their "legacy," molesting his only daughter.

    His next brother admitted to being sorry, and apologized. Not that it really helped.

    So, you see, no matter what this poor woman says, she, and his other victims, will be scarred for life, quite literally, even though one cannot see the scars.

  • LSS

    wow did you have to throw in a dig at his immigrant roots in the last part?! pretty sure this is just as abhorrent to Poles and French people as it is to us.

    other than that, good article.

  • What article are you reading?

  • LSS

    Sorry, when i said “article”, i meant “post”.

    And i’m sure you didn’t mean to sound anti-immigrant with that joke about his native language, but where i live is not like California, and when you get so used to hearing people equate foreignness with all kinds of wrongness… well, it’s like why we get mad when people equate gay with pedophile, if that makes any sense.

  • LSS

    That whole main part of the post where you took apart their “logic” was great, though.

  • Oh. So you’re thinking anyone in the world might actually think that I’m so dumb I’m genuinely wondering if the Polish slang term for sexual intercourse is also the Polish word for “protect.”

    Um. Yeah. I’m not worried about that.

    (Thanks for nice thing you said.)

  • Bob Faser

    I can’t help but wonder that the many people lining up to defend Mr. Polanski would be baying for his blood if he were Father Polanski.

    Keep up the good work, encouraging intelligent discussion.