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 rank 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. (Here is Harvey Weinstein’s repellent defense of Polanski. If you’re looking to not just dip but swim in scum, see Round Up of Polanski’s Hollywood Supporters.)
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:
a. He had a tragic past
b. He is artistically gifted
c. He’s popular
d. He has suffered enough
e. He is repentant
f. 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:
a. 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?
b. He is artistically gifted. Good point. We should only imprison the artistically untalented. What are they doing to amuse and enlighten us, anyway? I say that, in order to minimize the chances of any talented people ever again being imprisoned, it’s high time judges start holding American Idol-style talent contests right inside their courtrooms.
c. He’s popular. So was Hitler. So was Ted Bundy. Remember, people in show business: popular is not a moral condition.
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? Because if so, I am definitely going into the film business.
e. Polanski’s 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?
f. 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) 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.”