You’re not special, Polanskeevy…

5 Oct

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

By ‘Rome’, I mean our celebrity-obsessed culture, by ‘Romans’, I mean Roman Polanski, and by ‘do’, I mean rape a 13-year-old girl when you’re 43 and then flee the country before being sentenced and then have the nerve to bitch and moan when you’re finally arrested at a Zurich film festival, but still get off the hook because oh yeah that’s right you’re a famous film director and $500,000 plus Martin Scorsese equals problem solved.

Whew.

Seriously, where have the sane people gone? They certainly aren’t in Hollywood where world-renowned actors and directors have no problem whatsoever defending a pedophile rapist who evaded punishment.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought The Pianist was an incredible piece of cinema, and the satanic rape scene (irony!) in Rosemary’s Baby still makes me squirm, but you must separate an artist from his art. In the media hubbub of Polankskeevy’s arrest and the Hollywood elitist backlash that followed defending the beleaguered director, one detail seemed to be passed over again and again.

He raped a child.

According to accounts the girl gave in 1977, Polanski gave her champagne and a Quaalude before performing numerous sexual acts on her despite her protests. He confessed to these crimes in court and served 40 days of his sentence before fleeing the country. As I watched coverage on the arrest, I expected a public outcry of approval that someone who had escaped justice for more than thirty years would finally be forced to pay for his crimes. But what did I hear instead?

Whoopi Goldberg, whom I’ve always respected, on The View, saying what Polanski did wasn’t “rape-rape”. Penelope Cruz demanding that Polanski be allowed to stay in France since he is a French citizen. Harvey Weinstein circulating a petition that Polanski be released. Woody Allen…well, I’m just going to stop there because the jokes for that one would need their own blog entry.

There must be a severe dearth of causes in Hollywood for celebs to be rallying to save a child rapist. The chorus of the defense is all the same: He is an insanely talented director who simply had a lapse in judgment 30 years ago.

Talent doesn’t put you above the law. If you rape a 13-year-old girl, you deserve to go to jail for a pretty long time. It’s what a society of laws dictates and what common morality dictates. You can’t just say you’re sorry and then peace out. There are consequences for every action, and winning a couple of awards doesn’t give you a get-out-of-jail-free card. By Hollywood’s logic, the sports world should have rallied around O.J. Simpson since he was a talented football player, but they didn’t as Chris Rock pointed out on Jay Leno. The reason why plays into race, which again would be another blog entry.

Time doesn’t change anything. Life was changed forever for the young girl Polanski raped. Thirty years doesn’t even begin to erase what happened to her, and it shouldn’t erase what should happen to Polanski.

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6 Responses to “You’re not special, Polanskeevy…”

  1. Taylor Friedman October 5, 2009 at 6:27 am #

    Backtracking even further, before this even got to Hollywood, what’s the deal with France for not extraditing him? Apparently, the U.S. and France have an extradition treaty that says neither country has to hand over its citizens. I guess the U.S. must have been kicking itself for agreeing to that one. Why should countries be allowed to protect convicted criminals? And why would they want to? That can’t be very good for international PR.

  2. josiejenkins October 6, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    The only reason why everyone decided it was “okay” to release him was because the charges are three decades old, and even Samantha Geimer, who he raped, wanted them dismissed. I’m not saying what Polanski did should be justified by any means, but the case is old. People have moved on.

  3. The Deviant Press October 7, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    The support from Hollywood for Polanski is mind-blowing. I can’t agree more that he should be punished for his crimes with 30 years compounded interest. When will America and the world step up and say enough is enough when it comes to celebs getting off the hook. Sure maybe the occasional drug bust or petty theft can get swept under the rug but the idea that a rape case can disappear just like that is conscionable.

  4. Lora Larson-Miller November 22, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    I completely agree. He deserves to be punished for what he did and shouldn’t be given the celebrity treatment of getting off easy. Although this happened many decades ago, it sets a bad example on our or France’s government for not handling it properly and letting him off easy. Another similar thing to this is how celebrities also tend to get little punishment for DUIS. If we are trying to teach citizens lessons (like not drinking and driving), we need to give everyone the same punishment, regardless if they are a celebrity or not.

  5. katie December 7, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    I agree with your posts and the comments above. Rape is unforgettable for the victim, regardless of how much time has passed, and just because he is a celebrity does not mean he should be released from charges. As Lora pointed out with DUIs and many other charges, celebrities are, for some reason, usually not punished harshly. Regardless of the scenario surrounding the events, rape is rape. And even if the girl does not wish to press charges, it really isn’t her choice. He committed a terrible crime and deserves to be punished for it.

  6. S. Hummel December 7, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Well, at least, it doesn’t seem that Polanski will be able to let this one slide away into obscurity any time soon… he probably will be remembered for this for the rest of his life. As of this past Friday, Polanski was released on bail and wearing an electronic bracelet when he arrived at his Swiss chalet to loads of media and paparazzi waiting out in the snow. There’s definitely been no shortage of media attention on him; and let’s not forget that Switzerland is still deciding on the U.S. extradition request. Thus, punishment (and justice?) could very well still be on its way. Now that’s a Hollywood ending if I’ve ever seen one.

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