This news story has bothered me for 32 years! I could not understand why Hollywood and the arts community would continue to honor this fugitive from justice. The guy is a convicted criminal and because he is "talented" we are to overlook it? Not me..... I was overjoyed when they arrested him in Switzerland. Switzerland may be a "neutral country" but this is not about politics .... it's about right and wrong and they prosecute criminals even in "neutral countries." Bill Bennett has a good post on the "Corner" blog of National Review.
The Polanski Double Standard [Bill Bennett]
At a certain point, "shut up and sing," or "shut up and act," or "direct," or "produce," will not cut it. Before we are anything else, we are citizens and human beings. And no matter what our profession, we not only have to follow common bonds of decency but the common laws of civility, not to mention the civil and criminal laws too. That's not a tall order.
Here's the CNN squib:
Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar and Martin Scorsese have "demanded the immediate release" of fellow filmmaker Roman Polanski, who was arrested in Switzerland on a U.S. arrest warrant related to a 1977 childsex charge.
They were among 138 people in the film industry who signed a petition against the arrest.
Polanski was on the way to the Zurich Film Festival when Swiss police detained him in response to the American warrant.
The filmmaker pleaded guilty in 1977 to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor but fled before he could be sentenced. He settled in France, where he holds citizenship. Investigators in the United States say Polanski, then 43, drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl.
Let me repeat this last part: He drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl. And he plead guilty — but then fled the country.
One entertainer got it right, the singer Jewel. Here's a Tweet she sent out yesterday: "Polanski admitted raping a 13 yr old-whys every1 in the arts upset hes facing jail? cause hes a gifted director? what am i missing?"
Let me say one last thing about this. Time passed is not the issue, and neither is accomplishment in the arts — justice and the message we send is precisely the issue. As Mark Steyn notes, what are we going to do, start an "Artists United for Pedophile Rapists" movement here?
When scandals turned up in the Catholic church, the elites — as everyone — were rightly shocked. It was a major, several year story. And the abuses investigated, detailed, and condemned went back to 1950, 27 years earlier than Polanski's crime. Priests and parishes and archdioceses were punished and sued and even bankrupted. There is a major double standard here — not because that is what is wrong, but because what Polanski did was wrong and too many want to dismiss it and move on — because he's in the favored class of the elite.
Are these artists and other Polanski defenders really saying a child can be drugged and raped, a 13-year-old child mind you, and the consequence is time, for simply time — never mind fleeing justice — will heal that? This is a horrible message, and the artistic industry, so callous to claims about lyrics encouraging this kind of trashy behavior in the past, better get it right when the behavior is real and when the message they send is one that most people — rightly — abhor. You want to know why Michael Medved titled his book Hollywood v. America? It wasn't because of this case, but it might just as well be now. Who defends child rape? Well, now you know who.
Steve Loqez in the Los Angels Times has a column and quotes from the Grand Jury testimony of the 13 year old victim that will cause your hair to stand on end. He also writes about Polanski's defenders:
But I wish the renowned legal scholars Harvey Weinstein and Debra Winger, to name just two of Polanski's defenders, were here with me now. I'd like to invite Martin Scorsese, as well, along with David Lynch, who have put their names on a petition calling for Polanski to be freed immediately.
What, because he won an Oscar? Would they speak up for a sex offender who hadn't?
To hear these people tell it, you'd think Polanski was the victim rather than the teenager.
And then there's Woody Allen, who has signed the petition too.
You'd think that after marrying his longtime girlfriend's adopted daughter, he'd have the good sense to remain silent. But at least Soon-Yi Previn was a consenting adult.
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?
(Click on the title for a link to the LA Times article)
A pig in a tux is still a pig!