The recent arrest of filmmaker Roman Polanski has brought with it a barrage of criticism from his peers, which begs to wonder: just how does this supposedly humanist community with social justice leanings, justify the defence of a man on the lamb for the rape of a 13 year old girl?
In 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. After undergoing 42 days of a 90 day psychiatric evaluation at the state prison, Polanski was brought in front of a judge, who decided anything but jail time in prison was too lenient, considering the damning testimony and age of the victim.
Polanski fled to France, who welcomed the acclaimed director with open arms, ignoring the fact that he had in fact admitted to drugging and coercing a young teen into sex.
The drugs in question were Quaaludes and alcohol; the sex in question included sodomy. The victim repeatedly said no.
By the time of Polanski’s initial arrest, the trend of the Hollywood community and abroad in defending his past crimes had already begun, as evident in Anjelica Huston’s statement to the police.
She had walked in on Polanski during his drug induced seduction, and would later state: “[The victim] appeared to be one of those kind of little chicks between — could be any age up to 25. She did not look like a 13-year-old scared little thing.”
In other words, the girl looked like a tramp, and should be treated as such, despite the victims repeated pleas of no.
This disturbing defence of Polanski by his peers has endured for over 3 decades.
Actors such as Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, and Ben Kingsley travelled abroad to work with Polanski, despite the fact that he is a wanted fugitive. Ford personally handed Polanski his best director Oscar for The Pianist, ignoring the topic as to why Polanski did not show up at the ceremony himself.
Sans his recent arrest, even more personalities from the filmmaking community have tipped their hat in Polanski’s favour.
Whoppi Goldberg unbelievably stated that Polanski’s rape charge should not be taken so seriously, since it was not “rape-rape”.
The Pianist script writer and good friend of Polanski, Ronald Harwood, turned the affair into a cultural matter, stating:"It seems to me very odd that America, which calls itself a Christian country, is so entirely lacking in the ability to forgive.”
Stop me if I’m wrong, but isn’t forgiveness obtained through repentance? Does not Polanski still hold the opinion that the sex in question was consensual? Did he not flee before sentencing?
Harwood is one of 100+ figures from the film industry, demanding Polanski’s release. Others include Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Tilda Swinton, and in what must be a sick joke, Woody “I married my ex-girlfriends adopted daughter” Allen.
George Clooney once famously said: “We're the ones who talked about AIDS when it was just being whispered. And we talked about civil rights when it wasn't really popular. This academy - this group of people - gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I'm proud to be a part of this academy, proud to be part of this community, and proud to be out of touch.”
Do these people actually feel proud for defending Polanski as well?