Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Guess what, a person can be a talented artist and a rapist.

It's fascinating to me to see all the people who have rushed to defend director Roman Polanski. I have received an email asking me to sign the Free Roman Polanski petition. That Woody Allen signed it is not a surprise.

Debra Winger said it's an outrage that he is being treated this way over a "minor technicality".

Mel Gibson was blasted for his drunken anti-Jewish rant a few years. A prominent talent agent said nobody in Hollywood should work with him again. So drunken rants are bad, rape is not.

Others say this happened 30 years ago, let it go. Really? if Polanski was a priest, I'm sure they would say justice must be served and throw in a little Catholic bashing as well.

He experienced terrible things in his life. Yes, this is true, horrific things. So did Mike Tyson who had to serve his three years in jail for rape.

On one film website, the creator who slammed Michael Jackson in death, said this once again shows how puritanical America is. Never mind that Jackson was found innocent in a court of law, while Polanski plead guilty and then jumped bail. I guess if Jackson had reportedly messed around with teen girls instead of teen boys that would've been okay.

I agree America is puritanical but while French artists (except at this point Luc Besson) and the rich intellectual class are slamming America, the French public, according to several polls, overwhelming believes Polanski should serve his time.

That the victim has said she wants to move on should be taken into consideration, during sentencing. The case is the LA courts vs. Polanski. The victim, who received a substantial settlement from Polanski, doesn't get to decide whether or not the case should be dismissed.

Some say, well the mom dropped her off at the house. So that means the girl deserved it? I'm confused.

Polanski is a rich, educated, talented, white male, so we should be outraged that he can't return to America? All this time Polanski has been making movies, having a family,traveling, etc. not an awful life for a fugitive. He's a citizen of France, he was NOT in exile.

Was there judicial misconduct? Maybe but a judge has the right to change his/her mind regarding plea bargains. You don't get to jump bail because you're worried the judge might give you a stricter sentence.

I keep hearing his defenders say, he served his time. No he did not. He jumped before the sentence came down. He was in jail for a psych evaluation for 42 days. That time would have been applied as time served.

And finally for those who don't get it, please read the victims testimony. That she was 13 makes it worse but I don't care if she was 33 to his 42. Rape is rape (I don't know what Whoopi Goldberg is talking about, what the hell is "rape-rape"? On The View she kept saying we know it wasn't "rape-rape").

He gave her champagne and pills. She asked him to stop several times and said NO several times. He continued to have sex with her vaginally and then anally despite her protests. That is sex without consent, which is rape. He plead to a lesser charge of sex with a minor.

I love Roman Polanski's work. He is one of my favorite directors. Several of his films are masterpieces. It's terrible that his mother was killed during the Holocaust and his wife was brutally murdered while eight months pregnant.

However, what he did was wrong and he should serve his time like any body else.


regina di roma said...

Couldnt say it any better than that, thank you!

gibber said...

Yes this. And what's funny is he may have brought this all on himself. In trying to get the charges dropped a few months ago, his lawyers used as a reason the fact that the us never tried to get him. I'm sure they were like "ORLY polanski? Fuck you, you're under arrest nown bitch."

I don't understand all the outrage over this. Yes, he's brilliant, yes he had much tragedy, and yes he is a freaking rapist. Christ. No still means no...right?

Nice fucked up message to send to our young girls.

Diana Strinati Baur said...

rock on girlfriend. This is such a closed, clear thing that I am like, who ARE these people who think he shouldn't go down? And why?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this I just wish there was a campaign to get him sent down...
Rape is Rape end of...!!!
Love & Light x

Simone said...

Amen! Your argument is concise and all of it's points valid. Polanski and all others that take what is not given should be held accountable to the laws that apply regardless of time that has passed.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!! I am amazed at the reaction of these people. You just said everything I have been thinking.
Carolynn in Virginia.

anna l'americana said...

Very. Well. Said.

Kim B. said...

You said this so well. You don't know how sickening it is to read all the diatribes in the French papers - never with a mention of the fact that he PLED GUILTY TO DRUGGING AND RAPING A 13-year-old GIRL.


Your point about the different reaction if he were a Catholic priest is well taken. You're so right!

Thanks for your articulate statement of this.

Rachel said...

Ugh thank you for this. I’m a huge fan of your blog and wish you as much success as possible.
Question: Does it surprise you that with the growing petition to free Polanski, there are only a handful in Hollywood who have openly said he shouldn't be? To me this 'debate' is as simple as 2+2.Why are intelligent and creative people such as Scorsese supporting this?

Mind boggling.

pizzeriaitalia said...

I agree with you, he should serve his time... and, after that, what about those who left him undisturbed for such a long time?

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

regina - I seriously have to stop hearing or reading about this case. It's crazy.

gibber - Very good point. There was a pro-Polanski documentary that came out a year or so ago and Brett Ratner is doing a follow up, so there has been a lot of renew discussion about this case. I wonder how many of the people rushing to his defense would feel if this happened to their 13 year old?

diana - to see so many people I admire going on and on about "this miscarriage of justice", blows my mind. If Polanski had served out his sentence I'm sure he still would be the big director he is today.

anon - we'll see what happens.

simone - true. the law, while by no means perfect, is the law and while he was in the US he had to abide by the laws of our country, just like I have to abide by the laws of Italy.

carolynn in va - I'm hoping more people will speak out in Hollywood. Right now only one person has. It's weird. I would expect more balance. Or maybe I'm just naive.

anna - thank you. It was hard for me to quite articulate what I wanted to say without going off into a rant. If he had done this to a young boy, all hell would have broken loose.

kimb - I think he pled down to a lesser charge. He at first tried to say it was consensual but the police found the drugs, photos and there was other evidence. He dated Natasha Kinski a few years later when she was 15. He likes them young.

rachel - yes I am surprised. I know he is very well respected for his work, as he should be but to me one can separate the artist from the art. If not we couldn't enjoy Picasso's work among many others.

pizzeriaitalia - the original judge in the case is dead and he is a French citizen and France refused to extradite him, which is their right. In the past he avoid flying to certain countries like the UK because he was worried he would be arrested.

Linda @ Ice Tea For Me said...

Very well put. I saw Sharon Tate's sister on The Today Show and she actually said "There's rape and there's rape", indicating what he did wasn't wrong. What??? Not surprising that Matt Lauer didn't press her on that statement.

Where are the brains of all these people that think it's ok. I bet they'd be talking a different story if it happened to them or their child.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Couldn't agree with you more.

J.Doe said...

I don't know the legalities of the situation. The rape victim wants the charges to be dropped. I know in other cases if charges are dropped than there is no case to be prosecuted. However, he did admit guilt before a court and then left the country and never went to get sentenced so it might be too late for her to just drop the charges. That is what I don't know. The legalities.
It really disgusts me though to hear Hollywood stars defend Roman Polanski by saying things like it wasn't rape-rape, or it was a long time ago or the case is alive only because of minor technicalities. You can be sure if the old man who plied a 13 girl with alcohol and qualudes aqnd then had unconsentual sex with her were poor and not rich and famous no one would be protesting his rearrest.

dorina said...

very well said! thanks so much for writing about this. it really needs to be heard.

Monie said...

@nyc/caribbean ragazza

Whoopi Goldberg has lost her mind. I saw the show and was dumbfounded when she tried to say that it was consensual sex and that it was okay because the girls mother had arranged it. WTF?

Gil said...

It was just like Rosemary's Baby! He should do the time as he did the crime. I know that the poor victim has forgiven him as I don't think that the poor girl wants to relive this horrid event.

Romerican said...


nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

linda - I saw that clip. Was blown away. Have no words.

jen - I'm glad to see some in the French gov't told the Cultural minister to slow his roll for a minute.

j. doe - I think the problem is he left before sentencing and after pleading guilty so he's considered a fugitive from the law. The case didn't go to trail despite all the evidence because they didn't want to put the 13 year old through a media circus of a trial. I agree with you 100% that if Roman was just a random guy, nobody would be feeling sorry for him.

dorina - I was so annoyed by the attitude that what he did was no "big deal". I get the cult of celebrity but this is nuts.

monie - WTF indeed. Just because her daughter was mature enough to be sexually active at 14 and a mom at 15 doesn't mean every young teen is. What is Whoopi's problem? She's usually the voice of reason on that show.

Gil - I wouldn't want to relive it either. What a terrible experience.

romerican - grazie!

glamah16 said...

A case with so many shades of gray in between. I find the comparison with Michael Jacksons alleged crime really interesting, and it makes a good point(race and sexuality).The main thing is yes , he did rape her. But this case shows the many flaws in the justice system too. I still question the mother of that girl to put her in that sistuation unsupervised. Woody Allen leading this petition is a joke.He of all people.
Polanski is a leading talent who's life has been so full of darkness. Will be intersting to see how this ends.

Anonymous said...

Rapes go on all the time, and while its a bad thing, people are sometimes hypocritical in terms of wanting to punish the offenders since its more universal in the west tha one can imagine. On the other hand, child rape is rarer, and it takes a special kinda perv and predator to do that kinda act. Given the depravity of the crime, plus the fact I do not like polanski nor the french, I say bring him back in leg irons and toss him in rykers where baba can rip him a new one!
Still, he must have offended someone pretty high up in US law enforcement for them to go after him specifically after all this time.

Shannon said...

Brilliant! I've been trying to figure out how there was even a debate over this.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

glamah16 - The Michael Jackson situation is fascinating because some of the biggest Polanski supports were calling MJ a pedophile. So it's all about the gender?

anon - like Gibber said. I think his lawyer's actions in trying to get the case dropped but the hype about the documentary may have something to do with the timing.

shannon - I understand the debate over judicial misconduct but when one of the biggest supporters call Polanski's action a "so-called crime" it's a little scary.