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Is It Unseemly That Filmmakers Are Calling For Polanski's Release?

Is It Unseemly That Filmmakers Are Calling For Polanski's Release?

There's no question that Roman Polanski is one of the greatest living directors. It's also clear that he's had tragedy in his life: he survived the Holocaust as a child in Poland and grieved the murder of his pregnant wife Sharon Tate by Charles Manson followers in 1969.

But no matter how mishandled his legal case was in the '70s after he plead guilty to having unlawful sexual relations with a 13-year-old after giving her champagne and part of a quaalude — he has evaded punishment and lived a life of luxury as a celebrated artist in Europe for over 30 years. I was taken aback when I read that 138 people in the film industry, including Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, have signed a petition voicing their opposition to his recent arrest in Zurich, Switzerland, on his way to a ceremony honoring him.

Is there something unseemly about a group (largely made up of men) in a notoriously sexist industry standing up for someone who hasn't been punished for his sexual crime against a child? Is the fact that Polanski is an artist somehow a mitigating factor? I found it particularly galling that Woody Allen — who had an affair with his partner Mia Farrow's adopted teenage daughter and is now married to her — spoke out about what film producer Harvey Weinstein is calling "a terrible situation"? But that's me — what do you think?

Image Source: Getty
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niqua230 niqua230 7 years
I'm shocked by this list of names too! Penelope Cruz?!! Seriously this list disappoints me! :(
sidra5397 sidra5397 7 years
I'm shocked by the support he's getting from the celebrity world... even Tilda Swinton, whom I so admired. Really? Group of cowards...
runningesq runningesq 7 years
um, luna08? that was my point! :P
sontaikle sontaikle 7 years
I'm sorry, but he deserves to go to jail. Just because he had the resources to get out of it doesn't mean he's innocent.
sham28 sham28 7 years
Raping a kid is not complicated.
luna08 luna08 7 years
Glowing Moon makes some really great points. Especially about Lady Justice being blind.
simplystella simplystella 7 years
I'd like to say something smart, but all I can think of is "jerks" (both Roman Polanski and Woody Allen). On a side note, I was kind of puzzled when Polanski directed Oliver Twist... I kept asking myself how the little kid parents trusted having him near a child rapist 0.o
a-million-suns a-million-suns 7 years
Bella said it very well. It's absolutely ridiculous that these people are protesting his arrest on the basis that he has talent and success and that he didn't expect to get arrested in Switzerland. Oh, it happened so long ago, and you know, he has money and power and MY GOD don't you understand he's an ARTIST? Artists of this caliber are ABOVE THE LAW and oh yes, above morality as well! It appears that the people who signed the petition consider themselves in the same category.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
Since when is anything associated with Hollywood "seemly?"
mermei mermei 7 years
It's not really all that complicated. Vanonymous is forgetting that he fled before the sentencing took place - when the judge was legally able to reject the plea agreement and insist that he serve more time. Any appearance of impropriety then could be challenged on appeal. I don't blame the victim for saying she wants it all over, but that's not how the law works - he needs to come back, be sentenced for his first plea and face the consequences of running out in the meantime, or we run the risk of claiming that if you're a popular enough "artiste" (please read with a snobby French accent), you're above the law. I wholeheartedly agree that it's a bit appalling that he got to plead the situation down to statutory rape in the first place, but what's done is done. Jewel is on the list of celebrities who don't defend Polanski; she was quoted on Twitter wondering why so many people were standing up for him.
FaerieBlu FaerieBlu 7 years
The people with talent and fame seem to think they are in a category all by themselves which puts them above the law. Really pathetic how some stars all think they are in some special class to side with their "own".
doogirl doogirl 7 years
I agree with what Bella said, he raped a child! He should be in jail! He fled to France to get out of being jailed, he's had over 30 years of freedom, he needs to do his time! No amount of talent (and I don't consider him talented) can erase the fact that he is a RAPIST!
Muirnea Muirnea 7 years
^ I agree with GlowingMoon. This guy needs to go to jail for a long long time. I can not believe his career is affecting people's decisions about him. And I agree that it's not up to the victim to decide what happens to this guy. He could go out and rape other children, he needs to be put in jail, not only to be punished for what he has done, but to keep the general public safer.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
BTW, having Woody Allen involved is laughable. I chuckled (and rolled my eyes). :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
"I think the plea bargain should have never been offered, but I also think that the victim's feelings should be more important than anything else and her wishes should be granted." Sorry, I don't think so. Molesting children is a crime against society (which is accurately described in this case, as it's the people of California against Polanski). It's not up to the victim to say it's okay for him to be free to possibly molest other children. As much as I sympathize with the victim, the victim does NOT speak for everybody else (or other children) who may fall victim to him. This case against Polanski is NOT just about the victim. There are other important dimensions. JMHO.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
"What does talent have to do with it ? What does his profession have to do with it ? Have you seen the lady of justice? she's blind." Excellent point. Lady of Justice is the moral force of our judicial system. Ideally, she is objective. She does not see money, power, OR talent, etc. Those are NON-APPLICABLE matters.
clareberrys clareberrys 7 years
i second vanonymous...definitely a complicated matter at hand
Calimie Calimie 7 years
Okay, I saw that in the linked French article there was the complete list of "tortured artists" who saw fit to side with him. I made the list readable in my LJ here: I'm happy there was so many people I've never heard of. On the other hand... YOU TOO, GUILLERMO DEL TORO!! *cries bitter tears*
runningesq runningesq 7 years
What does talent have to do with it ? What does his profession have to do with it ? Have you seen the lady of justice? she's blind. And really, Woody Allen? You married your wife's adopted daughter. I don't think your vote counts.
Calimie Calimie 7 years
On the list of the people who DON'T defend Polanski: Luc Besson, Kevin Smith, Greg Grunberg and Kristy Alley. We have 4 sensible people against over a hundred of filmmakers and actors that I'm starting now. I'd like to have a handy list with all those "wonderful" 138 people. I need to know who's idiotic and can't tell apart the body of work of an artist and his actions as a rapist.
Vanonymous Vanonymous 7 years
It seems very complicated. I believe he should have been thrown in jail 30 years ago. However, the victim has been saying for years and years now that she doesn't want the trial to go on any longer and that she has forgiven him and does not wish him to go to jail (she filed a civil case and he had to pay her lots of $). In addition, when he was arrested when the event took place, they gave him a plea bargain and said he would not face jail time. He was afraid they would change their mind so he fled. So, now he would only be facing jail time for being a fugitive and not even for the rape. I think the plea bargain should have never been offered, but I also think that the victim's feelings should be more important than anything else and her wishes should be granted.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
The man raped a child. He should be in jail. It angers me that so many people are saying, "Oh, but he's so talented and it was so long ago." Doesn't matter. The man raped a child.
vmruby vmruby 7 years
Yes It's downright despicable.He needs to serve his time no matter who he is. As for Woody Allen signing the petition if it weren't so vile it would almost be funny.I'm not at all surprised that he's involved .Both of those child molesters are definitely two peas in a pod.
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
Ditto to everything that has been said.
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