I wasn’t going to bother writing about this since other people have done it so well already, but honestly it’s been on my mind a lot and I can only rant about the same things here at home so many times before George reaches a point where I might find him on Priceline, looking for a flight to take him far away from my flapping mouth.
(I kid. Mostly.)
The main reason I need to say something though is because I’m still continually shocked at how many people keep defending Roman Polanski, saying that he shouldn’t be extradited to the U.S. after being arrested, saying he should be given a pardon for his crime over three decades ago. I can’t believe how many people think that what he did to a 13-year-old girl is okay now that it’s so many years after the fact.
Let’s just lay out the basic facts, even though we’ve all heard them already. Polanski’s victim was 13 years old and under the impression that she was doing a modeling shoot. He gave a 13-year-old girl champagne and drugs. He came on to her and ignored her requests to be taken home. He kissed her even after she said no. He raped her even after she said no. He then sodomized her after she said no.
Right. And people want him to be granted a pardon? Why?
I keep reading the reasoning behind it. The victim is a grown woman who wants the charges to be dropped. The problem is, it’s not up to the victim to bring about justice. It’s out of her hands now and while I feel for her because she’s tired of being drawn into the media circus and forced to relive it all, it’s a terrible precedent to drop charges just because the victim asks. Because then, in the future, as long as a rapist (or criminal of any sort) has enough money or power or threatening presence to lean on a victim, he will never have to pay for what he did. I do hope that they can keep her out of the court as much as possible and that it will be a closed court for her sake, but it’s not a strong enough reason to just drop this case.
Possibly the most ridiculous reasoning is that he is such a brilliant director. I’m sorry, what? What does someone’s talent have to do with whether or not they should face justice for committing a crime? If it had been a janitor who did this to a 13-year-old girl I seriously doubt that anyone would be saying, “oh hey, come on let’s give him a pardon! Sure, he drugged and raped a young girl but he’s such a good janitor, it’s okay to look the other way!” All the talent in the world does not give a person carte blanche to rape a girl. There’s no movie in the world that is brilliant enough to excuse the director behind it for raping someone.
Then there are other laughable reasons to let him walk free: He’s paid for it in notoriety, he’s paid for it because he was never able to come back to the U.S. not even to get his Oscar (gasp!), he’s 72 years old now and too old to be sent to prison.
Paid for it in notoriety? Please. He still managed to film a great deal of movies with talented actors over the past 30 years. He hasn’t been living in a cave with Osama Bin Laden, he’s been living comfortably in France, continuing on with his career. I don’t see how he’s paid his debt to society with notoriety.
He couldn’t come back to the U.S. for an Oscar? Quelle horreur! I’m sure he spent just as many sleepless nights fretting about it as his victim did after she was raped.
As for his age, yes it is true. Being 72 years old is quite old to be shipped off to prison. On the other hand it’s really difficult for me to drum up a whole ton of sympathy based on his age when he never once considered his victim’s young age.
Then, in possibly the most disappointing defense ever, Whoopi Goldberg went and lost all the respect that I had for her – and it was a lot – by saying on The View that “it wasn’t rape rape”. Pardon? Not RAPE RAPE? What does that even mean? One, she was 13 and he was in his 40s. That right there is statutory rape to start with. And then there was the, as I mentioned, repetition of the word “NO” that she kept using throughout the ordeal. I don’t know where Whoopi Goldberg learned about rape, but where I come from No means No and ignoring the No means rape. In fact it means “rape rape”.
On and on it goes, people wringing their hands over how terrible this whole so-called witch hunt is. People complaining that it was sneaky and underhanded for Switzerland to arrest Polanski when he was under the impression that he was attending a film festival (you know, with his poor flailing career that was so undermined by all that notoriety) and how that was just unfair. OH CRY ME A FUCKING RIVER. Because it was all about being fair when a girl who was under the impression that she would be photographed for an issue of Vogue ended up drunk, drugged, and raped.
Poor Polanski. Poor Polanski MY ASS.
I don’t care how old he is now, I don’t care how many years have gone by, how much he paid his victim, how brilliant he is on set, or how much he might claim to have been unaware of the girl’s age at the time (hint: If he needed her mother’s permission to shoot the photos, she was obviously underage as an adult would not need any parental consent for modeling). I don’t care because what he did was a crime. It was a crime and he KNEW it was a crime, he admitted his guilt, and then he ran away so that he couldn’t be sentenced because he was SCARED.
You know, scared, probably kind of like that young girl was.
I don’t know how long we’ll have to wait to find out whether he’ll be shipped back to the U.S. to face his crime but I hope they throw him on a direct flight back and that any leniency he was promised before he bolted three decades ago gets tossed out the window. He raped a 13-year-old girl and there is no excuse for that and I would personally like my kids to live in a world where money, fame, and talent can’t buy your way out of justice.