The Polanski Thing
I don’t get it. Where’s NOW? Where are all the women’s groups? Where are all the agitated ladies yelling “no means no!” Where are the children’s rights organizations demanding Polanski’s extradition?
And what in the world is going on in Hollywood? If ever anyone wanted to point to the decadence in our country this provides the example.
Here, let’s let Kate Harding provide a little clarity, shall we:
Roman Polanski raped a child. Let’s just start right there, because that’s the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in “exile” (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never — poor baby — being able to return to the U.S.).
Got that? He raped a child. He plead guilty to a lesser charge, but in fact he raped a child. Then he fled. You tell me, if it was some poor Wal-Mart frequenting, no-name red-neck who had done that 30 years ago and then taken off and hidden out in a double-wide for all this time, Hollywood would be having benefits for the victim and howling for the blood of the rapist. The women of The View would be demanding justice. Dr. Phil would be on Oprah telling the world of the long-term trauma and effect this sort of event can cause. Nancy Grace would be pounding the podium and telling the world this isn’t about the forgiveness of the victim, but justice.
Instead, as Harding points out, we’re hearing every excuse in the book from the glitterati (not necessarily the one’s I’ve named) as to why Polanski should skate. He’s been in “exile” for 30 years. Really? He’s lived in France. Although some may consider that to be a form of “exile” few prisoners convicted of rape would consider living there, fathering 2 children and generally enjoying the lifestyle of the rich and famous to be “exile”, much less punishment.
Instead, what it all boils down too is he’s an artist and artists are different than the little people and should be treated differently. I mean, don’t you know they don’t have to follow the rules? Haven’t you watched the awards shows or followed their lives on Entertainment Tonight? It is they who get to define what is good or right, or so they believe. They can ignore the rules and flaunt them, because, you know, they have a talent which millions enjoy. That makes them special and certainly more special than some floozy 13 year old child who’s life has come to nothing in comparison.
And besides, Polanski escaped justice long enough, thanks to our friends in France who refused to extradite an admitted child rapist, that he’s should be allowed to slide, or so his defenders rationalize.
The fact that she’s forgiven him (since justice was never done, what other choice did she have but bottle it up and let it poison her life?) and wants to avoid the publicity is understandable. Her mental health has demanded she find a way to put this behind her because the justice system was never able to bring her any sort of satisfaction or closure.
However, this isn’t really about her anymore – it’s about child rape and the simple fact that it is never right, never excusable and is always punishable, no matter how long it takes to track the perp down. That’s justice. You can’t drag Bubba out of the trailer and put him in jail for however long is appropriate if you can’t drag Polanski back from Switzerland and do the same.