French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Whoopi Goldberg, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Harvey Weinstein and Ethan Coen have all defended child rapist Roman Polanski. The public backlash has been extraordinary, the most common view being it doesn’t matter how talented a director he is, or how long ago his offences occurred, he should be brought to justice.
The Herald Sun’s Jill Singer has written a brilliant response to the bizarre defence of film director and child rapist Roman Polanski which single-handedly demolishes the bizarre arguments mounted in his favour. It’s easily the most impressive thing we’ve read on the subject.
He’s no Oscar Wilde: Polanski must face the music
By JILL SINGER
IF you want to get away with raping children, it helps to be famous.
The campaign to free the rapist and film director Roman Polanski from his Zurich jail cell and prevent his extradition to the US has gathered massive, high-profile support.
One petition by filmmakers from across the world speaks of their dismay that Polanski has been arrested on a 1977 charge of raping a child.
Signatories include Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodovar, David Lynch and Woody Allen (quelle surprise).
Polanski’s arrest was also described as an “immense cultural scandal” by the Swiss Directors’ Association.
Meanwhile, the French Government views the arrest as “sinister” and “absolutely dreadful”.
Apparently, raping children is no big deal for these very important, creative types, or at least not if the children in question are raped by other very important, creative types.
French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand has expressed his official regret that an “internationally renowned film director and French citizen” has been inflicted with such an “ordeal”.
What a load of merde.
Polanski’s supporters have four basic arguments, all of them flimsy.
They point out the rape was a long time ago.
So was World War II, but they haven’t objected to the arrest, extradition and prosecution of Nazi war criminals.
Polanski is a brilliant artist.
Polanski’s artistic genius has been used as an excuse ever since he committed the rape.
Back in 1979 a French newspaper actually compared him with Oscar Wilde — an artistic genius and free spirit “persecuted” for his sexual preferences.
So are we to assume that when brilliant artists rape children, the children should view it as an honour, rather than trauma? I don’t think so.
And nor does Samantha Geimer.
Polanski just has a “European sensibility” about sex.
This theory goes that Americans get hung up about things like age, consent and certain sexual practices that European men are sanguine about.
As Polanski told his lawyer, he didn’t really rape the girl, but seduced her according to normal European practice.
Back in 1978, when Polanski fled the US for the safety of Paris, the French newspaper Le Matin blamed his troubles on America’s “excessively prudish petite bourgeoisie”.
Perhaps the French would like to try persuading the European Court of Justice that they consider children fair game. I don’t like their chances.
The victim, Samantha Geimer, doesn’t want the charges to proceed.
She mightn’t now, saying that while she has no hard feelings towards Polanski, she also has no sympathy for him, but she did want him charged at the time — and so did her distraught mother.
What should never be forgotten, no matter how much time passes, is what Polanski did, brutally abusing a friend’s beautiful young daughter.
The teenager’s evidence to police after the then 44-year-old Polanski raped her is chilling.
She recounts how he lured her in with talk of a potential modelling career, and how he begged to photograph her naked.
He gave her champagne, despite her protestation that it could trigger an asthma attack — which it did.
Polanski responded to her asthma attack by giving her a tablet he said would help her — it was a strong sedative.
Once she was slipping in and out of consciousness he raped the sobbing, protesting girl — orally, vaginally and anally.
Medical evidence supported her account of the rape.
She told police that at one stage she looked at Polanski during the rape and saw contempt in his eyes.
How delightfully European.
Polanski’s former friend and biographer, Thomas Kiernan, has written at length about the rape and about attitudes toward it.
Polanski himself has always been outraged that anyone could want to hold him to account for it, even though he admits he knew his victim was only 13.
None of his friends was surprised when it was first reported, with one woman telling Kiernan thatPolanski was hanging out with a circle of men who would compete to “conquer” the youngest children.
Another spoke of Polanski’s belief that females were put on earth for the sole purpose of providing him with pleasure.
And now we have all these fine, privileged folk still lining up to stop Roman Polanski being “victimised”.
What they need to learn is that brilliance and fame don’t excuse criminal behaviour.
Yes, Polanski is a great film director.
Nothing can take that away from him. But he is also a deeply flawed man who needs to learn that no one is above the law.