Making the right call on Polanski should be a no-brainer.
A warning to readers. This post discusses a very serious sexual assault. Discretion is advised.
One of these days I’m going to quit being shocked at the hypocrisy of our liberal elites. Maybe.
Or maybe not.
Because what we are seeing and hearing with respect to the recent arrest of Roman Polanski is truly astonishing.
If you’ve missed it, here’s the story. Roman Polanski is a well-known and very successful film producer and director. Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist are among his film credits. In 1977, when he was 44, Polanski convinced a 13-year old girl named Samantha Gailey to pose for photographs in the home of Jack Nicholson. While there, Polanski plied the 13-year old girl with champagne and Quaaludes and convinced her to remove her clothes following which he raped and sodomized her.
Polanski was arrested and charged with rape by use of drugs, sodomy, perversion, lewd and lascivious acts upon a child and providing illicit substances to a minor. Those charges were dropped to a lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor as a part of a plea agreement between prosecutors and Polanski.
Polanski was due to be formally sentenced and fearing that the terms of the plea agreement would not be upheld by the judge, left the country and has been living in France and Poland for the past 31 years.
Earlier this week, Polanski went to Switzerland to receive an award and was arrested by Swiss police and is being held there pending extradition back to the United States.
This is all too much for the Hollywood glitterati. Luminaries such as Harrison Ford, Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese are demanding that Polanski be released. Debra Winger accused the Swiss of reaching a “Philistine conclusion” in detaining Polanski. Earlier this week on The View, Whoopi Goldberg was at pains to ask if what Polanski did is really “rape rape.” Couldn’t it be some kinder, gentler form of rape? But not actual “rape rape.”
The beautiful people of Hollywood need us to understand. True artists are different. We must consider the body of their work and their high aesthetic achievement. We have to allow artists considerable latitude due to their irreplaceable contributions to mankind. Besides, Mr. Polanski has suffered enough and it’s time to (altogether now) move on.
Just a question for Ms. Goldberg. If a 44-year old man drugging a 13-year old girl and sodomizing her isn’t really rape, what is? I’m just askin’.
Consider all of this and think back to 1991 when the first president Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. You might recall that a former employee named Anita Hill came forward and alleged that Thomas had come on to her and had made improper sexual advances. She didn’t allege that he raped her or even assaulted her. She alleged that he ogled her and hit on her in the workplace.
She alleged these things. They were never proved and Justice Thomas, unlike Roman Polanski, denied the charges.
Yet the left went nuts. He’s not fit, they cried. His behavior demonstrates a lack of respect for women and his confirmation would put the women’s movement back by decades. The National Organization for Women decried the nomination as an assault on women’s rights.
All over an allegation.
And yet, when a Hollywood liberal is finally caught decades after jumping bail and skipping out following admitting to sexually assaulting a 13-year old girl (how’s that for a lack of respect for women?), we must not be Philistines and we must understand his artistry and cease and desist our persecution.
Well here’s a note to Hollywood and other liberal elites. If you’re going to tell me how to live, what car I can drive, how I can heat and cool my home and how much health care I’m entitled to, you have to do so from some basis of credibility.
You need to get something right.
Keeping your mouth shut and letting the justice system deal with a lecherous old man who brutalized a 13-year old girl and has been a fugitive for three decades would be a good place to start. Anyone should be able make the right call on this one.
If you can’t get this one right, you’ll forgive me if I think you lack the moral standing to tell the rest of the country how to live.