Top three posts on Polanski

I have little to say, at least publicly, about the Roman Polanski case. But I do recommend these three posts, which represent some of the best responses I’ve seen this week. You can figure out my views from these three wonderful pieces.

Roman Polanski Has a Lot of Friends, Katha Pollitt.

Getting Over It, Lauren at Feministe

In Defense of the Polanski Arrest, Tom Head

0 thoughts on “Top three posts on Polanski

  1. It’s infuriating the degree to which people are willing to misstate or minimize what Polanski did. Would he have had to kill the child for them to think it appropriate that he be dealt with in some manner?

    Anne Applebaum’s invocation of the Holocaust in defense of Polanski’s absconding I think counts for the most offensive thing I’ve read in the public press in a long time.

  2. One thing I’ve always wondered about, btw, is why the District Attorney’s office never requested that the French prosecute him (which I gather is an alternative available due to the fact that France doesn’t extradite its citizens). Does anyone know the answer to this?

  3. The American government gets it right, that’s not soemthing I say very often. I’m appalled bythe French government, and ashamed that Europe has harboured him for so long. The list of showbiz names who are suppoting him is sickening, my reading and viewing repertoire has been significantly narrowed.

    I remember my mum telling me about this case when I was about 10 or so – she took the same view as Whoopi Goldberg et al. When I was raped, a couple of years later I didn’t tell, and took responsibility – I can’t help thinking the Polanski get out clause didn’t help with that, and that there are teenagers out there being told that sometimes it’s ok to rape children – especially pre-pubescent and adolescent girls, just like them.

  4. Thank you Lynn. I see the provisional arrest warrant was sent there, but I still haven’t seen anything that explains why the request to prosecute him in France under French law either wasn’t sent or wasn’t honored. That’s what I’ve always wondered, because as I understand it, that’s the procedure that France allows in lieu of extradition of her citizens, which she does not. Is it a case that the French wouldn’t prosecute, either because of the plea agreement in California or because it isn’t illegal under French law, in their view, or some other procedural technicality?

    Matey, you have my heartfelt sympathy. Thank you for sharing. People who make excuses like this need to be reminded just what exactly it is they are willing to excuse.

  5. I don’t know, Tom. I do know that Wikipedia says that the age of consent in France is 15, so the statutory rape part would be illegal in France, too (though his later sleeping with Nastassia Kinski would be legal there and illegal here, since she was 15). The part about, according to her testimony, continuing after she said no should also be illegal in France. I’m not sure whether their rape law covers the use of alcohol and Qualudes or not (the one link I could find describing rape law in France only refers to force or restraint, not drugs or alcohol), but the rest of it seems just as illegal there as here. But there might be some other procedural reason I don’t know about that it wouldn’t have been prosecutable. I don’t really know what laws would be involved, or what the general procedure would be for prosecuting in France for crimes committed elsewhere.

  6. The American government gets it right, that’s not soemthing I say very often.

    The American government (or, more specifically, the people involved in Polanski’s original prosecution) are the ones who let the dude flee in the first place. Do you really think that there aren’t measures to put in place to prevent a flight risk from fleeing? During the prosecution, they were willing to let him have time to finish a film project! The American government failed and victimized Polanski’s victim nearly as much as Polanski did. I have no gratitude to them for dropping the ball and requiring the victim to put up with this malarky for 30 years. The gov’t is not the good guy riding in to save the day here.

  7. B – I think we are in agreement – I didn’t say ‘the American government always got it right about this’, rather, I meant, ‘finally gets it right’. Even bad guys get it right occasionally.

  8. I only have one commennt and that is, if this young girl was one of
    the daughters or granddaughters of the people sticking up for him would they feel that what he did to this young girl should simply be overlooked because of the time limit, or would they demand justice regardless of the time that has elasped. This little girl had these scares all her life even after she reached adulthood and imagine what her family went through while Roman Polanski has gone on living the good life in Europe.

  9. Joan, I would not give these people credit enough to think that they would be any more sympathetic to a daughter or granddaughter who went through this.

    Does anybody really think that if Roman Polanski, famous stockbroker, had drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl in Warren Buffet’s house, that this list of Hollywood luminaries would have raged against his arrest?

  10. I’m with you on that Myth; if this had happened to one of their kids they’d probably be minimising it, and paying the kid off with an allowance.

    However! If it happened to one of them, I think this would be a very different story, and Polanski would never have had the chance to flee. Imagine if Scorcesse or Whoopi were raped! Just imagine the outrage.

  11. To Joan Cieslak:

    If you are not driving your daughter ( any female from your family)
    to adult hollywoodian soiree and leaving for night alone, believe me, no one Polanski, Chaplin, Wild and …. and…. looks at your daughter ( or other your female)…

    But are you able to give your daughter good education, to explain her responsibility for proper behavior, understanding of specific
    of psychology of creative nature, read with her Schopenhauer “Human nature”? That is the quesion….

  12. read with her Schopenhauer “Human nature”? That is the quesion….

    Come again? Are you actually suggesting that Polanski should be off the hook because the thirteen-year-old girl’s mother hadn’t properly instructed her in Schopenhauer?