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When Money And Ambition Lead You To Publicly Support a Rapist, It Is Time To Quit Or Switch Careers

When Money And Ambition Lead You To Publicly Support a Rapist, It Is Time To Quit Or Switch Careers

Is there such thing as a righteous blacklist? Probably not. But I'm still tempted to stop consuming the products of Roman Polanski's supporters.

Is there such thing as a righteous blacklist? Probably not. But I'm still tempted to stop consuming the products of Roman Polanski's supporters.

Roman Polanski is creepy.

Roman Polanski is creepy.

Roman Polanski has spent the last twenty-five or so years living in Europe and making horrendously bad movies (with the possible exception of The Pianist), and this has made people forget that he is a scumbag and a creep. Which by the way is something you should know just by looking at him, if you are a DeBeckerian like myself: if he weren’t an internationally known director, I’m pretty sure that just a headshot of Roman Polanski would be tripping your creep-o-meter into overdrive. And if that didn’t do it, just imagine that you’re getting into your car late at night at Target and the dude in the picture at the right is lurking in the shadows of the parking structure. Yeah. Just thinking about it makes me squirm. He’s a creep. Go with your gut, is what I always say.

But let’s be clear: Polanski is not just a creep: he’s a rapist and a scumbag who makes schlocky movies. When I watched Wanted & Desired the recent HBO documentary on Roman Polanski a year or so ago, I was particularly horrified by the last scene, in which questions were asked of Polanski’s attitude toward the crime, and it was absolutely clear to me that this was somebody who did not feel he had done anything wrong, but was rather the victim of an unfair justice system and a prudish American sexual mores.

But for some reason, people in Hollywood have stopped thinking that what he did and was finally arrested for last week is a big deal. In some cases, people are too young to know the whole story. In others (Whoopi Goldberg), they are just too damn stupid to understand anything beyond their 9:00 am wake ‘n’ bake before a stint on The View. But what is disturbing to me is the fact that in two decades, with the buffering of the Atlantic Ocean and millions of dollars in between him and his crime, somehow Roman Polanski has managed to garner support from all of these people — not just support, public support:

Original Petition signers:
Woody Allen
Pedro Almodovar
Jonathan Demme
Terry Gilliam
John Landis
David Lynch
Martin Scorsese
Tilda Swinton (!)

Recent Petition Signers
Wes Anderson (!)
Darren Aronofsky
Monica Bellucci
Michael Mann
Julian Schnabel (not really surprising)
Harvey Weinstein, who has been quoted as saying he was “calling on every film-maker we can to help fix this terrible situation,” and thereby accounts for many of the recent adds in support of Polanski;

Penelope Cruz
Peter Fonda
Milan Kundera
Salman Rushdie (!)
Diane von Furstenberg (!)
Debra Winger

The petition signed by many of these people demands his release. Jezebel cynically asks if “being an artist trumps being a rapist?” I want to know when we decided Polanski was even an artist? Have you seen his movies? The only person that I believe is supporting Polanski on from an ideological standpoint:

Woody Allen

The rest of them are either motivated by money, fame, ambition, peer pressure or are complete idiot fools. How do I know this? Well how else would you explain it? How else would you explain that Jack Nicholson — and oh good Christ does it kill me to use Jack Nicholson as a good example of anything — Jack Nicholson has not expressed public support for Polanski, when we know that the whole thing happened at Jack Nicholson’s house, in his absence and was possibly interrupted by Anjelica Huston, (who has also failed to offer Polanski support, please note)? Jack Nicholson doesn’t support Polanski because he knows that Polanski did it, knows that it WAS a big deal, and most importantly he doesn’t have anything to gain from Polanski. Same goes for Anjelica Huston. I have to assume that the rest of these fucks do. (Except for Woody Allen, naturally. He’s just extending professional courtesy to a colleague.)

I hate the idea of a blacklist, I despise it. But how can I ever look at Wes Anderson, Salman Rushdie and Tilda Swinton the same way again? Can you continue to support the work of people whose ideology is repugnant to your own? I suppose I’m going to find out.

Comments (8)

  1. Oct 2, 2009

    A boycott is easy for me, since I’ve never heard of many of those people (I’m not a movie person). I occasionally watch The View, but I could easily dump it…and I really don’t want to ever again listen to Whoopie tell me that drugging and then raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl isn’t “rape-rape,” so that’s a no-brainer.

    Somebody should find a big black guy from the hood who’s done the same thing, and publicly ask these people to support him. We all know they wouldn’t, but it would at least give them the recognition they so richly deserve.

  2. Heather
    Oct 2, 2009

    If he hadn’t been such a coward, and faced the arrest then, this would have been all over and done with 30 years ago. But he chose to put himself in this situation and all these “supporters” should realize this as well. He may be Roman Polanski but that alone doesn’t acquit him from any wrong doing. If anything, these people who signed this petition need to support him in saying, Hey Roman, you effed up buddy. And Woody Allen is one to talk. *lol* What I don’t get is, this was the agreement: “Polanski spent 42 days in prison undergoing psychiatric tests and eventually agreed to plead guilty and receive a sentence of time served.” So why flee in the first place? He was going to receive a pretty lenient sentence for what he did. I can’t say I will boycott any of these people or their movies, let alone his. To me, what he does in his personal life and professional life are separate. And I have no idea what Whoopi Goldberg considers to be rape but obviously her definition of it is effed up. “rape-rape”? Is that like saying Chris Brown didn’t commit “hit-hit” on Rihanna?

    But I do have some degree of pity for him. His wife and child along were slaughtered by Charles Manson’s family. His family was destroyed by the Nazis. Perhaps his actions then were a result of that. I’m not making excuses for him, but at the same time, those sorts of life events shape the person that you become. He experienced a lot of violence in his life, I’m not surprised that in the end, he used it against someone else.

  3. Oct 2, 2009

    I’ve now just got myself up to speed on this whole saga. Rape is rape. It is one of the most horrendous acts that can be committed against a human being. I am a fan of The View and Whoopi Goldberg, but after getting myself up to date, I’ve lost a lot of respect for her. However, she is entitled to her own opinion. I would like to hear what Elisabeth Hasselbeck has to say on the matter.

  4. Oct 2, 2009

    Something that’s frustrating me is this sort of shrug-the-shoulders, “Hollywood has always been very liberal” explanation for this. Umm, hello? I’m a liberal and I don’t support letting rapists — rapists who have pled guilty, by the way, not just “alleged” rapists — go free. And I certainly don’t think that because they fled the authorities, in particular, we should let them go free.

    Ugh. Liberals are not stupid or supportive of rapists!

  5. Oct 2, 2009

    Heather, no question he has had a life filled with tragedy. It’s kind of weird, really, that this much chaos, of that magnitude, would all be in one man’s life. I do think that perhaps part of the situation stems from childhood trauma, but that’s probably true for many criminals, particularly people guilty of sex crimes. I mean, this rape was committed in the wake of his wife and unborn child being murdered by the Manson family, but no doubt that factored into the original plea bargain.

  6. Oct 2, 2009

    Let me see if I can guess what Elisabeth Hasselbeck will have to say:

    1) He should be thrown in jail;
    2) Lots of tears; and
    3) Some mention of John McCain.


  7. Perpetua
    Oct 2, 2009

    I don’t think Polanski is creepy looking, but then I’m married to a Polish Jew, so maybe that’s the look I go for.

    I’m with you, though, in being astounded by an outpouring of public support for a rapist. Especially Whoopi’s “rape rape” distinction. I’m assuming she doesn’t think date rape is rape-rape either?

  8. Oct 2, 2009

    Like your other commenters above, I believe that Rape is Rape. No ifs, ans, or buts about it.

    We can all agree that he has led a tragic life and had horrible things happen to him and those he loved. That does not excuse his behavior to that young woman. If he had followed through the deal that was negotiated all those years ago, he would have put all of this behind him. Instead, because of his cowardice, his victim has to suffer through this again and again. I applaud her ability for being able to move on and forgive him.

    Those who believe he has suffered enough, allow me to speak to them. How has he suffered? He cannot travel to the United States to accept an award? Oh, the horrors! He has to carefully plan where he travels? That doesn’t seem to be punishment to me for the act he committed. He has had a long, lucrative career. Even if he was unable to partake of all the offers extended for work, his own actions dictated this and it is no punishment.

    As I said to abdpbt on Twitter, if he was any other 70-something, he would be rotting behind bars, awaiting trial. His fame and his money ought not afford him a different set of rules to follow, which it seems to me, is what those celebrities supporting him want. Gah, I’m sorry I hijacked your comments!

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