Hollywood’s Incomprehensible Defense of the Child Rapist, Roman Polanski

From The LA Times:

More than 100 industry leaders and prominent authors — including directors Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Michael Mann, Mike Nichols, Woody Allen and Neil Jordan — have signed a petition asking that [Roman] Polanski be released from Swiss custody. “Filmmakers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision,” the petition says.

On the television show “The View,” Goldberg said, “I think he’s sorry. I think he knows it was wrong. I don’t think he’s a danger to society.”

I am rarely shocked by the hypocrisy of the Hollywood elites but I never dreamed that even these self-important hypocrites would come the defense of a child rapist. Though accused of drugging and forcibly raping his 13 year old victim, Polanski plead guilty to a lesser charge of unlawful sex with a minor. Yet Hollywood idiots such as Whoopi Goldberg go on national television and say things like “I think he’s sorry…I don’t think he’s a danger to society” and “it wasn’t ‘rape’ rape.”

If anyone has spent any time at all watching Dr. Phil, Oprah, To Catch a Predator, or virtually any other television program on the subject, one point that is often made is that pedophilia is “incurable” and are therefore offenders are always and forever a “danger to society.”*

Speaking of Oprah, where is she on this case? She spends a great deal of time and energy advocating stricter penalties for sex offenders and increasing budgets of local, state, and federal sex crimes task forces yet I have found nothing on her website or elsewhere about her thoughts on Polanski or the response of her Hollywood friends. Is she too afraid to offend her friends or does she also seem to believe that exceptions should be made for rich and famous celebrities?

Oprah, your silence is deafening.

My first thought was that this was another case of Hollywood exceptionalism but upon further inspection, this may not necessarily be the case. Had Roman Polanski committed a particularly heinous crime like voting for Bush, making a Jesus movie, or questioning Obama’s healthcare plan, these same people wouldn’t be signing petitions of solidarity or be so forgiving of him being a child rapist.

While the elites continue to point out that this crime occurred over 30 years ago and say we should forgive and forget, many thousands of individuals are required by law to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. Some of these individuals’ crimes are actually quite tame** in comparison to what Polanski plead guilty to doing. In some extreme cases, registered offenders are forced to move if a school bus stop is moved closer to their home (yes, this means that even though the registered offender was already living there before the home was near a bus stop, s/he is required to move). Because no one wants to live near a sex offender, these individuals have great difficulty finding a place to live; some end up homeless living under bridges.

Just yesterday, Radley Balko reported at The Agitator that Georgia sex offenders were ordered to live in the woods…until the story broke and the public outcry forced them back out of the woods. Balko points out that they will have to once again notify the state of their new address even though they have nowhere to go (which is not an excuse; failure to notify the authorities could result in arrest).

If these sex offenders have to endure this sort of treatment, it only stands to reason that Polanski should endure the same. Sure, I suppose none of these other sex offenders directed Oscar winning movies but I’m sure that many of them made positive contributions to society as well, their sex offenses notwithstanding.

Whether its Roman Polanski, Roman Catholic priests, or any other individual who chooses to abuse children, justice demands that the criminal justice system treats them the same. Shame on the Hollywood hypocrites and Polanski sympathizers who demand anything less.

*I don’t know if this is in fact the case or not. I’m not certain that even the experts know if pedophiles can be reformed or not.

**An 18 year old having sex with a 17 year old for example. Some states make no distinction between sex between teenagers, sex between teenagers and young adults, or the stereotypical pervert who sexually assaults prepubescent children.

  • John Curran

    I find it very disturbing that people I have assumed had some character are revealing that they have none. It is going to make it difficult for me now to watch a Scorcese film and enjoy it.

  • Dr.D

    I think it is very strange that anyone would still think that the folks in Hollywood still have character. What on earth would give anyone such a thought? Have they not repeatedly done things just like this?

    They have no morals; just look at the lives they live. Morals are for lesser beings, not for the mighty, the beautiful, the rich, and the powerful. The fact that Polanski drugged, raped, and sodomized a 7th grader just means that he is one of them, and they certainly want to protect their own. If he could go to jail, it is likely that it could happen to many of them as well, and that just would not do!

    Hollywood has been anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-morality, and anti-Western society for at least a generation now. John Wayne and Gary Cooper would be unable to get work there today because they represent a sort of America that Hollywood wants to suppress.

  • Belen Geerligs

    For anyone in LA, there is protest going on tomorrow criticizing Polanski’s supporters in front of the French Consulate. Go to http://sentencepolanski.wordpress.com

  • John Curran

    In response to Dr.D, I was not talking about all the people in Hollywood. I was thinking, when I wrote my message, about Martin Scorcese, a man who has always appeared to be thoughtful and keenly intelligent on any number of subject. I think Hollywood is not anti-American so much as it is antinomian.

  • TW

    Wow, such misinformation.

    First, I don’t think anybody in Hollywood condones what he’s done. But, I think they have empathy for what might become of him in the “system,” and [quite rightly] see it as a complete imballance due to the media frenzy about sex offenders.

    Next, pedophelia is not yet “curable,” but pedophelia is a clinical diagnosis, not the label so many use it as. A large number of sex offenders who offend children are not pedophiles. [reference: any scientifically competent text on the psychology of sex offenders]

    Last, pedophiles or not, sex offenders enjoy the lowest recidivism rates of all offenders except murders, ranging (depending upon age, life stability and other factors) from 3% to perhaps 40%, with an average estimated by some competent studies in the vicinity of 8%.

    So let’s look at the facts:
    * His crime was a long, long time ago
    * His victim doesn’t want to see him “stung up”
    * There is no reason to believe he’s a pedophile
    * Whether he is or not, he may have a 92% chance of never re-offending, or better
    * If he’s sentenced under today’s “lynch mob” mentality, he will probably die in prison, and really, who benefits from that?

    Let’s move on and put our energy into preventing crime rather than taking our our frustrations on the participants of the ones we failed to prevent.

  • southernjames

    * His crime was a long, long time ago.

    So what. He plea-bargained a guilty plea…and then went on the lam for the next several decades, as a fugitive from justice. He still has yet to pay his debt to society for drugging into a semi-stupor and then raping a 13 year-old child.

    * His victim doesn’t want to see him “stung up”

    Irrelevant, since he has yet to serve ANY portion of a sentence. Victims’ wishes are often given consideration as to sentencing, but a criminal prosecution is between the state (“the people”) and the accused; and not between plaintiff and defendant. He has yet to serve any portion of a sentence for the crime of drugging and then raping (including anally) a 13 year old child.

    I have read nothing to indicate that he has shown any shred of remorse, or is now “sorry” as Whoopi claims, or has even apologized to his victim. All of which would be a very good thing and could be a mitigating factor in deciding the length of a sentence…..he has YET TO SERVE.

    * There is no reason to believe he’s a pedophile.

    The crime for which he committed is all the evidence needed for him to serve some time behind bars. To assume that he never had sex again with a child below the legal of age of consent is irrelevant – although to make such an assumption is moronic beyond all belief. Heck, while a criminal fugitive from justice (when one would assume he would be a little…ahh, shall we say, circumspect in his conduct) he seduced a starlet named Natasha Kinski….when she was 15. How many others have there been since then? But his subsequent acts of statutory rape (which a logical and rational person could assume total in the dozens) are again of course irrelevant. He has yet to serve any portion of a sentence for the crime of drugging and then raping (including anally) a 13 year old child.

    * Whether he is or not, he may have a 92% chance of never re-offending, or better.

    Excuse me, but who gives a shit. AGAIN – one more time – – He has yet to serve any portion of a sentence for the crime of drugging and then raping (including anally) a 13 year old child. Maybe he is no longer a threat to society because he avoided and hid from justice for so many years, he is now TOO FUCKING OLD to rape any more 7th graders. (That doesn’t mean I would allow my teenage daughter anywhere near him, though. Maybe you would. Good for you. Go for it.)

    * If he’s sentenced under today’s “lynch mob” mentality, he will probably die in prison, and really, who benefits from that?

    What “lynch mob mentality” are you referring to? The desire to see a convicted rapist finally brought to justice? There once was a time when wooden scaffolds were erected for convicted child rapist felons like him, who were then hung from their necks with a rope until they suffocated. Some might refer to those times as “the good old days.” Not me, but I’m just sayin. Nowadays, he was going to serve something like a couple of MONTHS behind bars. Probably in a “white collar” facility where non-dangerous people like tax cheats, stockbrockers convicted of SEC violations, and disbarred lawyers who stole trust fund money from their clients, do time, and not, e.g., San Quentin. Florida has such facilities – I assume California does too. In other words, he’d be out in the prison yard, raking leaves and chatting about the Cannes Film Festival with somebody like Martha Stewart.

    Now, whether he survives what is likely to be a VERY short sentence, or whether he dies of old age in prison (which if it happens will ONLY occur because he wrongfully started serving his sentence in his 70’s instead of in his 40’s as he should have – so tough shit, Roman), the answer as to “who benefits” is….us. Society. An affirmation of the all too often violated “ideal” that justice and the rule of law is supposed to apply to everyone, EVEN feted and idolized and adored members of the elite “artiste” community. Shocking concept, I realize.

  • John Curran

    To southernjames – from over in the corner, “Say Amen, brother.”

  • Keith Richard Radford Jr

    Sex laws have been built on misconceptions and myth.
    The Supreme Court just ruled on sex offender laws where some factions of our government think by some inert reasoning that sex offender should be quarantined like some virus steaming from Draconian/Islamic radical view that sex offenders should be executed. I have seen for myself, video taken in another country where a sex offender was placed on a pole much like the Catholics use to use a pyramid shaped object and have them sit on it and spin, the pole travels through the body looking for the throat but if not found its ok because the sharpened end of the pole will come out somewhere to the delight of these very strange people who think such sad thoughts. The heritage of the act is in its self a brutal throwback to violent uneducated people who are so obsessed with any sex they can find & the only way to deal with this kind of “hierarchy” of historic hysteria. A word taken from hysterectomy, hysteria is tied to castration used to make animals less threatening which clearly explains the atmosphere we have made for our selves.
    Anyway we are supposed to be the most advanced nation and we still have a death penalty when the rest of the world except for some nations we are still warring with, selling weapons too, {think!} while other nations went home our weapons dealers and torture lovers delighting in support for the death of people they don’t know or want to simply because they don’t know how to get money with out taking it from someone by force. Is that supposed to include mutilations? In my humble opinion that alone are terrorist activities as much as severed hands, ears, heads, or making a case with nothing more than an obsession justified by lies.
    The truth about the sex offender registry will come out soon enough. When it does, People will see how the use of the registry was created, and by exactly who and why and the devastation it has created and the worthlessness of the use of it. It’s origin in the Jim Crow hanging laws that brought disgrace to our nation allowing thieves and murderous societal bigots who have trashed any shot at making good of a program in its design to make money destroying our nation and its people. We can not play god and we can not survive using this behavior model because we are compounding the problem since the numbers increasing to include the children they purport to protect.
    It’s a ruse designed by people who are getting rich off the doctoring, castration/hysterectomy/health care/physic care of people through sex laws that have gone wild. What about the people who are being used by the Medicare programs that requires these mutilations for both men and woman after they take their means of support? Digging around in someone’s genitalia because you want what a weaker nation? Can’t you see? You have created the model and it is worthless! Why don’t we just indiscriminately kill people we don’t know? That is statically the next sex offender, because over 90% of all new offences are committed by someone “not” on the sex offender registry and the numbers are increasing not decreasing so as a behavior model this is really worthless.
    So what is the use of such laws as the sex offender registry other than to terrorize people? With the murder of so many sex offenders and the continued disregard for life by the use of the registry it will be no time at all before the federal government will be held liable for their deaths through federal court.
    In a nation where a statement may have a double or triple meaning and our entire linage can be traced through mud, guts, and beer it’s nice once in a while to get the picture of what is meant instead of what some thinks someone may have implied being translated by greed. So it is from the trenches to the hill. Remember the game where someone says something in someone’s ear then passes it the same way to the next; the person advocating such destructive laws are the ones who need to be section 8 by simple brake down of the issue not the sex offenders. Best regards

  • John222

    While I can agree that our sex laws are in many cases archaic and/or extreme, I have zero tolerance for those who use force to accomplish their goals.

    If this particular case has been one of mutual consent, I would be much more inclined to be lenient, but as this offender drugged and then raped his victim, I would classify him as a violent predator deserving of the maximum penalty allowed regardless of the time period that has elapsed.

  • southernjames

    John, everyone is entitled to their opinions and I respect yours. However, on this one, we part ways.

    Are you really saying that if this wealthy, powerful, influential, and experienced 46 year-old lover boy, had not first DRUGGED this 13 year-old child and had simply “seduced” her, you would have been OKAY with that? Let’s change this from the abstract to the real. Do you have a daughter? I do. She is 17 now. But back when she was 13, if some 46 year-old man had done to her what Polanski did to that girl (drugs or no drugs), I can assure you with 100% certainty that I would be four years into a prison sentence right now.

    The concept of mutual consent, implies (IMO) that it is “informed” consent. Now – I of course do not know what the “correct” age should be for someone to be considered sufficiently “adult” enough in order to do a number of things. Whether it be voting, smoking, joining the military, getting a drivers license, or having sexual relations with somebody much older.

    I 100% agree that from a philosophical standpoint, picking an arbitrary age for allowing certain activities, whether it be 18 or 21 or 16, is sort silly, since maturity levels vary greatly from individual to individual. You and I both probably know a lot of 14 year-olds who are way more mature and ready for “adult” activities (whether it be sex, driving a car, drinking beer, etc.) than some 19 year-olds we know.

    But the bottom line is that “society” chooses, through the enactment of laws, arbitrary age limit cut-offs for certain activities. Therefore, than can be, from a LEGAL standpoint, no “MUTUAL” consent for sex between a 46 year-old man and a 13 year-old girl. Whether she was already no longer a virgin, whether she “shouldn’t have been left alone there by her Mom,” whether she was drunk or not drunk…. It is still legally considered rape. For which he must pay a price. Do the crime, do the time.

    Even if you have several Oscars, boy Chinatown sure was a great movie.

    We see example after example across the country of 32 year-old female school teachers getting jail time for having sex with 14 year old 8th grade boys — and you KNOW those acts are consensual -I remember being a hormone-driven 14 year old boy!

    But the law is what it is. And the laws should be followed or the laws should be changed.

    And if the hot 30 year-old social studies teacher with the tight blouse and short skirt has to do some time for having hanky-panky with 8th grade class president, then Roman Polanski should not be allowed to skate free, simply because he was rich and famous enough to hide out in fancy European villas on the Med or in the Alps for the past few decades.

  • John222


    Actually I do agree with you in many respects. Had this been my daughter (the eldest is six) I would have long since hunted down the man who did this to her.

    I’m not sure why, but in the case of consensual sex, I find a vast age difference between the two parties to be abhorrent and as you pointed out against the law. That being said, if this were a case of consensual sex between a 13 year old girl and a 14 year old boy, I’m not sure my objections would be so strong, nor do I agree with the lopsided prosecutions in similar cases. If one is to be prosecuted and added to an offender list, they both should be — if the act was consensual.

    Age limits are arbitrary, but I can’t say that I can decide for everyone at what age people should be allowed to do certain things, whether it be driving, smoking, drinking, or having sex. As you said, maturity levels vary among individuals and cultures. I’m inclined to live and let live, and to protect people from being forced or drugged into submission.

    The standard is definitely not equal for males and females. An older female who has relations with a young male will oftentimes receive little or no punishment while her “victim” gets kudos from friends and strangers alike. In recent years this does seem to be changing somewhat.

    In some cultures, young girls are married off at very young ages to much older men. The benchmark seems to be physical maturity, not emotional. As soon as they are capable of bearing children, they are sent off to begin. While I don’t agree with such practices, I would hesitate to use force stop this from happening or to imprison those who participate.

    Sex laws in various states and even world wide are not uniform at all. A quick search tells me that in the Philippines a 12 year old can consent as long as they aren’t getting paid. In some states the law varies depending on the age gap. Almost everywhere, it’s OK if they are married, but they may need their parents consent to do so. I have a hard time justifying a law that changes depending on which side of the invisible line you are on.

    I have no problem whatsoever in severely punishing offenders who beat , drug or otherwise force their victims into submission, regardless of there age, experience, or gender. While I do not believe that consensual acts fall into the same category, anyone who has sex with a child (who has not yet reached physical maturity) under any circumstances should be subject to especially severe punishment, and I could easily look the other way if the parents or family were to prevent such cases from making it to a court of law. I may not be able to say for sure how old is old enough in various circumstances or boundaries, but some things are just plain wrong.

    For my part, I will do my best to prevent my children from being in circumstances or situations where something like that could happen. We also strive to build a relationship with them that is open and honest so they will have no fear of telling us of their fears or concerns and we hope they will come to us if and when they feel they are ready to become sexually active. Mine are still very young, so I hope I will not have to have these conversations for a long time. I also hope they will take place after a marriage proposal has been made or received and college has been completed. (hey, it could happen)

  • tfr

    > who were then hung from their necks with a rope until they suffocated.

    Actually the idea was to drop them a foot or two, so that the sharp yank of the rope would snap their neck. Otherwise it would have been cruel and unusual. It didn’t always work just right.

  • southernjames

    John, I think you and I are pretty much on the same page.

    I agree that there should be a different standard applied if say for example an 18 year-old has a relationship with a 16 year-old; than if it is a 46 year old and 13 year old. If asked to explain why – I suppose my rationale would be that a 16 and 18 year-old are more on the same plane intellectually and from a maturity standpoint – and so there can be more of a true “informed consent” situation between two “peers” so to speak – than if you have a 46 year old smooth talking experienced “seducer” making a young person’s head spin with confusion and uncertainty as to what she can/should/ought to be doing right now.

    Although having just typed that, I do seem to recall the expression “jail bait” being used when I was in college back in the 70’s if the subject of somebody having a girlfriend still in high school came up. Not sure if that expression is still used by young folks today or not.

    I think if experienced and older guys like you and me (based on our age/life experiences) could stand outside the living room door and eavesdrop on the “lines” a Polanski type would be laying on real thick, to some wide-eyed and naive young girl – we would most likely roll our eyes and perhaps even laugh out loud at the silly absurdity of the utter crappola the poor child is assuming is sincerity – before bursting into the room to get her out, and then bust him in the nose.

    I must say however, that it doesn’t hold any weight with me when somebody points out that in some cultures (and in our own culture too, a few centuries ago) kids get married at 13-15. That’s apples to oranges to me. In some cultures woman are considered “property” like a dog, too – and can’t drive cars and the husband can legally beat her to death with a club. That is not our culture. As for Western Civilization, back in the olden days….people were ready for marriage at a young age because they were ALSO being trained to be ready for adulthood responsibilities to kick in too, at that younger age. That 16 year-old Pilgrim husband with his 15 year-old wife were working the farm full time, 14 hours a day as full-fledged adults, as opposed to being 10th and 9th graders going to the homecoming dance this weekend.

    Life expectancies were different also. Married adult at 14-16? But also — in those days, you’re a grandparent at 33, a balding and wrinkled “village elder” with over half your teeth gone by 43, a withered and bent-over old man in your fifties; and in most instances, dead by around 60. So life had to move along a little quicker in those days.

  • southernjames

    tfr – your comment reminds me – we used to have a electric chair in Florida for the death penalty. I think it was nicknamed “old sparky.” It used to malfunction at times too. Flames would come shooting out of the convicts eyes. I don’t think the electrocee (?) was conscious however. But it still caused quite a stink. (not literally – well I suppose yes literally too).

    I think they use lethal injection now. I really hate shots. I think I’d rather have old sparky if it was going to be me.