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Ed Driscoll

Well, Glad We Cleared That Up — Updated

September 29th, 2009 - 3:40 pm

Andy Levy of Fox News’ Red Eye show tweets, “Shocking: Woody Allen signs petition demanding Polanski’s release.”

The Guardian adds the following names to the list:

Woody Allen, David Lynch and Martin Scorsese today added their names to a petition demanding the immediate release of Roman Polanski from detention in Zurich. The director was arrested on Saturday over a three-decade-old underage sex case when he arrived to receive a lifetime achievement award at the city’s film festival.

“Film-makers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision,” says the petition, which is co-ordinated by the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD), a film industry organisation which also represents performance and visual artists.

“It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary film-makers, is used by police to apprehend him,” it adds.

The petition has now been signed by more than 70 film industry luminaries, including Polanski’s fellow directors Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodóvar, Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam, Julian Schnabel, the Dardenne brothers, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Wong Kar-Wai, Walter Salles and Jonathan Demme. Actors Tilda Swinton, Monica Bellucci and Asia Argento, as well as producer Harvey Weinstein, have also put their names on the petition. Yesterday, Weinstein stated he was “calling on every film-maker we can to help fix this terrible situation”.

The five members of the jury at the Zurich film festival, headed by the actor Debra Winger, yesterday released a statement protesting that the event “had been exploited in an unfair fashion”.

At least one jury member, producer Henning Molfenter, has now boycotted the festival, with others expected to follow suit. “There is no way I’d go to Switzerland now. You can’t watch films knowing Roman Polanski is sitting in a cell 5km away,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.

France’s Society of Film Directors joined in the chorus of disapproval, voicing concern that the arrest “could have disastrous consequences for freedom of expression across the world”.

Yes! It could mark the slippery slope back to the horrible days of the Hays Office — that neanderthal period when Hollywood made its best movies.

And as “the Arquette Sisters”, also members of the vast Gutfeldian media empire ask, “It raises the question what else do these people believe in if Polanski’s crime is defensible?”

Update: Related thoughts from the Anchoress and Fausta Wertz; meanwhile, film critic/blogger Christian Toto is disapointed that Martin Scorsese is defending Polanski:

Hollywood’s penchant for moral relativism can be tough to swallow, especially for an unabashed movie lover.

As much as I adore Woody Allen’s best films, I’m aghast at how he segued from dating Mia Farrow to stepping out with her step-daughter, Soon Yi. It never stopped actors from signing up to star in Allen’s films, and even taking a pay cut for the honor.

So when some Hollywood heavy hitters signed a petition demanding the release of director Roman Polanski, I knew what to expect. I also guessed a few of the names on said list. (hat tip: Ed Driscoll)

And as PunditReview notes on Twitter, “Diane Sawyer’s hubby, director Mike Nichols, is cool with raping a 13-year old.”

Since, as that left likes to say, “silence equals consent” (or worse), at this point, I sort of assume that anyone in Hollywood who hasn’t spoken up in outrage over Polanski’s crime supports him, at least tacitly.

Something to keep in mind the next time Hollywood slips into one of its frequent puritanical phases.

Related: Would President Obama’s “safe school czar” be cool with Polanski? Certainly sounds that way, if the information in this Washington Times op-ed is correct.

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post goes all-in to defend Polanski.

Update: Welcome Big Hollywood readers clicking in from the site’s headlines — the most complete list of Polanski supporters in the Hollywood and European film communities seems to be this one. It’s also linked in the above post, but I wanted to make it a bit easier to find.

Meanwhile, two rare voices of dissent in an otherwise lockstep artistic community:

“Polanski-admitted raping a 13 yr old-whys every1 in the arts upset hes facing jail? cause hes a gifted director? what am i missing?” asked bewildered singer-songwriter Jewel via Twitter.

Also chiming in was The View‘s Sherri Shepherd.

“Whew…long day at The View…two shows today…hot debate over the Statutory Rapist Polanski. 45 year old man plies a 13yr old w/drugs & Liquor and anally & orally penetrates her w/o her consent is a RAPIST,” she tweeted. “We hunt down 75 year old Nazis. We must protect our children.”

Sadly, Whoopi doesn’t agree.

So what does it take to be shunned in Hollywood? the “Trogolopundit” offers photographic evidence of the quickest route to becoming a Tinseltown pariah.

(Bumped to top.)

Update: After fleeing the US in the mid-1970s, Polanski would of course arrive in Paris, where he quickly resumed his film career, complete with A-list Hollywood stars at his beck and call. It was all part of the, “horrible, soul-wrenching price for the infamy surrounding his actions”, as the L.A. Times recently wrote. In 1979, he told one interviewer:

“If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”

What a vile little man.

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