I am sitting at my desk waiting for Lionel Chetwynd to arrive so that we can do our next Poliwood on the subject du jour – the arrest of Roman Polanski. While waiting I have been reading over the growing list of entertainment industry personalities who have risen to the defense of the director. The list is stomach-turning. Many of the names I know. Some were once personal friends. Some of those ex-friends even have children, who I also knew. Children.
And yet those people are defending a man who drugged and sodomized a thirteen-year old!
In the name of what? His art? One creepy character on the Huffington Post even went so far as to say Polanski had suffered enough because he didn’t get to work in Hollywood. How dumb can you get – multi-million dollar productions such as Polanski directed for years are financed internationally and distributed world wide. The only “suffering” Polanski had to endure in all this is he had to live in Paris instead of Beverly Hills. Quelle tragédie.
The mess is metastasizing and seems to be headed for something extremely dangerous for the entertainment industry (or part of it) – the further alienation of the audience. These filmmakers are more than ever lost in their own narcissistic bubble, unaware that the public does not share their sympathy for Polanksi. (Even in France, according to a poll in Le Figaro, the public was seventy percent against him.) This was in evidence on the conventionally liberal HuffPo where the readership in the comments was in rebellion from its elite “leaders” on this issue. In the real world, people do not have great sympathy for child molesters. As we know, they don’t even have much sympathy in prison where they are the lowest of the low, the so-called “short eyes.”
Two more things before I get ready with Lionel: Seeing Woody Allen (with whom I worked on Scenes From a Mall) in the lead on this matter is almost on the level of self-parody. Manhattan – with its supposedly charming rendition of the attraction of an older writer for a Dalton school girl – was difficult enough to watch in the past. It will now become intolerable.
Still, I have to sympathize with Samantha, the girl now woman who was the object of Polanski’s aggression, when she requests that this whole thing be put to rest. She is a woman in her forties now with children of her own. She is about to be raped twice. Who could wish that on her? But the wheels of justice are now turning. One wonders how that could not have been so decades ago. That’s a mystery yet to be unraveled.
Ed Driscoll has more.
Also see: HOLLYWOOD’S LAME DEFENSE OF POLANSKI on PJTV.