Here’s a (very) partial list of the celebrities demanding that Roman Polanski be released:
Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodovar, Tilda Swinton and Monica Bellucci.
What does this group have in common? Well, they’re all very talented. And also batshit crazy. There’s not one person on this list you would trust your child with. I don’t mean to imply that any of the celebs here in question (Woody Allen possibly excepted) would do something sexual to your daughter. But does anyone really want the creator of “Eraserhead” to spend quality time with their eight-year-old? Do any of the others seem to have a solid enough connection to reality to keep your kid safe and not somehow set him on fire?
Also on the petition were Darren Aronofsky, Asia Argento, Stephen Frears, Michael Mann, and a busload of Frenchies and Italians I’d never heard of and would rather I hadn’t.
So why the disconnect between flyover country and the entertainment world? (Yeah, I pretty much include all of Western Europe in “entertainment world.” [UPDATE: Wrongly! My apologies.])
What makes it OK to drug and rape a 13-year-old girl, make a deal with prosecutors, then run away? How is that not “rape-rape?” How is that not fleeing-fleeing? What gives Polanski a pass?
My guess is, that general weirdness is so common among entertainment-types, that it’s easy to overlook a little rape now and then. We see what these folks get away with in broad daylight — what could they possibly be doing when the shades are drawn? And so Whoopi sees Polanski in handcuffs and at some level might think, “There but for the grace of God go I.” And you can probably trace a straight line from Whoopi all the way down through the D-list.
All the above is, of course, pure speculation. But I have a little more of it for you before I set this topic aside — hopefully never to bring it up again.
America was willing to forgive Hollywood’s obscene salaries, comically high divorce rate, the sexual escapades, and all the rest. After all, here in the heartland, we wouldn’t mind having tons more money and sex. Hollywood, like the movie screen, shines with our own desires, embiggened.
But child rape? There’s a line there even hardened criminals won’t cross — and we’re supposed to forgive and forget?
Because Tilda Effing Swinton said so? And who is she again?
And let’s not mess around here. What Polanski did wasn’t simple statutory rape. There was no, “She sure looked 18, your honor!” This was a kid who Polanski got drunk, drugged and anally raped. And then he fled justice — a plea he copped to — like a coward. Not that it takes a brave man to slip ‘ludes to a 13-year-old.
Most of Hollywood, of course, hasn’t come anywhere near that petition. And good for them — although it’s strange, feeling the need to praise people for not putting their names to a demand to release a child rapist. But enough of them did sign that the rest of us were forced to sit up and take notice — and we couldn’t help but notice that we recognized more than a few of those signatures.
I mean… Martin Scorsese? Marty, you broke my heart.
UPDATE: Melissa Clouthier asks, “Is the contribution to art sacrificed? Maybe. Don’t be a pedophile rapist, then.”