It’s complicated. He’s a genius. C’mon, it was 30 years ago. She’s forgiven him! He’s 76, for crying out loud!!
You’ve probably heard, somewhere in the news, that director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland this past weekend when he showed up to accept a Lifetime Achievement award at the Zurich Film festival. Why? Well, 30 years ago he pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl after drugging her with alcohol and Quaaludes. And then he ran away to Europe to hide from being sent up the river.
And now that he’s finally been snagged, Hollywood is all atwitter (and twittering) that somebody still wants this virtuoso director to serve his sentence. Studio chief Harvey Weinstein said, “We are calling every filmmaker we can to help fix this terrible situation.” And they’ve scraped up 130 heavyweights from the industry barrel to sign an online petition urging forgiveness for the decades-old pedophilia. (Including, of all people, Woody Allen—how’s that for hubris?)
They point out that the victim herself (now in her 40s) has forgiven him. Which is great, by the way. Giving forgiveness is a sure way to personal healing. But the woman’s forgiveness is, well, irrelevant. And so is Hollywood’s moral equivalence. Genius does not mean a get out of jail free card.
Some have even suggested that, hey, the man hasn’t been able to step into this country in years, he’s paid the price for his “little mistake.” Thirty years without a Hollywood lunch meeting? Get my heart pills, Martha! The man has suffered.
But, sorry guys, rape is not a little mistake. And it’s not complicated, either. Forcefully drugging and sodomizing a 13-year-old is a repugnant felony.
Do not pass go.