Roman Polanski In Our Faces Again

by Melissa Silverstein
September 29, 2011 2:30 AM
5 Comments
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I don't know why I feel obsessed by this story, but I am. In some ways I feel it is my feminist duty to remind people every time this guy gets the adoring press he always does that he is a rapist.

Roman Polanski's got a new film Carnage that will open the NY Film Festival in NYC this weekend. Of course he won't be in the US because he is still a wanted fugitive because he fled the US some 30 odd years ago after raping a 13 year young girl. I'm not going into the details of the story again. Everybody knows them. But just remember, he was charged with rape and admitted to "unlawful sex with a minor."

He was in Zurich, Switzerland this week to accept a lifetime achievement award, the one that he was supposed to get two years ago when he was arrested in an attempt to finally get him back in the US.

Just to remind people, here's part of what he said when he was under house arrest in Switzerland awaiting potential extradition to the US.

It is true: 33 years ago I pleaded guilty, and I served time at the prison for common law crimes at Chino, not in a VIP prison. That period was to have covered the totality of my sentence. By the time I left prison, the judge had changed his mind and claimed that the time served at Chino did not fulfill the entire sentence, and it is this reversal that justified my leaving the United States.

He decided that he was above the law and left.

He used the ceremony to premiere a new documentary about himself in conversation with Andrew Braunsberg and directed by Laurent Bouzereau. According to reports in the film Polanski apologizes to his victim Samantha Greimer publicly for the FIRST time, though he also blames the media for victimizing her too.

The guy makes great movies but he is still a major creep and that people fawn over him is beyond me. Lots of times you can separate the work from the person but for me and Polanski, I just can't. I just think of all the girls and women who are victims of sexual assault watching this man live out his life in France, working at the top of his profession and receiving accolade after accolade.

But that's Hollywood. They won't hire you to direct a film if you have kids or if you are pregnant or if you have a uterus, but they will hire you if you are a rapist and a fugitive.

Does Being an “Artist” Trump Being a Rapist? (Women and Hollywood)

"Better late than never": Polanski gets his award (Reuters)

Roman Polanski Apologizes To His Sexual Assault Victim In New Secret Doc Premiered In Zurich (The Playlist)

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5 Comments

  • f, carter | April 8, 2012 1:34 AMReply

    let's face it, he is not the first guy that got off for rape, after all he reached a settlement with his victim and beside she made a public statement that she will not prosecute...it seems the Los Angeles justice want to make noises and a name for themselves

  • Eileen | October 4, 2011 1:56 AMReply

    Phillip, he doesn't have to go to jail. What he has to do is return to Los Angeles and face justice. It is unlikely that he'll receive much of a criminal sentence at this point. Until he actually returns and faces sentencing, and accepts that he deserves punishment for the crime that he committed even though that punishment is likely to be minimal, anything he says is empty and he remains a self-centered coward.

  • Allison | September 29, 2011 7:01 AMReply

    Yeah, get famous, run away like a coward for a while as you live in luxury in Europe, and you will be above the law and never have to face the consequences for raping a 13 year old and thumbing your nose at U.S. law. And everyone will minimize child rape while showering you with praise and rewards.

  • Phillip | September 29, 2011 3:26 AMReply

    Give it a rest already. Even the victim is over it. Sure what he did was awful, but what is the point of trying to throw a 70 year old man in jail going to accomplish. He fled because his case was handled incorrectly and he was jerked around by a fame seeking judge. Its not like he went directly to the airport after the crime and jetted to France. These emotional knee jerk reactions become comical after a while. He is forever tainted as a perv and child molester, which may not be enough for some, but its amazing how my fellow Americans just obsess over getting revenge and punishment. Perhaps thats why as a society we enjoy putting scores of people to death on any given day. The habitual bloodlust we seek is rather sickening. No I do not approve of what he did. The man is a sleezeball and not someone I would want over for dinner, but when do we finally let it go and move on with our (in some cases pathetic) lives. Also condemning his great works of art (most of which was made pre 1978) because of his personal indiscretions is completely idiotic and immature. Similar to calling french fries freedom fries after France's criticism of the Iraq invasion. If Carnage is a great film, than it is a great film. Adults should be able to separate art from the real world...

  • Greg | September 29, 2011 2:49 AMReply

    Not just a rapist, but a child rapist. I mean both are awful, but the latter is even worse than the former. And far too many people try to turn this into a political issue or a class issue. It's neither. It's a crime issue. Do you believe that a man who forces a 13 year old to have sex with him belongs in jail? If so, then you believe Roman Polanski belongs in jail. Period.

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