This week something unbelievable happened. No, I don't mean Roman Polanski finally being arrested for evading the law for 32 years, what I mean is the sickening raft of people from politicians to movie nerd hipsters coming out in unbridled support of Polanski using the most flimsy of excuses.
Back the hell up one minute here. You’re defending a convicted child rapist. Say it again. A. Convicted. Child. Rapist. What the hell is wrong with you people? Polanski was found guilty in court of raping a 13 year old girl. When he realized this would mean sharing a cell for several years with a large man who would probably make him his cell bitch, he ran away to Europe like a spineless worm. He was not fleeing from some miscarriage of justice, some unfair sting, no he ran away because he was worried his plea bargain would fall through and he wouldn't get the lenient sentence he was relying on.
So at what point exactly do we start differentiating between and thus condoning this kind of act? If a 20 year old in the States had done this he would be in the slammer for a goodly spell and not one person would speak out in disgust. But apparently if you release enough best-selling albums or reach auteur status as a director, this gives you a position where people who would normally cry for your castration instead demand your pardon? Really? Really??? Paint it any way you want that makes you sleep better at night, because that is what you are doing. You are condoning this foul act by making excuses for the ends of justice not being done.
It doesn’t matter if it's been 2, 22, 32 or 52 years. It doesn't matter if Polanski is 26, 56 or 76. This man has given the US justice system a big “fuck you” for the last 3 decades, hiding out in Europe, merrily carrying on his career and picking up awards left right and center all with the knowledge that certain factions would never give him up to the authorities as long as his movies brought their economy cash. And why not, why bother to lay low and keep out of the spotlight when every idiot politician or dipship with a hard on for Chinatown will find some justification for dropping the case. Under the plea bargain he arranged he could have served his time and been out making movies again a long long time ago, probably with no more ill effect to his career than his long-term hideout. So why are we all so quick to defend the actions of a coward?
I feel sorry for the victim of Polanski's attack and can sympathize with her frustration at repeatedly being drawn through the media spotlight of it all. But the US justice system is not to blame here. The blame falls on those people who have helped him evade the law for so long. Those who have knowingly and smilingly worked alongside the man, all the while knowing he was a fugitive from the law. The blame falls on those who have fawned over him and made their excuses for a dirty old man to subject a young girl to such an ordeal, run from the law and still get a standing ovation. You are to blame as you call for his release. You, the same people who probably shouted outrage the last time you heard about a similar case featuring nobodies in the next town over, but yet are willing to call for Polanski's release based simply on the grounds of who he is and what he has done in his career. Two-tier justice. On Twitter someone justified to me that Polanski's arrest was unjust because instead Obama should be rounding up child molesters in Thailand. Apparently two wrongs make a right in this world of ours. If many are getting away with it, why not let off one? If one is getting away with it, why not let them all? Circular logic. Utter nonsense.
There have been two major incidents in the adult life of Roman Polanski. One deserves your pity and sympathy: it is the brutal and horrific murder of his wife Sharon Tate at the hands of the Manson family. But to excuse or sympathize with the man for being arrested and not serving his time for a disgusting crime which he himself admitted to, is to contribute to a cheapening of justice and a slap in the face to victims of rape. All victims. Shame on you. Shame on you all.