About a week ago a film director named Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland. I had hard of him a few times before but didn’t know a lot about him. Apparently he has directed some fairly famous films including Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist. It also turns out that he drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Yes, he drugged and raped a 13-year-old.
I for one expected reasonable people the world over to condemn Polanksi for this and for fleeing the United States (where the rape occurred) and hiding in France for over 30 years. But to my extreme surprise and disgust a petition from numerous members of the film industry (including Guillermo del Toro, who will be directing The Hobbit films) are demanding his immediate release. For a full list of all signatories to this petition see here.
I cannot really say how disturbed I am by this. I’m confident that most if not all of the signatories are aware of the true nature of this crime, yet they attempt to whitewash it as “a case of morals”. The French culture minister claimed that Polanski’s arrest was “absolutely horrifying” and demonstrated a “frightening” side of America (which has had an arrest warrant for Polanski since 1978). The French government has since backtracked on this though.
That someone would try to defend a child-rapist is absolutely sickening. What the hell is wrong with arresting someone who so blatantly violated the law and fled justice? I find it good that Switzerland worked together with the United States to arrest this man. The only horrifying and frightening people in this case are Polanski and his defenders.