I do not understand Polanski's defenders.
Now, I've not seen many Polanski movies. I think the only one I've ever watched was Macbeth. It was a decent movie. I've never seen any of his critically-acclaimed movies. Hell, Polanski as a filmmaker hardly even made a blip on my radar when I was younger. Possibly because I was in Malaysia and we only ever get the blockbuster stuff, none of this schmancy film festival stuff.
But let's make it clear: he raped a child.
Never mind that he raped her 30 years ago. Honestly, that should make it worse, not better. Running away to another country? How could the government there have slept properly knowing they're harbouring a man clearly flouting laws that are put in place to protect innocent people? And he flouted it, too. He pleaded guilty, and never showed any remorse, only gave excuses. How can people excuse this?
Oh, but Roman Polanski is a great artist.
I've known for a while that Hollywood wasn't the bastion of liberalism, but the outpouring of support for Polanski has been ridiculous. The worst part is, I don't even know why, why oh why, would they support someone who denies the severity of his crime with statements like this:
“If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”
No, really? He said this only about ten years after his wife was murdered. Was he so bitter at the lack of press? Why was he so angry at how much attention he got for raping a young girl? Did he think no one would pay attention to him?
Because, after all, Roman Polanski is a great artist.
What does it say about the people who're pointing to the victim, saying, "she wants closure! So drop it! Let it rest!"? Do they not realize that there is no closure until there is justice? And even if she has put it behind her, do they think he's so important that he can get off scot-free for something he has done?
And make no mistake, we're not judging him per se, we are judging his actions. He did something. He raped a child. He needs to be held accountable for his actions. To do otherwise is to tell 13-year-old girls everywhere that no, if this happens to you, no justice will be dealt, and you will face the ordeal of being called a slut and questioned non-stop about details so they can catch you if you change a detail.
Because a 13-year-old girl matters very little in face of the fact that, no matter what he has done, Roman Polanski is a great artist.