Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen add their names to a petition to free child-rapist Roman Polanski - Macleans.ca
 

Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen add their names to a petition to free child-rapist Roman Polanski

Arrest seen to have “disastrous consequences for freedom of expression across the world”


 

Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen have added their names to a petition signed by more than 100 film industry luminaries that demands Roman Polanski’s release from detention in Zurich. The 76-year-old director, whose films include The Pianist and Rosemary’s Baby, was arrested on Saturday on an outstanding American arrest warrant related to a three-decade-old underage sex case when he arrived to receive a lifetime achievement award at the city’s film festival. (Polanski pled guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 after he had plied her with Quaaludes and champagne; he later fled to Europe where he has been living in exile since.) The petition cites the director’s creative genius and fame as reasons he should be granted clemency: “Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom.” Others who have signed include Wim Wenders, Alexander Payne, Tilda Swinton, Pedro Almodóvar, Terry Gilliam and producer Harvey Weinstein. The five-person jury at the Zurich film festival, headed by the actor Debra Winger, yesterday released a statement protesting that the event “had been exploited in an unfair fashion” and that the arrest “could have disastrous consequences for freedom of expression across the world.”

The Guardian


 
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Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen add their names to a petition to free child-rapist Roman Polanski

  1. Fame and talent do not take away the fact that this man is a CHILD RAPIST. It has nothing to do with "freedom of expression," it has to do with justice, which indeed has come late, but never too late.

  2. There's a petition? A petition to protect a child rapist! There's no question of his guilt, he pleaded guilty before he skipped out, right?

    Are these people INSANE? Or, easy to believe about Woody Allen at least, do these old men think there's nothing wrong with having sex with thirteen year olds?

  3. The biggest problem in modern society is that we have lost the ability to shun people. I hope there is significant public outrage.

  4. The biggest problem in modern society is that we have lost the ability to shun people -like those who excuse the raping of a child. I hope there is significant public outrage.

  5. The biggest problem in modern society is that we have lost the ability to shun people -like those who excuse raping a child. I hope there is significant public outrage.

  6. The petition cites the director's creative genius and fame as reasons he should be granted clemency

    There's nothing more morally bankrupt than that. The rich and famous should get preferable treatement under the law? Rich people can buy themselves a get-out-of-jail card?

    If Polanski had done his time this would have been over a long time ago.

    I'd like to get this list, the petition, so that I can boycott any film which involves one of these individuals.

    • Hear, hear!____Interesting that we are all in complete agreement on this, a first for these boards I think, but it just proves that we all have some decency. Something to remember for future topics.

  7. I am in agreement with commentators before me. Presumably some of these artists have daughters themselves. Would they be so sanguine about Polanski if he raped their 13 year old child?

  8. I just can't believe this. Anyone in the film industry – and I'm including Whoopi Goldberg here with her whole "it was something but not rape-rape" b.s. – who is honestly trying to turn this child rapist into a cause celebre for freedom of expression should be ashamed of themselves.

  9. Add me to the list of those appalled. What kind of vermin clouds the issue of artistic freedom – for which many around the world have paid for dearly – with a simple matter of disgusting rape?

    • By which I don't mean artistic freedom is the central issue here. It's just baffling that individuals can manage to side with a child rapist, *and* sully the very notion of expressive freedoms, in one act of depraved stupidity.

  10. Not only did Polanski rape a 13-year old, he drugged her first. Being a celebrity is not an excuse to escape justice.

  11. awesome, everybody agrees ! we need somebody from france in hear to argue with i guess !!!
    getting an endorsement from Woody Allen is sort of funny, him being a man who took advantage of his stepchild

  12. Perhaps one of the few things more disgusting than those who would rape a child are those who would defend or excuse their actions.

    No one, regardless of social status, has the right (or privilege) to victimize someone else. Neither justice nor society would benefit from absolving him of his responsibilities for the crimes he committed.

    Thank you Switzerland; it was the right thing to do.

  13. Folks should look into the story more.

    There's strong indications that both the drug use and the sex were consensual — though that's no excuse given that she was underage. There's also some indications that the mother was fully aware and consensual of the activity – effectively trying to pimp her daughter out for her own benefit. But that's a side story.

    There's some significant indications that the judge in the case was, quite simply, crooked, and was perverting justice in order to make the most of the media spotlight the case turned toward him. Polanski already served time in prison for the crime after pleading guilty as part of a plea bargain — while in prison he was evaluated and it was concluded that he was no danger to society and was released. The problem is that wasn't the type of thing that would have put a feather in the cap of the judge involved, so the judge was going to ignore the bargain that had been struck and sentence differently anyway, so Polanksi fled.

    Also is the fact that both the girl and her mother have asked that the case simply be dropped. They have no interest in going back 30 years to revisit this whole thing, and will likely not aid the prosecution.

    None of this excuses what happened, but given that he's been out 30 years and we haven't seen another allegation like this against him, how much good would it really do us at this point to spend what it's going to cost to bring him in, attempt to re-try him without the primary witness (as he was never officially sentenced, he still has the opportunity to change his plea, and indications are that that's what he'll do) because she's indicated she's not interested, and even if found guilty put him in prison so that we can.. what.. feel a sense of righteous vengeance against the fornicator?

    After all ,It's not like we're getting a dangerous person of the streets. Hell, it's not even like we're getting an unproductive person off the streets.

    I think it makes more sense to look at the cost-benefit ratio to society before charging ahead because it just feels like the right thing to do.

    • It was only a matter of time for an opposing viewpoint. You have a right to express it, but don't be upset if you get lots of replies. First, there is no consent when a person is underage. And this is far from a case of a almost 16 year old and her 17 year old boyfriend having sex – this was a girl of 13 and a man of 44.

      The mother wanted it dropped – I'm old enough to remember when women were also on the hot seat in a rape case – I thought we had moved way past that old and tired line – and given that he was rich and famous and she was not, I can understand why the mother might have had second thoughts about it. But he pleaded guilty and then was worried that he might actually have to spend time in jail and that is when he fled.

      Is he a dangerous person – I have no idea – just because he has not been charged since with another rape doesn't mean he hasn't raped another young girl or woman – he could be just more careful.

      Thank god that more people do not line up with the cultural/entertainment elite – they live in a world that if very different than ours, but that does not mean they are not subject to the law.

      Even now, if he came back to the US, with his money, he could probably stay out of jail – it would not be fair, but money and the justice system go hand in hand.

      • Oh, I expect it will annoy some folks, because this is the type of issue that people just use their gut and not their head on.

        Case in point, "just because he has not been chared with another rape doesn't mean he hasn't raped another young girl or woman". Seriously? You're seriously going to bring out the justification of "Well, he might be hiding it" to suggest he may be a dangerous person? You do realize somebody could easily turn around and say, "Well, just because Maureen hasn't been charged with putting kittens in the microwave doesn't mean she hasn't done it.. she could just be being careful." It's simply one of the worst types of slander you could do. "Oh, I have no evidence this person does bad things.. but they're probably just hiding it.."

        This is the kind of thing I was speaking of. That's not your head talking. That's your gut trying to justify the feelings of vengeance that you want sated. The feeling that "My god, it's just not fair he got away with this!" Except he didn't. That's the media line — because it sells more papers than, "Polanski served time and judged safe — now arrested again to serve more"

      • Oh, I expect it will annoy some folks, because this is the type of issue that people just use their gut and not their head on.

        Case in point, "just because he has not been chared with another rape doesn't mean he hasn't raped another young girl or woman". Seriously? You're seriously going to bring out the justification of "Well, he might be hiding it" to suggest he may be a dangerous person? You do realize somebody could easily turn around and say, "Well, just because Maureen hasn't been charged with putting kittens in the microwave doesn't mean she hasn't done it.. she could just be being careful." It's simply one of the worst types of slander you could do. "Oh, I have no evidence this person does bad things.. but they're probably just hiding it.."

        This is the kind of thing I was speaking of. That's not your head talking. That's your gut trying to justify the feelings of vengeance that you want sated. The feeling that "My god, it's just not fair he got away with this!" Except he didn't. That's the media line — because it sells more papers than, "Polanski served time and judged safe — now arrested again to serve more"

        • Had Maureen previously pleaded guilty to putting kittens in the microwave? Probably not. But this garbage has plead guilty to raping a 13 year old girl…after giving her drugs. Seriously, come on. Are you really so thick in the head to believe that what he did should just be forgotten? Maybe that's a good thing. That means anyone else can go do the same thing he did and not have to fully face the consequences. Oh wait, they would, because they are not a celebrity.

    • It is amusing how you mention "there is a strong indication that drug use a sex were consensual" offering no evidence other than your "strong indication" If you had "looked into the story a little bit more" you would have mentioned that the little girl was sodomized.Your other drive by "indication" is labelling the mother her pimp.What does that have to do with sodomizing a 13 year old girl other than trying to destroy credibility.As for the judge pulling back on a deal ,maybe he had a conscience ,at any rate he could have appealed the sentencing but didn't,he ran like the admitted guilty rapist that he is.So now ,if he has a case for appeal we will find out. What does your "strong Indications "say about that"

    • "After all ,It's not like we're getting a dangerous person of the streets."
      – He raped a child. I think that counts as a dangerous act.

      " Hell, it's not even like we're getting an unproductive person off the streets."
      – So one's economic worth mitigates their violent actions against others? Really?

      "Also is the fact that both the girl and her mother have asked that the case simply be dropped."
      – Crimes of this sort are against society at large, not just the victim. Penalties for breaking the law are meant to serve as an example to others who may consider similar acts. In that particular context, the women have no right to deny society's ability to deter other individuals from raping children.

  14. Upon reflection of thinking with my "gut" I looked more into it and found a quote by Roman Polanski reminiscing about the rape issue:
    "Judges want to F—–young Girls,Juries want to F—-young girls,Everyone wants to F—–young girls"
    I might be thinking with my gut but Roman seems to be thinking with something a little bit lower.What a sick individual.

    • I thought I had read that as well, but I couldn't find the reference – so yes I think he is probably a serial rapist who has either paid off others or has not got caught. You can always judge people by their past actions – his past actions consider of drugging and raping a 13 year old girl, pleading guilty to a lesser charge, fleeing the country and then talking about it as if nothing important really happened. Those are his actions – that is how I judge him. And guess what, I can judge him because he is my peer – that's the the beauty of democratic societies. I'm sure he finds that galling (apparently all his supporters do since he is described as brilliant implying that he should be free because of his brilliance).

      • Novelist Martin Amis interviewed the twisted little freak in 1979.Even the vulgar language he used identifies him as a man without regret.

  15. I've been following on instapundit, apparently 70% of the people in France are not on Polanski's side so what we've heard from their politicians represents them as much as Whoopi Goldberg and Woody Allen represent Americans.

    • Which restores my faith in humanity. I suppose there's always 30% of a population that is morally bankrupt.

  16. Polanski's earned it, go watch Rosemary's Baby or Chinatown and tell me that hasn't atleast garnered him ONE kid. Bunch of uptight puritans.