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No, that's not me saying it, it's philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, in his attempt to let the Swiss gov't know that they should release CONVICTED pedophile and rapist Roman Polanski from extradition to the US.

It's important to note that Polanski was FOUND GUILTY. And he even plea bargained for lesser charges, after admitting his guilt. That he did something unlawful and unconscionable isn't in question. No, it's not, Hollywood. He admitted it, it was found to be true. He was too precious to be thrown in jail, so many people helped him escape so he could vacation in the south of France for the past 31 years. Boo hoo. Because I'm sure he missed Rosco's Chicken and Waffles and Boston traffic for the past 31 years, what a hardship.

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS CASE IS ABOUT: Polanski was at Jack Nicholson's house. A 13 year old girl was there (nothing else is relevant. Her mother letting her go over there, the girl having been sexually active or not prior to this, THAT IS IRRELEVANT TO THE LAW.) Polanski talked her into getting naked for pictures. He gave her champagne and slipped her Quaaludes. He had her in a jacuzzi, naked. He manhandled her and she said NO. He coerced her into a bedroom, naked, drunk, and drugged. She continued to say NO. Polanski said that "she was not unresponsive" in his testimony. He then performed oral sex on her, and then anally raped her AS SHE SAID NO. If you can stomach it, here are the court documents detailing this even further.

I tend to take umbrage with the word "elite." It's usually applied by people who champion mediocrity and use it against intellectuals who don't. But in this case, this is the artistic elite who are COMPLETELY OUT OF TOUCH with actual human beings. These are people who live a life a privilege, people who get what they want, when they want, and as much as they want. People who don't worry about traffic laws, about paying bills on time (if even paying for all of their bills) people who don't have to worry about things The Common Man does. Tough titty, said the kitty. You are not above us. You are not above the laws of humans.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Harvey Weinstein, who is known to strong arm people in the industry, has been "emailing everyone [he] knows" telling them to support Polanski on this. So. I mentioned to Kita last night that I think a lot of the people signing this petition in defense are being coerced into it. Which doesn't make it ok, it just explains a few things. You have the man that gets people their Oscars and the director of the freaking Cannes film festival telling you to sign. Well, this should just serve as a reminder that actors, directors, etc. are all just weak people, too. They're not special inside, that's not why they're on your screen. They're pretty. They emote well. They memorize lines. They write beautiful words. They create camera angles that evoke memories both wonderful and painful for us. BUT. They're not EMTs. They're not teachers. They're not firemen that risk their lives daily for strangers. They're not working to cure cancer. They make entertainment for those of us that do. WE NEED TO STOP HOLDING THEM ABOVE US. And this, coming from a wanna be actress and writer. (One that isn't friends with many other actors because they tend to be weak douche bags looking for their next gig and doing whatever it takes to get it.)

In the words of Luc Besson, who is close friends with Polanski and still refused to sign the petition, "There is but one justice, and that should be the same for everyone." He continued and said, "...I have a daughter, 13 years old. And if she was violated, nothing would be the same, even 30 years later." Well said, sir.

WOMEN: this event took place in a time when we didn't have our voices. When sexual harassment was the norm, when women could be raped because of how they dressed, when we were what assisted Great Men to become just that. No woman that I can respect will support Polanski. No woman. This is an excellent article. Even though crimes were committed long ago, IT MEANS SOMETHING TO THE WORLD THAT JUSTICE BE SERVED. It's not about the young woman who was violated, not any longer. She's found her peace with this, and mostly out of necessity to get away from the media coverage. It is about the PERSON THAT COMMITTED A CRIME. And let me put this in perspective: Elizabeth Smart was 15 when she was raped and abducted. Two years OLDER. And she didn't want anything done to Brian David Mitchell, her abductor. But because we decided as a society, east and west, to protect our children and to be their advocates, it is time we were.

I know I'm not bringing anything new to this. But I've been sick to my stomach about this for days. I've never seen Chinatown. I never will. Yes, it's a fabulous film, I'm told. And? It was made when this happened. I accidentally saw The Pianist, not knowing it was his film. And I will never watch it again. It's my own protest, my own way of speaking up for all young women who were violated in some way and never had justice served for them. I don't give a shit if it's Jesus or Ghandi or whoever: you committed a crime, you must pay the penalty for that, period.

[ETA] It appears that France is backing down on its call to release Polanski. Uh huh. Saw that backlash and started thinking, huh? I like France. I'm glad the leaders are seeing reason. (They had evidently written Hillary Clinton asking for his release. OH HELL NO, I would hope she replied.)

[ETA 2] Here is a picture of the victim when she was 13 and recently. I just read a comment from a man that called us (those that are sickened by this man's acts) the Christian Taliban. Another supporter chided the US for how long Polanski was supposed to spend in jail as in Finland, a "reasonable sentence would be a few months for a first time offender." I wonder how many of those offenders go on to be second timers? Are these people for real?!

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xochitl42
Sep. 30th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
Both the New York Times and Geraldine Ferraro agree with you. Ferarro's piece is particularly moving. She's the third commentator down.

I can't even think about this very much, because it makes me angry in a way that immobilizes me, which renders me useless when I could be contributing positively on the matter. Tricky spot to be in.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the Ferraro link.

This has been something that has upset me for decades, he's finally getting justice served and the people coming out in his DEFENSE, trying to pooh pooh the actual event away? Debra WINGER? Good hell.
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beer_good_foamy
Sep. 30th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
I tend to take umbrage with the word "elite." It's usually applied by people who champion mediocrity and use it against intellectuals who don't. But in this case, this is the artistic elite who are COMPLETELY OUT OF TOUCH with actual human beings.

Agree on both counts. As one person put it:

Very few, if any, of the people who have publicly defended Polanski, or who have worked with him, make it their business to champion or associate themselves with admitted child rapists. They make an exception for Polanski for the same reason exceptions have been for other famous, artistic men – directors, writers, actors, comedians, singers, musicians, dancers, choreographers, painters, sculptors, photographers – who have been known to sexually assault women and/or children: Because geniuses get special dispensation.

Because there's only one Roman Polanski.

So goes the breathless defense of the artiste, while the flipside of that particular coin, because thirteen-year-old girls are a dime a dozen, goes unspoken.


Thanks for the note about Weinstein. Suddenly I don't feel quite (just almost) as sickened by seeing some of my favourites on that list. Though I still applaud Besson, Kevin Smith, and others who still seem to live in the real world.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
Such an excellent point about the flipside, 13 year old girls being a dime a dozen. Breathless defense, indeed. Wow.

I was so happy to see Keven Smith come out so publicly, too. It just serves as a reminder as how squirrelly people in this industry are, they're all just looking to stay relevant. No excuse, just an explanation, I think. Meh.
maevebran
Sep. 30th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
Amen. As a woman aspoiring to make it in Hollywood as a writer I am sickened by the fact that people are supporting Polanski. Not all of them though. Lexa Doig, a TV actress from Andromeda and Stargate SG1, said on twitter yesterday "Just wanna go on record here and say that as much as I admire Polanski and a director - he's getting what he deserves." and "There seem to be a lot of folks in my industry experiencing what I hope is a temporary moral disconnect - it's a tad disappointing". Which only adds to my admiration of her.

Lets hope the moral disconnect doesn't last long.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the name of the woman standing up for what she believes, that's heartening! Kevin Smith also publicly stood up for what's right, too.
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I googled it. - stoney321 - Sep. 30th, 2009 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
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liz_marcs
Sep. 30th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
Well said. I haven't written anything at all on this because I of URGE TO KILL RISING!

I am positively gobsmacked that anyone — I mean anyone — supports this douche nozzle. Hell, I was shocked that he was openly flitting around Europe and that was before I realized just how bad the case was. (Not that it's relative badness is even relevant here).

And if I hear one more time, "But the judge renegged on the deal Polanski made with the prosecution!" You know what? Tough titty. The judge is not obligated to accept any deal, and if there was misconduct, than Polanski could've appealed form his jail cell just like any other con.

Also what they don't tell you is that the judge had allowed Polanski to leave the country to work on a film prior to sentencing. When pictures came out showing Polanski living the high life around Europe the judge blew a gasket over Polanski's abuse of his reprieve. That would be the European trip that Polanski never got back from, although he stayed in Europe because he's supposed to get a special pass because of surviving the Holocaust/Sharon Tate/Artistic Greatness. Apparently.

I did see "Chinatown" by the way (had to for a film class). I'll be honest — if you plop in some classic film noirs from the 40s or "Hollywood Confidential", you'll get just as good a film (and in some cases a better film) than "Chinatown".

The key problem with "Chinatown" is that if you don't know anything about the water wars of LA during the 1940s, most of the film's going to be a muddled mess. At the time I saw it, I knew nothing about the water wars, so I was somewhat loss. And like you, I refuse to see Polanski's films, so needless to say I haven't seen "Chinatown" since that one college class even though the film would probably make more sense to me now.

Seriously. You're better off watching the Maltise Falcon or The Big Sleep rather than "Chinatown" anyway.
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tabaqui
Sep. 30th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
I wish the people who are *not* supporting this gods-awful man were as vocal and organized as the petition signers. And the bit about Mr. Weinstein makes no difference to me whatsoever. I don't give a fuck *who* he is or what he does - you don't compromise yourself in that way. Ever.

I read the list of people who signed and frankly didn't recognize most of the names. Whoopi Goldberg really disappointed me - i thought she was smarter than that. And apparently Tilda Swinton is on the list, though i guess i missed it, which also bums me out.

Arrgh, people! Stop being asshats! I saw *one* of his films, all unknowing. 'The Ninth Gate'. I'll take 'he's a great director!' for a truth with a bit of salt because, frankly, that movie sucked. Except, lame, Johnny Depp was in it. Bah. Thanks for the links.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
I recognized a lot of the names on the list, and it made me so sad. True, a bunch are people he's working with right now on his movie being filmed in Germany, and other of the artistic elite of France. But a lot of US directors that I've admired are on it, too. Scorsese!! :(((

That movie was another I didn't realize he was connected to - I was just watching it for Johnny Depp myself. But yeah, it wasn't good.
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caoil
Sep. 30th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
All of this just makes me stabbity. Fiery, stabbity rage.

1. He raped a young girl after drugging her.
2. He admitted his guilt.
3. He DODGED HIS PUNISHMENT.

No, Mr. Polanski, you are not a special snowflake, you're a rapist. If you'd just served your time AT THE TIME you'd have been out long ago. And your body of work doesn't make up for what you did to that girl's body. Nor does your past make you too tender and sensitive to go to jail.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
I'm so tired of the Great Man argument. Bullshit. SOmeone made the point of "If this was FATHER Polanski, not DIRECTOR Polanski, there would be no question of justice needing to be served."
ruthless1
Sep. 30th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Well said Stoney. I spent some time last night reading the thread on ontd and like many posters there (and here) I wish some of my favorite people - Mike Leigh!, Alfonso Cuoron, Tilda Swinton, WHOOPI WTF? were not on there. I would also love to see a "I don't support Roman" petition out there. Times are crazy right now aren't they? Up is down, Rape is not such a big deal, and running away from your sentencing if you are artistic is okay.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
I actually don't like Whoopi Goldberg (I don't think she's funny, and the only time I found her tolerable - and boy, did I - was The Color Purple.) but Tilda Swinton made me sad, as did Aronofsky and freaking Cuaron.

I just don't know how they're justifying this to themselves. I'm honestly interested, if any of them would elaborate.
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lynnenne
Sep. 30th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
*stands up and applauds*
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
I just... I keep seeing people saying how "silly" this all is, our outrage, the justice system still seeking him, and think, REALLY?

And I would be interested in seeing how many of these supporters of his fume and rage at any athletes (you know, the artist's Enemy) getting "preferential treatment" due to their "talent." OHO, let's see the back peddling on that one.
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bitchygrrl
Sep. 30th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
Polanski needs to be in jail, period. He ADMITTED it. It should not have taken this long, but once again the value of women in our society not to so great is it? The fact that the victim made peace and settled with him does not release him from his criminal sentence. If Polanski was any kind of man, he would turn himself in, but clearly he is less than a man. Also I don't think his personal tragedies are any excuse for this. On the heels of the Chris Brown assault Rhianna and frankly I didn't know who either of them were before, this just confirms for me that women have not come nearly as far as we think we have and in many ways we have let shit slide. Ok will go rant in my own lj now.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
Right, re; the victim making peace. Which, good for her. But when you prosecute someone, it's THE PEOPLE vs. Polanski, and it's to protect society at large.

Oh, he's a complete weasel, imo. And you can rant along here all you want, you know I don't mind.
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maybe1ce
Sep. 30th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
The victim "made peace" with him and his assault because THAT IS MENTALLY HEALTHY. It doesn't mean he didn't do wrong. It doesn't even mean that SHE believes that he didn't do wrong. It just means that she has chosen to move on and live her life without forever shackling her identity and self-esteem to some asshat that raped her when she was only 13!

Perhaps he did become this horrible, destructive thing because of his personal tragedies. I cannot shrug away his own victimhood and the horrific way he lost his wife and child. BUT: He should have been LOCKED UP after committing a crime himself and given INTENSIVE THERAPY so that his grief would not perpetuate cycles of violence -- which is what his crime was. I think that his idiot supporters have themselves kidded in to believing that his crime was to have sex with the wrong person. That's not what rape is, people. Rape is assault just as violent as stabbing someone or hitting them with a club.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
Excellent, excellent points you've made, and very compassionate, too. And also with compassion for the laws broken, which is what's needed!
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sdwolfpup
Sep. 30th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
So much WORD to this post. I can't even.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
I just read a comment where someone said "Well, but she was mature for a 13 year old."

The law doesn't WORK like that!! And okay, so what if she was? Polanski was acting IMMATURELY for a 43 year old man! How's them apples?
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stephanierb
Sep. 30th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)

"Mr. Polanski perhaps had committed a youthful error."

Hmm, I guess 44 is the new 14. Reading that made me want to vomit.

The excuses people are coming out with are disgusting: "It wasn't really rape", "Polanski has already suffered enough", "He's a victim". Excuse me while I go pound my head against a wall. That anyone could utter something like that, dismiss the rape of a 13 year old girl, makes me seriously want to hurt someone. Another example of how society truly regards rape, not as a vicious crime that deserves the harshest of punishments, but one that has extenuating circumstances, particularly when it involves a wealthy man of some talent who may or may not be "tortured".

I sympathize with the victim, I do. I'm not a victim of sexual assault myself, but I can appreciate the desire to put it behind you and get on with your life. I can only imagine the horror of having to recount, in public, an act so humiliating and degrading. But Polanski's crime was committed against not just the victim, but the people of the state of California, and it's in everyone's best interest that justice be served. No one wants to compound a victim's agony, but even if all that happens here is that he returns to the States and gets slapped with a fine, I think it's important that this be followed through to its conclusion. Otherwise, we send a dangerous message.

Thanks for the post, and the links. I certainly do hope those that have spoken out against him get more vocal.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
I hope more prominent people get vocal, too. It's just despicable!!
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
And as if not only did he think she was 17, but he was only 18 or so at the time! NO. HE WAS 43.
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neko_hime_lj
Sep. 30th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
Oh God. This post could've been ripped from my keyboards. I share your sentiments, and condemn all those who are coming out in support for a CHILD RAPIST who EVADED THE LAW for 30 years.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
THIS.
tundrabeast
Sep. 30th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
This does not surprise me, sadly. I've been following this and I've just been thinking that the worst will happen so I don't upset myself.

The victim is pissing me off too: however she feels she knows that this case will set a precedent. She's being an idiot about it tbqh.
stoney321
Sep. 30th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
I think the victim is just so overwhelmed by all of this, and has been for 31 years. I'll give her lots of slack because this happened back when women "deserved" what they got. She was painted as a Lolita and a druggy and she was 13!!! Jesus.

It's all just so... Well, disappointing isn't strong enough of a word.
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Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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