When you look at the names on the petition suggesting that 30 years in European "exile" is sufficient punishment for a guy who raped a thirteen-year-old, it's almost enough to make you sign on with the wingnuts decrying Hollywood liberals for their advocacy of immorality. I'm quite lefty, I reviewed movies for eight years, and I even gave a glowing review to The Pianist
. But even I can wrap my mind around the idea that however masterful a director Roman Polanski may be, and however horrific it was that his wife was murdered by Susan Atkins, that doesn't excuse raping a thirteen-year-old.
We're living in a time in which we're being told that the lies and death perpetrated by the previous administration are something we should just look past and get over and move on. By this logic, a bank robber (or child rapist, for that matter) can say five seconds after the crime, "Oh, well, that's in the past. Let's move on and forget about it." And to see respected arthouse and mainstream A-listers like Pedro Almodovar, Wes Anderson, Natalie Portman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Darren Aronofsky, Julian Schnabel. Martin Scorsese (!!!), Tilda Swinton,Penelope Cruz, Harrison Ford, Jeremy Irons, Stephen Soderbergh, John Landis, and Wong Kar-Wai unable to wrap their heads around the idea of separating the work from the man is pretty damn disheartening. I'm told the Roman emperor Nero was a pretty fair violinist, too. So what?
As that OTHER Jill points out at Feministe
, this isn't about Hollywood Liberals vs. Real Christian Americans™. It's about right and wrong, and you don't have to believe in a great white alpha male in the sky to recognize that drugging a kid barely into puberty and then raping every orifice of her body is not the act of a misunderstood Holocaust survivor, but a sick, sick crime. To excuse this crime by invoking the Holocaust is an insult to every other survivor of the Nazi camps.
Perhaps, as Jill says, you'll never work in this town again if you speak out against Polanski and that's why it's up to those whose job it seems to be to poke Hollywood and other examples of American hypocrisy with a stick to speak out...people like Chris Rock:
Labels: inability to handle more than one idea at a time, movies