Yet the language of the unforgivable rape-apologia screed, aka the now-famous Leave Roman Polanski Alooooone! Petition--signed, you'll note, by score after score of utterly idiotic Hollywood types--reads thus:
We have learned the astonishing news of Roman Polanski's arrest by the Swiss police on September 26th, upon arrival in Zurich (Switzerland) while on his way to a film festival where he was due to receive an award for his career in filmmaking.A case of morals. Not a case in which a wealthy, powerful forty-something director forced himself onto and into the body of a thirteen-year-old girl, both vaginally and anally, and refused to cease his raping of her despite her cries of No and Stop. Which action, by the way, is textbook and prima facie rape right there and then--forcible penetration without consent--and that's before you consider that Polanski first plied the girl with illegal drugs (Quaaludes) and alcohol, and ah yes, before you factor in the detail of the girl's minor status: she was thirteen years old.
His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.
And not a criminal case which wound up with Polanski's attorneys pleading it down to statutory rape--itself a felony--and then, with Polanski fleeing the country before fully serving even that slap-on-the-wrist punishment. (Remember: he forcibly raped and sodomized a child after giving her illegal drugs and alcohol.)
No, no. According to some actors, filmmakers, and others in The Business, this was merely a case of morals.
As friends, family, and long-time readers will recall, I am a serious Martin Amis fan--have been for many, many years. Amis interviewed Polanski back in 1979, shortly after Polanski fled the States and just as he was to embark on a life of luxury living and prolific art-making while in exile. Lo and behold, a friend reminded me of said interview, originally published in Amis' interview anthology Visiting Mrs. Nabokov and now revisited by the Telegraph yesterday; this Polanski quote leaps horrifically and unrepentantly from the page:
“If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”A case of morals. In response to the aforementioned petition by the artistes, then, I'd like to use my small (but earnest and well-intentioned) virtual soapbox to make the following statement of my own:
To all actors, directors, and filmmaking sorts who felt compelled to sign on to the pathetic rape apologia in re: the Roman Polanski case, and who, in so doing, have given liberals like me a bad name: You have done immeasurable harm to the shared causes of women, children, liberalism, actual artists, and truly moral human beings. You stupid, vacuous, morally bereft morons.Also at Cogitamus.
*Edited to reflect the 2008 Supreme Court decision ruling as unconstitutional the use of the death penalty in non-homicide aggravated rape cases.