Redeeming Roman Polanski
Film director Roman Polanski was recently arrested on a 32-year-old charge of statutory rape, which he pled guilty to in 1977 before fleeing the country. Now, while Polanski fights extradition, Hollywood rallies for his freedom, and news sources turn it into a story about a celebrity instead of about our justice system, others are asking, "What if Polanski were a Catholic priest who had abused children?"
Meanwhile, many Americans are scratching their heads. Unfortunately, it seems many of the people quick to give their opinion on this issue got their facts from Wikipedia and assume it wasn't as appalling as it sounds. Well, they are wrong. (Warning: Reading the facts may make you sick.)
Hollywood hasn't forgotten, however, because apparently Hollywood never blamed Polanski for raping a 13-year-old girl in the first place. (To be fair, there are exceptions.) People protesting the "Polanski persecution" include Harvey Weinstein, Peter Fonda, and Whoopi Goldberg, among others, who are all old enough to know better. No, it's probably not fair that the only reason the L.A. Police Department knew Polanski would be in Switzerland was because he's famous. It's not fair that Polanski has been celebrated—and publicly awarded, including an Oscar in 2003—for the 32 years since he fled the country, either. His arrest in Switzerland, in fact, came about because he had a Lifetime Achievement Award to accept.
But as Jeri Thompson, wife of Law & Order mainstay Fred Thompson, and no stranger ...1