David Lynch, Mike Nichols, Tilda Swinton (oh, my lifelong irrational hatred of your self-satisfied pointy artist’s muse FACE = so justified now), Terry Gilliam (WHAT?), Salman Rushdie, Paul Auster (PAUL AUSTER), Woody Allen, Diane von Furstenberg, Martin bloody Scorsese, STEPHEN FREARS and Wes Anderson all think it’s totally okay that Roman Polanski anally raped a thirteen-year-old child.
They, with hundreds of other actors, filmmakers and a diverse group of European arts organizations, have signed Harvey Weinstein’s petition to protest the ‘astonishing’ arrest and potential extradition of Polanski for a 1978 ‘American arrest warrant on a case of morals’. Polanski drugged a thirteen-year-old girl with alcohol and Quaaludes. And anally raped her.
They say that Polanski’s extradition ‘will be heavy in consequence’ and ‘take away his freedom’. One lives in hope.
Here are the court documents: 36 pages of victim Elizabeth Gailey’s testimony. Here is what Polanski’s adherents call ‘a case of morals’. The people who’ve signed this petition think it’s totally unreasonable that an unpunished rapist, after thirty years of undeserved freedom, receives justice rather than a lifetime achievement award.
And here is an excellent article. I cannot do better than to reproduce the words of Melissa McEwan:
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.
I do know that, in real terms, my boycott of these people will have little or no effect. I’m so sad that people I admire (nb not all of those listed above – I have always loathed Swinton and find Rushdie personally annoying) have been so misogynist and cowardly and blind. I understand what a powerful man Weinstein is. But Polanski raped a little girl, and I hope he gets hell from the legal system and spends the maximum amount of time in prison.
And although Polanski’s defenders haven’t committed any crime, I hope their fanbases and the international press both give them hell. I hope that their careers are blighted forever. They deserve it.
ETA: The LCA Broadside lets a picture paint a thousand words…
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.