The Roman Polanski case has more twists and turns than a Scorsese movie. One aspect that hasn't been examined is why no one in Hollywood has come out against the petition circulated by Weinstein, Scorsese and other Hollywood fat cats advocating for Polanski to get off scot free for drugging and raping a 13-year-old when he was 43 years old. (Side note: Woody Allen signing the petition would be laughable if it weren't so repugnant.)
How can Hollywood, a culture that decries rape in the Congo, protests crimes in Sudan, advocates for education of girls in Afghanistan and says we must never forget the Holocaust, say that we should forgive and forget the rape of child by a middle-aged man? Also, for the record, it was rape -- really "rape-rape." See the police report on The Smoking Gun. It would never be appropriate for a 43-year-old to have sex with a child of 13 even if that child was "willing." A 13-year-old does not have the mental and emotional development to make appropriate decision about sex - that is why 13-year-olds are not allowed to drive cars, buy cigarettes, alcohol or vote, and need parents signatures on their report cards. The victim was drugged, said "no" to Polanski's advances, repeatedly tried to leave, even told him she had asthma and had to go home and get her medicine (a lie in attempt to get away) -- a plea he ignored. Jack Nicholson, who owned the house which was the scene of the crime, has been silent in this brouhaha. Could it be that Nicholson, now a father, knows how deeply abhorrent Polanski crime was, and regrets his unwitting role in it? I hope so.
Again, back to the question: Why aren't any Hollywood stars speaking out against Polanski? I can't imagine that everyone in Hollywood thinks a.) It is OK to rape a 13-year-old, or, b.) Polanski should be absolved on grounds that he is a talented director and the crime took place a long time ago. Contrary to popular belief, Hollywood has its fare share of good, decent people that really care about women and children. Lisa Ling reported on the horrors of rape in the Congo, Oprah fights against child predators and talks about the lasting effects of child sexual abuse, Susan Sarandon supports several worthy women's causes, Angelina Jolie advocates for Refugees and Orphans, Lucy Liu is the UNICEF Ambassador for child trafficking, and the list goes on. Countless actors and movie moguls have used their platforms to be a voice for marginalized populations, and put considerable time, effort and money into helping a number of worthy causes. Given this groups proclivity to decry abuse and speak out against injustices present and long past, it is very curious that there is no counter petition against Polanski.
Could it be that courage does not come as easy when it is time to oppose someone who might give you your next movie role, or you might be doing a deal with soon? The warlord in Sudan, rebel soldier in Congo or the Taliban cannot kill a Hollywood career. The sad fact is that many people in Hollywood probably think that what Polanski did is reprehensible but lack the real courage -- putting your livelihood and status on the line -- to go against Harvey Weinstein, Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen, so they just keep their mouths shut and hope the story dies soon. Any actor, agent, director, makeup artist or craft services person who spoke out to disagree with the kingmakers would instantly be dead to "the industry" and everyone knows it. Where is your moral outrage and big voice now Hollywood?
To all the deafeningly silent movie stars, agents and studio heads: Who will speak when they come for your 13-year-old daughter or son?
The opinion above does not reflect that of any organization the author has been affiliated with past or present.