More Polanski apologists

// 18 February 2010

Struck off my beautiful list:

Ewan ‘it’s none of my business’ McGregor

Johnny ‘he’s an old married father so he can’t possibly be a threat’ Depp

Shame on both of you.

Comments From You

Shea // Posted 18 February 2010 at 6:10 pm

oh for shame.

You can’t weasel your way out of making a comment Ewan “avoid controversy” McGregor. You are celebrating working with a pedophile. And McGregor has a daughter!!! If he is honest he knows he wouldn’t let Polanski within a hundred yards of her, so why not bloody well say so!

And Depp, well I’ve just totally lost respect. What an asshat. So 70 year old married men don’t rape do they? Maybe he should google “Fritzl”. Idiot.

Epic fail by both.

Politicalguineapig // Posted 18 February 2010 at 7:54 pm

I’m especially pissed about Depp. Now I can’t go see his version of the Mad Hatter or rent Sweeney Todd again.

Lara Williams // Posted 19 February 2010 at 10:34 am

I am absolutely appalled that Jonny Depp would make that statement – there’s such arrogance in the celebrity support Polanski has received, it’s become this despicable artist’s club. Also, when did it become about detaining Polanski because he is a threat?! Is it not about punishing him for breaking the law, a punishment he’s thus far avoided?! What a buffoon (Depp, that is. I’d like to think I could come up with a more potent insult for Polanski).

Ally // Posted 20 February 2010 at 1:31 pm

Obviously all responses of disgust seconded.

Why is it celebrities think that fame in one particular (usually fairly frivolous area) of public life suddenly means they have something legitimate to say about a moral or political subject they know nothing about, and haven’t thought through. There is a reason Depp isn’t a philosopher, politician or political journalist. This is part of a much wider problem of us as a society giving credence to what celebrities think. We need to stop shopping at Iceland because Coleen Nolan is a mum who does, and stop reporting on what celebrities think on issues that have sweet fa to do with what they actually do for a living. Stick to the day job Depp.

Francine Hoenderkamp // Posted 22 February 2010 at 11:24 am

I used to really like Ewan. What a weak man! I thought he was actually socially conscious too! Fame, money & his beloved acting career is more important to him than the conviction of a paedophile? Let’s hope Polanski never gets his hands on his own daughter.

sianmarie // Posted 22 February 2010 at 12:06 pm

i totally agree ally. i would really recommend marina hyde’s book ‘celebrity’ and her columns in general as exposing the problems caused when celebrities with no expertise in an area start making uninformed pronouncements. bit of a derail but it is such a huge problem when we give people like depp a platform to make pronouncements on issues that they are ill-informed about. although a fine actor, he is no expert on the law! marina hyde gives many great/depressing examples of celebrities worsening situations by assuming an expertise on it (sharon stone and malaria being a good example)

gadgetgal // Posted 22 February 2010 at 12:57 pm

@sianmarie – actually, cheers for the derail, I’ve never read anything of Marina Hyde before and it’s had me cackling away since you mentioned it and I looked her up!!

In fact, thinking about it, I don’t think it’s a derail anyway – this Polanski apologism really is mostly down to the fact that we seem to think that celebs have something really worthwhile to contribute other than what they actually do for a living. Just because McGregor and Depp are good actors doesn’t mean they know much about anything else, and it doesn’t mean that the write-ups they get should be so much more high-profile than anyone else.

Elmo // Posted 22 February 2010 at 1:28 pm

Adding to the derail, she does a very good section about just this on charlie brookers newswipe (yes, I know, I must stop obsessing over him)-though it mainly focusses on how celebrities become spokespeople for charities that they dont even understand

sianmarie // Posted 22 February 2010 at 1:50 pm

glad you like – she is very funny! and exactly – the celebrity obsessed culture we live in does have worrying repurcussions on how we value celebrity’s opinions. on some matters it makes sense, for example joanna lumley campaigning for gurkhas rights. this was an issue she was very knowledgeable about and very passionate about, and she used her fame to get it on the national agenda. but with cases like this it’s very different, and because depp and mcgregor et al are famous they make these preposterous statements and the media takes it seriously. neither of them are experts on the case, or on the trial, or on international extradition laws! and yet because of ‘who they are’ they are given this platform that perhaps more informed but less famous people don’t get.

Evie Wallace // Posted 22 February 2010 at 2:30 pm

I’m probably going to get flamed for this but here goes:

I noticed McGregor was careful to say he enjoyed working with Polanski ‘as an actor’ and admired him ‘as a director’. He would be contractually bound not to say anything that would diss the product whatever he personally felt. Yes I know it sounds spineless but if you were publicising a film and had a team of lawyers noting everything you said on the publiciy junket would you really say that you despised the director and thought him an appalling paedophile?

Depp’s comment was more direct and yes he deserves a good kicking.

Laura // Posted 22 February 2010 at 3:16 pm

@ Evie – that’s probably true, but McGregor could have chosen not to work with Polanski in the first place. He didn’t.

Politicalguineapig // Posted 22 February 2010 at 3:51 pm

Doesn’t a parent associating with a known pedophile count as child endangerment? And encouraging pedophilia- which is what Macgregor is doing- certainly merits legal scrutiny.

Elmo // Posted 22 February 2010 at 4:07 pm

there u go, first 6 mins sums up Marina’s argument perfectly. Jude Law is particularly embaressing

Evie Wallace // Posted 22 February 2010 at 4:25 pm

@ Evie – that’s probably true, but McGregor could have chosen not to work with Polanski in the first place. He didn’t.

I agree with you Laura. But Pierce Brosnan didn’t turn it down either, or Olivia Williams or Kim Catrall. I would guess very very few if any actors would turn down a Polanski film because of his personal loathsomeness.

Laura // Posted 22 February 2010 at 4:35 pm

Shame on them too!

Elmo // Posted 22 February 2010 at 4:47 pm

Im an actress-i’ll turn him down!

Evie Wallace // Posted 22 February 2010 at 5:16 pm

Pre-production on films can start up to three years previously. I think it was two years with The Ghost Writer. And Polanksi was arrested in Sept 2009. So the actors involved with the film would have shot their scenes without knowing the details of his crimes. And as I’ve already mentioned they would have been contractually bound not to say anything that might jeapordise the film.

I’m not saying that McGregor wasn’t being spineless but there’s a big difference between carefully avoiding making a statement of personal dislike while promoting a film, and the actors like Whoopi Goldberg who made disgraceful remarks about ‘not rape rape’ merely to suck up to a ‘great film director.’

Laura // Posted 23 February 2010 at 10:04 am

@ Evie – He was arrested in 2009, but his crime has been common knowledge since the original trial in the 70s.

Kristin // Posted 23 February 2010 at 5:20 pm

Laura, exactly. This has been common knowledge and even the least informed slebs on the planet must have known something about it. You can even read the horrible court transcripts if you google ‘smoking gun’ (but beware, as I’m sure for some people this would be triggering).

It’s all been out there for years. None of these people who support Polanski have any excuse whatsoever.

Have Your say

To comment, you must be registered with The F-Word. Not a member? Register. Already a member? Use the sign in button below

Sign in to the F-Word

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds