Polanski freed

// 13 July 2010

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A Swiss court has decided not to extradite Roman Polankski to the US, and he will not face rape charges.

For a summation of this whole episode, see Johann Hari in the Independent: So that’s OK then. It’s fine to abuse young girls, as long as you’re a great film director.

Comments From You

Jennifer Drew // Posted 13 July 2010 at 11:00 am

‘Roman Polanski admitted his crime before he ran away and, for years afterwards, he boasted from exile that every man wanted to do what he did. He chuckled to one interviewer in 1979: “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see?’

Johann Hari is spot-on and yes indeed socio-economically powerful men are accorded the right to commit male sexual violence against women and girls with impunity. See also Polanski’s very telling misogynistic and women-hating comments which begins my comment.

But Polanski is wrong – not all men want to enact what he proclaims as his male right. However, the men who refuse to see women and children as sexual service stations are still not speaking out and condemning vile misogynists such as Polanski, Harris and their female allies.

Rape is never rape when the male perpetrator is a very powerful white male.

Jilly // Posted 13 July 2010 at 11:22 am

So it is acceptable to rape and not be punished – provided you’ve made some good films. It seems girls and women are just there to satisfy the sexual urges of men – provided the men are rich, powerful and very well known. I am totally disgusted by this and just so angry – though not terribly surprised.

Kristin // Posted 13 July 2010 at 11:58 am

Had a feeling this might happen.

People repelled by this abuser and his crimes can only continue to boycott him and his films. I also hope the long list of Polanski supporters, such as Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Harris and the rest will be republished and republished and kept right up there in the public gaze, so that we can boycott them and their ‘work’ as well.

Agnes // Posted 13 July 2010 at 12:44 pm

Eurgh. I’ve never seriously felt compelled to boycott anyone or anything before, but I’m so disgusted by this that I sure as hell won’t be watching any of Polanski’s films ever again.

A J // Posted 13 July 2010 at 3:04 pm

It’s an appalling decision, and he’s an appalling person. And his supporters – what planet are they on?!? I mean really. Robert Harris is a parent for flip’s sake – can he really not understand?! Just unbelievable.

And yet the whole thing was utterly predictable. As soon as France decided it wanted Polanski free, you just knew the Swiss would cave in. Yet another fine moment in their history, I guess…

Politicalguineapig // Posted 13 July 2010 at 3:48 pm

Kristin: Yep. I always figured it was not a matter of “if,” it was a matter of “when” Polanski would be freed.

Also, f you Johnny Depp. You used to be cool.

Debra // Posted 13 July 2010 at 4:22 pm

In my opinion Switzerland agreed to extradite Polanski as a way of capitulating to the U.S. State Department’s pressure to access to Swiss banking information. And I am afraid (in my opinion) the Swiss released Polanski for political reasons having (again) little to do with the crime that Polanski has been widely reported to have bragged about committing.

What happened here has little to do with justice and even less to do with addressing the vile crime that Polanski committed against a 13 year old child.

The whole business is replete with illegality, Misogyny and a whopping helping of arrogance. This is truly a disgusting business, and what Polanski did to a 13 year old child seems to have been completely forgotten by most.

Greg Black // Posted 13 July 2010 at 9:11 pm

How disgraceful this story is, although the result is not unexpected. I have liked some of Polanski’s work but could never see any of it again. As for his supporters, they deserve a boycott too. And as a man, I am disgusted that Polanski thinks he can speak for me. This case and all the other rapes that men get away with are a blight on our society.

EmilyBites // Posted 14 July 2010 at 10:28 am

I have seen so many rational, well-balanced, truthful articles about Polanski’s crime, his evasion of punishment and the support he receives from other celebrities (looking at you Whoopi), which mostly say:

1 – he raped a child

2 – he evaded justice

3 – saying he makes great films is not a defence

4 – saying his victim wishes to move on with her life does not excuse what he did

5 – use of the word ‘hysterical’ about those who think Polanski ought to be punished for child rape does not win the argument

but after every. single. article. there are dozens of comments saying “OMFG you hysterical lynch-mobs and your fucking over-sensitive pc witch-hunts!! the victim FORGAVE him! I LOVED The Pianist!”

Are they all trolling? It’s insane. Insane. More of them than you’d like to think probably agree with Polanski that raping little girls is sexaaay.

sianmarie // Posted 14 July 2010 at 11:48 am

agree with all these comments.

i also find really awful the defence of polanski that says:

‘he survived the holocaust and his wife was murdered – how can you criticise him’

i understand that his life has been pretty tragic. but a lot of people deal with tragedy and don’t use it as an excuse to rape children. in fact, i think it is pretty offensive to other people who have been through similar ordeals or who have survived the holocaust to say these things.

Emilie // Posted 14 July 2010 at 6:15 pm

I am horrified that Polanski will not be extradited. ‘Freed’ implies that he was imprisoned. I am not shocked.

Shame on anyone who thinks that successful men should be allowed to rape children. Mr Polanski has supporters.

Mr Polanski should have been boycotted years ago, he was in Switzerland to collect an award for goodness sake!

The woman who was raped by him in the first place is continuing to be victimised by him because he has refused to face justice and kept himself in the public eye. Half of me feels we should leave this alone for her sake, the other half is too angry for words.

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