I’m in London this week (enjoying stunning weather that’s actually hotter than LA!), and was asked today to travel to BBC studios and speak on the Jeremy Vine show about Roman Polanski’s release. I can’t understand why Gary Glitter, a convicted pedophile who has served his time, is demonised, but a man who sodomised a 13-year-old and fled sentencing is revered by so many European ‘intellectuals’. Is it because Polanski made Chinatown while Glitter has a creepy beard? Or that his greatest claim to fame wasn’t Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist, but crappy 70s glam rock? The intellectuals seem to have two arguments: 1) The legal system was flawed, and Polanski was only fleeing a corrupt judicial system.
This may or may not be the case, but he should still have to face the music…and if the judge decides that he has to do more than 42 days worth of jail time, his lawyers should fight the sentence from within, not via a documentary.
2) Americans are puritanical, and imposing some kind of moral McCarthyism on a talented individual. This is also ridiculous: Moral ambiguity doesn’t preclude anyone from making great art. I can love Braveheart and Mad Max and still think that Mel Gibson is a racist idiot. Last time I checked, winning an Oscar didn’t give you a free pass to rape a kid.
My book sales have shot up to 100,000 copies, does this mean that I get to shoot a guy in the leg because I’m an ‘artiste’? Hello? It’s just indefensible.
Maybe Polanski has been on the lam long enough that he’s using the ‘Chinatown argument’…from the line in the film where Noah Cross says ‘Course I’m respectable. I’m old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.’