Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Sympathy For Polanski Here.

In today's Chicago Tribune, columnist John Kass takes on the case of director Roman Polanski, who is currently in a Swiss jail awaiting extradition to the U.S., to be punished for his 1977 statutory rape conviction. Kass's kicker is that the sactimonious Hollywood types pleading for Polanski's release are showing how little they think of us, their audience.

I wrote a piece about Polanski the last time this kicked up, in 2003, when he won the Oscar for his movie The Pianist. It contains many details of the case that are omitted in most accounts.

In 2003, Polanski’s defenders noted that his film contained elements of his own traumatic childhood as a Jew in Nazi-occupied Poland. Polanski was imprisoned at Auschwitz and his mother died there. Stories about Polanski invariably also mention that in 1969 his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, was brutally murdered by the Charles Manson cult.

Yes, very bad things have happened to Roman Polanski in his life. Apparently, he has always viewed the rape incident more as something bad that happened to him than as something bad he did. In defending himself against the charges, Polanski often claimed that his 13-year-old victim was a "Lolita" who "knew all about sex and drugs." After he fled he told a BBC reporter, "I've been tortured by this for a year and that's enough."

Like Kass, I have no sympathy for Polanski and feel nothing but contempt for those who defend him.


dankprofessor said...

The murder of Polanski's wife and about to be baby and the murder of his two dear friends who were murdered and who he asked to stay with Sharon while he was in London and before that having his mother murdered by the Nazis and all this had nothing to do with what happened in 1978 with his having sex with the 13 year old girl. Was Polanski born again in 1970? Do people who go thru such horrors come out untouched by said horrors?
Mr. Cowdery knows nothing about human psychology.He feels contempt for Polanski; maybe he should learn just a little bit about survivor guilt and how tortuous such guilt can be. Check out my post ON Polanski at for a starter. It is so easy to feel contempt toward others you do not understand. Unless we engage in a quest for understanding nothing will change.

Chuck Cowdery said...

I may not know psychology but I know the law, and the law says there is a difference between an explanation and an excuse.