I wasn’t going to say anything about Roman Polanski. I figured no one needed my help to figure out that what he did to his victim was the utmost of deplorable. But apparently some people do need some help. Whoopi Goldberg, who up until today had as much respect from me as any Hollywood celebrity, makes that clear:

Whoopi Goldberg wants the media to refrain from accusing Roman Polanski of rape and to recognize that other cultures may view 13-year-old girls as sex objects.

At U.S. request, Swiss authorities arrested Polanski, an Oscar-winning movie director, when he arrived in Switzerland to receive an award at the Zurich Film Festival. He had originally fled the U.S. to escape sentencing after agreeing to plead guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and has remained a fugitive ever since.

Victim Samantha Jane Gailey testified at the time that Polanski persuaded her to go with him to actor Jack Nicholson’s vacated home to take photos. Polanski asked Miss Gailey to undress, drink champagne and take a dose of Quaalude. After he made advances toward her in a Jacuzzi, she asked him to take her home. He refused and then performed sexual acts on her, although she asked him to “stop it.” She testified that she did not resist because “I was afraid.”

The arrest has sparked a firestorm over whether the director should have been detained, which was debated on ABC’s “The View” on Monday.

“I know it wasn’t rape-rape,” Ms. Goldberg said on the program. “It was something else, but I don’t believe it was rape-rape … when we are talking about what someone did and what they are charged with, we have to say what it actually was, not what we think it was.” She argued that it would be more accurate to say that Polanski was charged with rape and pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor.

“I don’t like it when we are passionate about something, and we don’t have all the facts,” Ms. Goldberg lectured.

Ms. Goldberg also said it was important for commentators to take into account of other foreign cultures that think it’s permissible to have sexual relations with 13-year-olds. “We are a different kind of society,” she said. “We see things differently.”

This is willful ignorance, and it’s detestable. I loved the Pianist… never watched Rosemary’s Baby. But I can’t pretend that Polanski didn’t commit a crime of the greatest severity imaginable. He does not deserve special considerations because of his talent or fame.

11 comments to “Rape-Rape”

  • RW

    It is rather interesting to see exactly who the people are who are coming to that guy’s defense.

    Let’s see what the blowback on them will be for defending the anal rape of a 13 year old versus, say, a cable talk show host who says that in his opinion the Prez is a racist.

    Personally, I think this illustrates the divide that many pooh-pooh. When folks say “real America” or “middle America”, it doesn’t pertain to being for or against _____ taxes or ____ programs or liberal versus conservative or red/blue. The coastal elites who have this guy’s back represent very little that is in line with “real Americans” and more along the lines of the dinner party crowd who think that us peons are too dumb to wipe our own butts & therefore don’t grasp the complexities & nuances of the matters at hand. You know, folks like Gore Vidal, Bill Maher, Anne Applebaum, Woody Allen. To them, we really don’t know what’s best for us, which is why justice mustn’t be blind *in this case* so that a cinematic genius can go back to work in LA. We can eat cake.

  • This is definitely symptomatic of a disconnect between an elite (I don’t know about “coastal”) mindset and a non-elite one. And it’s specifically manifested in willful blindness to the egregiousness coming from “one of their own”.

  • I’m probably your classic coastal elite in some ways, though I happen to live on the opposite coast.

    And I don’t question for a minute that if she said no-no, and he didn’t listen-listen, then it most certainly was rape-rape.


  • I’m not going to put every celebrity that has asked for Polanski’s release in the Whoopi Goldberg category. There are any number of reasons, legal, moral, and otherwise that a person could, in good faith, ask for Polanski to be released. I personally think he should be extradited and should have to face sentencing on both bail-jumping and the rape he’s already plead guilty to. But I can at least sympathize with some of the opposing thoughts. But when you try to justify his actions as “not rape” then you’ve gone over the line.

  • RW

    She didn’t have to say a word. She was 13; not able to legally give consent.

    Lotsa college guys would like a world where drugged up chicks who don’t say anything at all (rohibnal) are no longer able to push for prosecuting date rape. Same goes with 13 year olds.

  • It is rape and he admitted to it. A 13 year old cannot give consent, no matter what she says. Giving alcohol and drugs to her is also illegal. Polanski plead guilty to the crimes, served a little time for mental evaluation before sentencing and then fled. He supposedly fled because the judge was going to throw the book at him. That does not dismiss the crime of rape, he is a fugitive and needs to go finish his sentence.

    We have seen this before and many people have been thrown back into prison for crimes which happened 40 years ago. Kathleen Soliah aka Sarah Olsen was a member for a short while of the SLA, then was arrested, ran from the law and got away with it for decades. She became a good wife, mother and contributor to society. The law caught up with her and she was sentenced to 14 years, she served about 6 or 7 then was released on parole earlier this year.

    Same thing should happen to Polanski. He has to serve his sentence. I

  • To me, the fact that she said no repeatedly remains important even if it still would have been rape if she hadn’t.

    Way too many people are saying that she was a slut, or he didn’t know how old she was, or that Hollywood in the 1970s was just like that. Legally, yes, this is irrelevant, but it still impact’s people’s view of the situation.

    So I’m in favor of making the “she asked him not to over and over and he did it anyway” point as many times as is necessary.


  • Yeah – and bitchslap anyone who calls her a slut… also as many times as necessary.

  • RW

    We do not disagree.

    Thus the question needs to be asked: WTF is up with these people, most of them being the H’wood artistic community (I couldn’t care less what the French think), who are defending a child rapist? Seriously, what kind of person is Marty Scorsese? Weinstein? Goldberg? Winger? Everyone has their moments of exasperation, “how can those conservatives think THAT?” or “how can they not understand that perfectly logical point I just made”, but what in the name of heaven can make some Hollywood big-shot decide to publicly call Roman Polanski a victim?

  • but what in the name of heaven can make some Hollywood big-shot decide to publicly call Roman Polanski a victim?

    I am always fascinated at how two people can look at one thing and not see the same thing.

    But in this case I have no idea how anybody can make Polanski out to be some kind of victim. I have no idea what Whoopi was talking about when she said this was not rape / rape unless she thinks rape only occurs when a total stranger jumps out from behind a bush with a knife and forces himself on the victim.

    But in many ways what Polanski did was worse. It was warped. It was sick. It was drugs and alcohol and child rape. Damn.

    I do feel compassion for the victim who does not want all of this shit stirred up again and can understand why she does not want the publicity and the circus that is bound to follow.

    But when I think about the fact that she was 13 years old it makes me sick.

  • jadarm

    What kind of pictures was this 13 yr old “consenting” to in the first place?

    Its like these stupid parents that were always trying to sue Michael Jackson…hello? WTF were you thinking?

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