Guess who's not going to make the Oscars
March 10, 2003 10:36 AM   Subscribe

The Pianist by Roman Polanski has been nominated for several Acadamy awards including best picture and best direction. The issue is that it's director Roman Polanski fled the US in 1977 when he was accused of sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl. (and after his wife Sharon Tate was killed by the Manson family). He fled because while he had worked out a deal with the prosecuter and the girls family, the judge in the case had set aside the plea bargain and Polanski faced up to a 50 year jail term. Now even the victim in the case Thinks Polanski should be allowed back into the states for the acadamy awards
posted by bitdamaged (50 comments total)
whoops posted the same link twice
posted by bitdamaged at 10:37 AM on March 10, 2003

let's see ... he drugged and raped a minor, skipped town ... and? as commendable as his achievements are in other spheres, he shouldn't entertain any expectation that the relevant laws somehow no longer apply to him, just because he's been waiting things out, because he could afford to do so.
posted by donkeyschlong at 10:42 AM on March 10, 2003

"And, honestly," said Geimer, "the publicity surrounding it was so traumatic that what he did to me seemed to pale in comparison."

posted by orange swan at 10:44 AM on March 10, 2003

Very good film
Very, very talented artist
Very scary little guy who's lived a terribly sad life (the Holocaust decimated his family and he barely escaped it, the Manson slaughter -- his unborn baby ripped out of the mother's womb, for Chrissakes, that's too much pain to bear even in a 1,000 lives put together) but he has consistently shown an appalling taste for underage girls (he lived with then-14-year-old Nastassja Kinski).

Very tough call -- the judge was obviously unfair. But can you overrule him because of the Oscar ceremony?

I'm not sure Polanski's so eager to travel to the US on a general basis. I hope he gets his long-deserved Oscar, and they'll FedEx it to Paris.

Polanski'll be back in LA when he's 90 and wheelchair bound -- he'll accept the honorary Oscar, Chaplin-like
posted by matteo at 10:46 AM on March 10, 2003

Money, get away
Get a good job with more pay and you're O.K.
Money it's a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I'll buy me a football team

Money get back
I'm all right Jack keep your hands off my stack
Money it's a hit
Don't give me that do goody good bullshit
I'm in the hi-fidelity first class travelling set
And I think I'll need a Lear jet

Money it's a crime
Share it fairly, but don't take a slice of my pie
Money so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a rise it's no surprise that they're
giving none away.

Pink Floyd
posted by Beholder at 10:50 AM on March 10, 2003

Rich criminal who had no respect for the law (both in violating it and then skipping out on the consequences of his vile acts) can't come back to the US for his shiney trophy? Right.
posted by faith at 10:54 AM on March 10, 2003

The point this woman seems to make, oddly, is that yeah, he raped her, but she's over it.

There's really no valid argument in support of allowing Polanski back into the country and I hope he faces prosecution if he comes back, if only for making The Ninth Gate.
posted by xmutex at 11:03 AM on March 10, 2003

He should be barred from all film awards forever after Ninth Gate, xmutex. Good book, egregiously bad film.
posted by luriete at 11:11 AM on March 10, 2003

It's not just the awards ceremony he should be missing out on (which, really, who gives a rat's ass about whether they attend or not), it's the profits from U.S. moviegoers that shouldn't make their way back to him. The fact that even a penny of my movie ticket price would go to line the pockets of a man who raped a 13 year old girl is unconscionable, and that keeps me from ever seeing his films, regardless of how good they are. It's stunning to me, that a man who has fled prosecution for a crime is still allowed to profit from the country that's hunting him. Ridiculous.
posted by jonson at 11:19 AM on March 10, 2003

posted by mcwetboy at 11:36 AM on March 10, 2003

What if Roman Polanski was, say, a fry cook at Denny's rather than a renowned director? One wonders if there would be as many apologists for his behavior.

If we make an exception to our laws based solely on his filmmaking, then we should at least be consistent and let existing rapists out of jail if they paint a pretty picture or make up a nice song.
posted by BigPicnic at 11:48 AM on March 10, 2003

BigPicnic - excellent point! Let's say he made "award winning Moons Over My Hammy" breakfast specials. Who would deny him his freedom then?
posted by jonson at 12:15 PM on March 10, 2003

(mmm ... bacon.)
posted by donkeyschlong at 12:33 PM on March 10, 2003

An LA Times story goes into more detail about Geimer's {the victim's} forthright defense of Polanski, and the specifics of the overheard boast by the judge that he was going to give Polanski "50 years" -- despite the agreement to sentence him to time served, i.e. the 42 days for which he had been held for psychological evaluation before being permitted bond -- which caused Polanski to flee the country.

I can't speculate on whether the current California law {§ 261.5} was in place in 1977, but the crime of "unlawful sex with a minor" (where the perpetrator is over 21 and the victim under 16) bears a sentence of imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years,
{some weird bug is cutting off my post here}
posted by dhartung at 1:03 PM on March 10, 2003

as well as substantial fines, depending on whether it is judged a misdemeanor or a felony -- presumably limiting the judge's options regardless of his bluster (but perhaps he was planning to exercise some bench-trial judicial option to impose a felony kidnapping sentence). Given the comparative consensuality of the act, it would seem that the lower end of the scale would be appropriate, but clearly the correct sentence lies somewhere between 50 days and 50 years. Polanski has had the misfortune of a rise in intolerance of sexual crime, which hasn't made his infrequent attempts to arrange a plea bargain with successive LA district attorneys any easier.
{continued again}
posted by dhartung at 1:06 PM on March 10, 2003

The truth is a lot of things serve to mitigate this: the consensuality, the forgiveness of the victim, the fact that it's something he could get away with in Europe with few eyelashes batted. The lengthy time on the lam cuts against any straightforward time-served deal, as well as the aforementioned chill in climate regarding such things. Then you have the LA political climate where the DA is widely viewed as having bungled certain other celebrity cases. It doesn't bode well for him being able to solve this with a judicial appearance and a fine, and at this late date, who would want to serve even a month or a season in jail (assuming he could wrangle such a sentence)?
{oh hell -- save me jebus mathowie!}
posted by dhartung at 1:17 PM on March 10, 2003

OK, so we can all agree that child rape is bad, and this wasn't even the consensual-but-still-statutory kind. Furthermore, Polanski's continued taste in just-pubescent women (Kinski, as was noted) since the incident shows that he's a recidivist, as far as that goes (of course, ages of consent are a legal structure, rather than a moral absolute, but 13 is young no matter how you slice it),
although there's not evidence that he's ever had nonconsensual sex with anyone else (and one would think that if evidence such evidence existed, it would have surfaced by now).

So: Polanski raped a girl, which is all kinds of heinous.* The real question provoked this story is how heinous is it, and to what extent do you consider externalities in making that judgment. One externality might be that Polanski is an Oscar-nominated director, but, as people have said, that shouldn't constitute a free pass. Another externality is that the victim has been saying for years (including a half-dozen television appearances in the past month) that she has come to terms with it and is living her life, and that she bears Polanski no ill will. Does that mitigate the charge? Does it make it different from the priest rapes? From sexual abuse of pre-pubescents? Do we need to fault the parent for leaving her teenage daughter alone with Polanski at Jack Nicholson's house for a photo session? (Certainly, no one is at fault for the rape but Polanski, but was the parent an enabler here, knowing of Polanski's predilections and possibly thinking that something consensual might come out of it?)

The point is that there are a lot of questions raised here, and while jonson's steel-trap moral clarity is impressive, I would wager that the body of meaningful art in the world would be greatly diminished if we removed from it everything made by anyone who committed one or more single, serious moral transgressions against another person. I think Polanski is sincerely regretful about what happened, and his victim has forgiven him. In what ways does it behoove us to hold a grudge, or not to hold one? Does the commitment of such a serious moral offense disqualify its committer from ever contributing value to society? If so, then why not make it a capital crime?

Just questions. Also, interestingly, this is not the first time when someone who fled the country after being convicted of sex crimes has been nominated for Best Director. It also happened in 1981 ... when Polanski's Tess was nominated for Best Picture, barely five years after he fled the country. Interesting that the outrage then is not equal to the outrage now, particularly considering the victim was likely to have been less well-adjusted then.

* He also skipped town rather than face charges, although he did serve some time following the incident, including psych evaluations, and would have plead guilty to the crime had word not gotten out that the judge was not going to honor the "time served" plea. So while the upright thing to do would have been to face the music and appeal to have the plea honored rather than run, I don't count Polanski's flight as a moral failing.
posted by blueshammer at 1:17 PM on March 10, 2003

Polanski may have played his cards here: the industry buzz certainly seems to suggest an interest, and he's made no public statement. When the issue's come up before, he's always seemed diffident, but it never seems to go away. He could solve that with a few choice words, but he hasn't, so we have to assume he does harbor some small interest in possibly returning, whether for the honor or for work. As the LAT article makes clear, we've long since forgiven (and forgotten) other stars for similar failings -- Chaplin, for example, and currently, R Kelly: who seems to be getting a widespread pass (in public, if not in legal chambers) for his own love of underage girls to screw and piss on.
{not yet}
posted by dhartung at 1:37 PM on March 10, 2003

{yes, this is it}
Chinatown is far and away the best movie about Los Angeles, a classic made by a genius, and Knife in the Water, which makes its plotmate Dead Calm look like dinner theater, still gives me chills years after. Even his lesser films, like the wife-in-peril thriller Frantic, remain interesting if only as resonances of a haunted man's life. I'm inclined to agree he hasn't precisely served his debt to society, but the LA DAs are being witless automatons for not granting him a reasonable option to do so.
posted by dhartung at 1:38 PM on March 10, 2003

oh, dhartung; you promise, again and again you promise. Blueshammer - you're probably right about the body of meaningful art in the world, but that's a wide speculation, whereas this is a narrow focus; I just can't bring myself to fund this bastard's livelihood. When it comes right down to it, he rape (not statuatory, but physical, against her wishes raped) a 13 year old. Fuck him. His films should be put in a vault and shown after he was no longer around to profit from them. Similarly, I won't go see Portland Trailblazers games, because they employ Ruben Patterson, who raped his teenage nanny when he was on the Sonics. I can't personally hand out punishment for these people, nor would I want to. I just can't contribute to their livelihood. It's like voting with one's wallet.
posted by jonson at 1:56 PM on March 10, 2003

I'm with jonson: Fuck him. I don't care what his artistic accomplishments are, or what obstacles he overcame, he's a creepy little child rapist. Polanski should be horse-whipped.
posted by Scoo at 2:13 PM on March 10, 2003

Pardon me, because I haven't read all the links, but where is there information that supports the claim: Given the comparative consensuality of the act?
I saw her interview on NBC Dateline. She said she spurned his sexual advances and he gave her a part of a Qualude to help her with her asthma. Then she woke up after he raped her.
Besides, she's 13 years old. She's way too young to offer consent to anything.
I agree that Polanski is incredibly talented. If you believe Shakepeare is Edward de Vere (I do), then you believe that the man who wrote "Hamlet" and "King Lear" and wonderful sonnets was a pedophile. Others have mentioned Charlie Chaplin.
It was because of checks and balances that the judge was able to toss out the plea bargain and sentence Polanski to a harsher deal. Thankfully our society has moved beyond giving the rich, the talented, the famous and those born to prominent families a break when they commit crimes.
posted by stevefromsparks at 2:19 PM on March 10, 2003

(but perhaps he was planning to exercise some bench-trial judicial option to impose a felony kidnapping sentence).

This link points to CA legal code. A state judge could not sentence or even hear a federal charge and since Polanski wasn't convicted of kidnapping, he couldn't be sentenced as a kidnapper, I think it was judicial blustering if anything.

I think people need to seperate things here. Regardless of the victim's wishes, the 'people' - state or federal government can always bring forth charges. Regardless of the victim's forgiveness, Polanski's transgression against society (the people) has not been, nor in my opinion should be, forgiven. For me, the bottom line is that he drugged and raped a 13 year old girl and has never been held responsible for his actions. I appreciate that the victim has forgiven him and has gotten past the rape, but he has never done anything to pay his debt to her or larger society.
posted by CoolHandPuke at 2:44 PM on March 10, 2003

Background for the uninitiated.

Personally, I'm on the fence here. Discounting my great admiration for Polanski the filmmaker, part of me would like to see Polanski the man sentenced (reminding the sentencers that Polanski pleaded guilty, that he did undergo intense psychiatric examination and that he wasn't entirely in his right mind). However, if the issue is between the two parties and Geimer offers a full pardon, the question is whether the matter remains there.

One thing I can't agree with is johnson's moral high road, for impracticable and unenforceable reasons. If we were to prevent profits from falling into the hands of the guilty, then at least half of the great successes in the world would be behind bars. :)
posted by ed at 3:00 PM on March 10, 2003

there's an important part of dhartung's post, that people are avoiding, where he comments on the rising intolerance of this kind of crime (he also says it's acceptable in europe - these days he would be lynched in the uk, but i assume he meant it would have been acceptable).

when was this rape? what were typical sentences then?

on the other hand, if you skip trial at the time, i'm not sure you can start claiming "but things were more lenient then". after all, you opted out of justice then.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:06 PM on March 10, 2003

appreciate that the victim has forgiven him and has gotten past the rape

In an interview with the victim & lawyer; to keep her name out of the public eye, an agreement was reached: time served.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:10 PM on March 10, 2003

One thing I can't agree with is jonson's moral high road

Sure, we as a society might not be able to keep profits out of the hands of rapists, but we as individuals certainly can. That's all I'm saying. I'm not advocating new laws, as much as a wish Polanski's films couldn't be shown unless his share of the financial rewards from them went to charity, the primary thing I'm saying here is, I won't pay, and you shouldn't either. And let's be clear on what we mean by "guilty". This isn't a man who cheated on his wife, or abused his subordinates, or even defrauded investors of millions of dollars. He raped a 13 year girl. If "at least half the great success in the world" were guilty of such a crime, the world would be a much more terrible place than it already is.
posted by jonson at 3:22 PM on March 10, 2003

Adding; at what point does the judicial system have the right to want further justice than the victim?
See, if this would have not been a major headline with the world also focussing on her, he may have received a larger punishment from the victim.

But who is to cast the last stone? The victim or the judicial system. May be too a bigger ethical picture than it seems. Defendant is lied to by judge, but the victim wants her life back to normality so then looks for an easier punishment.

This is my, if, on the subject. If rape victim(s) from what I've heard my whole life, are treated worse than the perpetrator during trial. Because they are the one's bring the charges that they are put on trial. Then at what point ethnically does the Judaical system have in making sure that this person does not do it again?

See he didn't harm me and chances are never will so why should I care.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:35 PM on March 10, 2003

Adding; at what point does the judicial system have the right to want further justice than the victim?

I think that society has a larger interest in punishment beyond simply victim's justice. There are times when the sentence is appropriately weaker than what victims want; there are times when the sentence is appropriately stronger.
posted by claxton6 at 3:58 PM on March 10, 2003

The plea agreement is on paper, either as part of a court transcript or something the prosecutor and Polanski signed. Under the system of checks and balances in the United States, a judge (a member of the judicial branch) is not bound by the agreement reached by the prosecutor (a member of the executive branch).
Since Polanski's plea, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled judges clearly have to warn a defendant they may not follow a plea agreement at the time they accept the plea or they have to give the defendant a chance to go to trial on the original charges if they are not warned and they do not follow the plea agreement. It's not clear to me what rules California was following at the time.
I doubt the judge lied to Polanski. The judge doesn't say at the time of the plea that he'll follow the plea bargain. The judge doesn't say what he/she thinks until the actual time of sentencing. There's usually investigations and recommendations for sentences by the prosecution, by some arm of the court and by the defendant.
posted by stevefromsparks at 4:08 PM on March 10, 2003

On preview, I'm not saying the judge lied, she is & her lawyer too. [Interview on Larry King] Again, to keep her out of the public eye, which did happen, time served. (I've always heard someone else, mentioned above, who was the victim)

It seems more than a bit odd to me that a judge can suddenly dismiss the deal and say, "Gotcha! You pled guilty!" Perhaps theres some things, or a lot of things, we don't know about this agreement.

Why he ran, from her lawyer, who said he would have too. Why the victim has no qualms now either. I'm not with the victim, just stating facts, that my ethics has to look upon to decide.
Plus how many times have we heard, took: guilty-plead-bargin, but didn't do it; yet if convicted: death penalty. Then we find out years later, he/she was innocent. This pointed out as a side note yet they are made, plea bargains.
Yes, then, many whys & ifs, now buts.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:16 PM on March 10, 2003

Let him back in the Country as soon as he insists on Charlie Manson getting another chance. Directors are a dime a dozen, but if the little guy had been a running back in the NFL, well yes I could see this being glossed and buffed.
posted by Mack Twain at 4:50 PM on March 10, 2003

I'm surprised no one has mentioned that this creep has never had a problem attracting a list actors to appear in his films, even though he's a child rapist. If you were an actor, would you work with him? I sure as hell wouldn't, but I might try to work with police and lure him into a trap (insert cheesy Magnum PI music here).
posted by Beholder at 5:26 PM on March 10, 2003

He's a talented director. Sadly, his morals are questionable.
posted by stevefromsparks at 5:39 PM on March 10, 2003

Its bad enough that Hollywood nominated the guy, and worse that he could win the oscar...but to actually permit the guy into the country to accept his award? Maybe they can just set up a satellite feed, so that he can deliver his speech live from Paris! Geez!

He should have been ruled "ineligible" for oscar consideration to begin with, much like Pete Rose and the baseball hall of fame.
posted by Durwood at 7:09 PM on March 10, 2003

First, stevefromsparks, I haven't seen the Dateline interview so I can't comment on that. I was basing my comments on what I knew of the case. My phrasing comparative consensuality was just that: it certainly isn't a factor in the question of guilt, as she was legally too young to consent, but it certainly can be a factor in the sentencing. As I said, 42 days is probably too little, but I hope we all can agree that 50 years is overkill. Part of the question is the sentences typically received for this type of crime, when a celebrity is not involved, and I can't speak to that with knowledge either -- but I suspect that many more of them are closer to the lower figure. Ultimately, though, it comes down to a question of proof; as I had always understood it (correctly) the plea bargain reduced his charges to unlawful sexual intercourse -- often called statutory rape -- which is assumed to have been short of the provable circumstances of rape and is considered a separate crime under California law. A plea bargain is generally offered because the prosecutors know that they would have difficulty getting a jury to agree to the higher crime at the legal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, and so we can presume it was understood to exist.

But. I hadn't looked up the older stories -- that link failed for me, so I looked at the cache -- and I see that the grand jury handed down quite a long list of charges. More than one of them would fall under § 269, aggravated sexual assault of a child, requiring sentence of 15 years to life. This is probably the source of the judge's threatened 50 year sentence. It would, however, seem exceedingly rare for such a sentence to be handed down (and I don't know exactly whether it would be possible without a jury trial: constitutionally it would seem Polanski would have the option if the judge were to reject the plea bargain). It would also be unusual for the sentence to be reduced all the way to 42 days -- generally when one plea bargains to a lesser charge, one understands that one is lucky, and accepts a heavy sentence under the lesser charge.

Another factor to consider here is the Megan's Law era: today Polanski would have to register with the local police in many states. The flip side here is that this speaks to just how many sexual offenders are actually walking around out there having served brief sentences.

I guess having seen the grand jury recommendation I'm less surprised that the DA is being obstinate. They know today they have a much better chance of a jury conviction. I'll also modify my position, from believing he should count himself lucky to accept an additional 90 or 180 in the LA County jail, Robert Downey Jr. style, to he'd be very lucky to stay out of San Quentin (and have half of San Quentin stay out of him, pace previous MeFi prison rape threads) and thus I don't suppose he ever will come back to the US.

CoolHandPuke, although there is a federal kidnapping law, that does not preclude state prosecution unless there are also federal charges. Kidnapping is a crime in every state.
posted by dhartung at 7:19 PM on March 10, 2003

Leave it to Hollywood to snub a genius forced in front of the HUAC against his will for fifty years and forgive a rapist almost immediately.
posted by ttrendel at 11:20 PM on March 10, 2003

dhartung: Wow, I really had a brain fart there, I thought 'felony' said 'federal', my bad.
posted by CoolHandPuke at 4:44 AM on March 11, 2003

I'm surprised no one has mentioned that this creep has never had a problem attracting a list actors to appear in his films, even though he's a child rapist

Why it happened.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:00 AM on March 11, 2003

to snub a genius forced in front of the HUAC against his will

Against his will? The weasely fuck willingly named names and ruined lives in the process. Go check out Navasky's Naming Names from the library and get the real skinny on the fink known as Elia.
posted by ed at 6:30 AM on March 11, 2003

To all those expressing disbelief that anyone would want to work with Polanski due to his raping a 13 year old girl.
Much as this act digusts me personally, I can't believe that it is in any way the *worst* thing that anybody in Hollywood ever got up to. There is a certain morality that seems to accompany hyper-egos and hyper-salaries (not to mention hyper-insecurity).
posted by asok at 7:41 AM on March 11, 2003

It's not clear to me what rules California was following at the time.
posted by thomcatspike at 7:43 AM on March 11, 2003

Much as this act digusts me personally, I can't believe that it is in any way the *worst* thing that anybody in Hollywood ever got up to.

I'm curious what ranks lower on your scale of personal depravity than drugging and raping children, asok.
posted by Dreama at 8:55 AM on March 11, 2003

It might be of note that the Smoking Gun has released the minutes of the Grand Jury of this case.
posted by mkelley at 12:22 PM on March 11, 2003

mkelley, thanks for the link. I never thought that the charges against Polanski were concocted, in the way that I think the specific charges filed against Michael Jackson were concocted (a belief based on the GQ article that reveals the plaintiff's father as being utterly conniving). But seeing the grand jury transcript really brings out all kinds of new details.

For instance, for someone alleged to have had a year-long affair with a 14-year-old prior to the rape, and who later married a 19-year-old 33 years his junior, Polanski doesn't seem to really be romancing Samantha at all, which is interesting. In fact, the clumsy nature of it all is what makes it so repellent -- as if the rape were heavily premeditated (as in, he had his mind made up about doing it long before it happened and really made no effort to move it into the consensual arena).

Having said that -- and also repeating my assertion from an earlier post that the fault lies 100% with Polanski -- the history of the girl that she reveals over the course of questioning adds a whole other sad dimension. At 13, she had taken her first quaalude two years prior (and knew enough about them to recognize the stencilling "Rorer 714" on the pill as being a kind of 'lude); she consumed the champagne and the quaalude of her own volition (limited as that of course is considering she was a minor in an uncomfortable circumstance); she had been drunk previously; she had had sex at least two times previously; and she really had pretty limited compunctions about going out braless and taking off her top in public for this middle-aged guy who was taking pictures of her (although she had the presence of mind to think that these wouldn't be topless shots -- merely shots that would achieve that "strapless" effect -- but that strikes me as a mature thing for a 13-year-old to think of). Again, I'm not saying she's at all at fault for what happened, nor am I in any way saying that being forcibly sodomized is something that a somewhat licentious teen should "expect to happen" at some point, nor am I trying to frame an anti-sex-'n'-drugs screed. It's just that it's sad, to be 13 and dealing with all these adult things you shouldn't have to be dealing with, much less finding yourself naked in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi, inebriated and with Roman Polanski asking if you're on the pill. This was not a safe place for her to be, and yet you suspect she had been in a lot of unsafe situations, and so you wonder if you had a time machine and could go back and stop her from dealing with trauma like this, how far back do you go? The day Polanski picked her up? The day before she met Polanski? Or would you have to go back further?

The moment in the grand jury transcript that really bracingly casts her youth in relief is when she said Polanski "started performing cuddliness" instead of "... cunnilingus." What a heartbreaking thing to hear a 13-year-old say.
posted by blueshammer at 1:54 PM on March 11, 2003

She's 13 years old. She doesn't have the sense if she should be in those situations. Polanski should. That's why he was correctly prosecuted.
posted by stevefromsparks at 4:56 PM on March 11, 2003

Leave it to Hollywood to snub a genius forced in front of the HUAC against his will for fifty years and forgive a rapist almost immediately.

Forced? Is that a joke? The guy's a rat-fink, as ed said.

She doesn't have the sense if she should be in those situations.

Actually, to my understanding, it was her mother her put her in that situation. She was with Polanski (at Nicholson's house) to be photographed topless for Vogue Homme. Her mother authorized it. At least, that's the way it's told in this biography.
posted by dobbs at 7:05 PM on March 11, 2003

blueshammer - you're trying very hard not to make it sound like this, but you're in effect saying she was damaged goods, therefore the seriousness of the crime is lessened. It doesn't matter what she did before she met Polanski, rape is rape.
posted by Summer at 3:22 AM on March 12, 2003

Dreama, that is a good question, and not something I really want to dwell on. I am sure you are familiar with the reputation of Hollywood as vice-central USA.
It is interesting to imagine a world where people would not do business with an organisation/person based on that person's morality. It reminds me of Homer telling Lisa 'the money doesn't care'.*
In this particular case, the addition of the words 'repeatedly' and 'including mutilation' would effect the placement of this offence on my 'scale of personal depravity', for example.
* Not that I get all of my moral guidance from The Simpsons, honest.
posted by asok at 8:18 AM on March 12, 2003

Roman Polanksi indeed won for Best Director. He wasn't there to accept it. All the other nominees seemed genuinely pleased, and a few audience members stood and applauded.

It seems the voters were able to separate Polanski's directing skills from his criminal life.
posted by dogwalker at 9:31 PM on March 23, 2003

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