Yesterday, Whoopi Goldberg decided America needs two definitions of rape. First there is the rape of women that is tolerated by the left because it is committed by someone creative. And then there is everything else. When asked about Roman Polanski’s arrest and potential extradition to the United States following his 31 years spent as a fugitive in Europe, Whoopi said on her program The View: “I know it wasn’t rape-rape,” and went on to say, “We’re a different kind of society. We see things differently. The world sees 13 year olds and 14 year olds in the rest of Europe… not everybody agrees with the way we see things…” and finally, “Would I want my 14-year-old having sex with somebody? Not necessarily, no.” Not necessarily? Where can we nominate Whoopi for mother of the year?
The details of Roman Polanski’s rape of 13 year old Samantha Gailey are available for public consumption and repeating them is hard to stomach. The basics are that young Samantha was fed champagne, and slipped Quaaludes and sedatives by a 44 year old man and then forced against her will into a repeated assortment of sexual acts. In 2003, Samantha said: “I said, ‘No, no. I don’t want to go in there. No, I don’t want to do this. No!’” So why is it so hard for liberals to feel genuine outrage, or at least feign the moral outrage that they are famous for faking in other instances? Why must they defend a child rapist just because he has the talent to sit in a chair and yell ‘cut’?
Woody Allen, John Landis, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme and other wealthy Hollywood elites have signed a petition asking for Polanski’s release. Woody Allen himself is no stranger to unethical relationships with children. His ex-wife Mia Farrow alleged that he engaged in inappropriate behavior with minors and Allen eventually married Soon-Yi Previn, whom he once cared for paternally. Woody Allen’s biological son Ronnan Farrow has said: “I cannot have a relationship with my father and be morally consistent…. I lived with all these adopted children, so they are my family. To say Soon-Yi was not my sister is an insult to all adopted children.”
Going even further Harvey Weinstein, a very close friend and supporter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, wrote an editorial for the British newspaper, the Independent, demanding that Polanski not be made a “scapegoat.” He calls the rape a “so-called crime” and says Polanski “served his time” despite the facts to the contrary. He did not serve his time for raping a drugged child, and he has certainly not served any time for cowardly fleeing the American justice system. In fact, most pictures of Roman Polanski these days are taken on the sunny, rich beaches of the French Riviera where he enjoys Hollywood and French adoration not befitting a pedophile.
Weinstein says: “This is the government of the United States not giving its word and recanting on a deal, and it is the government acting irresponsibly and criminally.” Weinstein is insinuating that the prosecutor’s offer to ask a judge for leniency was a final government decision, which is not the case. It was the judge’s final decision to sentence Roman Polanski and it is the judge’s authority which he fled. Regardless, if Weinstein believes it is criminal for any government to arrest and sentence fugitives convicted of sexual assault, parents should beware. Weinstein promised to call his high-powered friends in elected office, including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Today, Montel Williams was worried about getting in trouble for expressing his rightful outrage at Hollywood’s reaction, saying from L.A., “maybe this is the wrong town to be talking about this…” On his show on the liberal radio network ‘Air America’, Montel played a clip of actress Debra Winger at the awards ceremony Polanski was due to attend before he was nabbed by Swiss police, saying: “We came to honor Roman Polanski as a great artist, but under these sudden and arcane circumstances, we can only think of him today as a human being uncertain of the year ahead. His life has always informed his art, and it always will…the entire art world suffers.” Montel courageously responded: “The entire art world suffers? It’s called rape. This man drugged a 13 year old girl. Drugged her. Fed her alcohol. Then raped her. R-A-P-E-D. Raped her, okay? Let’s get this very clear.”
Excuses for Polanski range from the irrelevant like noting the victim “forgives him” to the absurd, like facing the “stigma” of not being able to “receive his recent Oscar.” This was the Oscar that pal and supporter Harrison Ford flew to France to personally hand to Polanski after he wasn’t there to accept his extended standing ovation in the Kodak Theater ceremonies. What a stigma!
Montel Williams went on to say in response to the discussion on The View: “Somebody’s going to be trying to pull together a Free Roman Polanski concert in the middle of Central Park. And you know what? As you do that and as you continue to trumpet whether or not a rape-rape is more severe than a statutory rape, or an incestual rape. As you women debate that, I hope that somebody with a smarter mind, whether it be male or female, steps up to the plate and says ‘can we remember all of the other victims out here right now, 12 and 13 year old children, who are being raped right now as I speak, who will say to themselves, don’t bother saying anything, because the people I look up to, those women I admire will turn their back on me.” Williams is spot on.
Hollywood has long been known to have a warped sense of values. Brutal Dictators with no love of the free arts like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have counted on the misguided support of actors such as Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Oliver Stone and Harry Belafonte. Ditto for Hollywood’s adoration of Fidel Castro. But, even more than Hollywood’s unsurprising response to the arrest of a convicted sexual offender is the deafening silence from women’s rights groups. The National Organization for Women and its President Kim Gandy have not stood up for the rights of the victim, nor stood up to the Hollywood elite’s defense of this criminal. Not one single sentence related to Polanski has been spoken, whether in defense of protecting victims of rape, or prosecuting their attackers.
America is a nation rooted in values and laws. As President Obama would say–and should say to his Hollywood supporters–these issues are not red or blue, but American. Hollywood does America a great disservice when they demand we trade our economy in for global warming bills from their G5 jet; when they demand we push millions of Americans onto an inferior health care plan; when they attack capitalism from their exclusive country clubs; when they demand that we hug dictators like Chavez or excuse rape because a debatably good movie or two was directed by the aggressor. The hypocrisy must end.
Update: Today, the President of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Terry O’Neill told the Washington Times: “He’s a criminal. He is a convicted criminal pedophile. How dare Roman Polanski think he could get away with this. I believe he has banked on men — powerful decision-makers — who are more intent on protecting rapists than children. This is the world Polanski is exploiting. It’s outrageous.” Albeit belated, this is the appropriate level of outrage from an organization supposedly dedicated to protecting women’s rights. However, it is not only powerful men who are rushing to Mr. Polanski’s defense. Regardless, Bravo.