Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?

Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?

Last night, HBO premiered the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, about the director's statutory rape case involving his alleged affair with a 13-year-old girl, and his subsequent fleeing of the country. Because of the channel's embedded copyright protection, I wasn't able to burn it off TV and post a clip here (which I'm really T.O.'d about), but I still wanted to discuss it here, since it touches on so many issues I'm interested in, like age of consent (I think it's a gray area) and celebrity culture (I think they often get away with murder, a la OJ). The documentary was totally enlightening, since it was so comprehensive, interviewing the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the arresting officers, the victim, and countless friends and acquaintances of Polanski. It painted a really accurate picture of exactly what was going on at the time (Polanski's sad past, his inappropriate behavior, the Dina Lohan-ness of the victim's mother, and a corrupt judge's shady agenda for fame). After the jump, Jessica and I break down the film.

I'm on the right; Jessica is on the left.

Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
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Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
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Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
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Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
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Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
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Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
Illustration for article titled Which Is Worse: Roman Polanski Banging A 13-Year-Old Or Hollywood Blindly Embracing Him Despite It All?
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Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired [HBO]

Related: HBO's Polanski Doc Has An Error [LA Observed]

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DISCUSSION

I read the massive Vanity Fair article on this a few years back, and that girl was raped. She said no, she didn't want to do it, and he had sex with her anyway.

All this "it was the 70s, she knew what drugs were, etc." is just bullshit. Kids were, if it's even possible to believe, even LESS legally protected back then than they are now. No one even TALKED about child abuse of any kind back then — except for sensational cases like this.

Your parents beat you? That's their busines. Someone had sex with you? What did you do to make them want to do that?

The periodical index (y'know before google news) didn't list "child abuse" as a subject category until the late 70s (maybe even later — it's been a few years since I was a librarian and could just dash over to the magazines and check my facts on that one).

The judge may have been crazy and overzealous, but Polanski got away with rape because he's famous. But if he hadn't be famous? He probably would have been slapped on the wrist anyway. So who's worse in this scenario? Polanski, then everyone else who has failed throughout the years to take these cases seriously enough.