Perhaps if pedophile priests made movies instead, we wouldn’t be having all these problems. The director Roman Polanski is the favorite for Best Film and Best Director at the Oscars. He is also a fugitive from justice who was convicted in 1978 of raping a minor, but fled the country before sentencing. But instead of being a pariah, he is a celebrated artiste, whose trouble with the law is romanticized by his colleagues and film critics alike. Even his victim seems to want him to win the Oscars.
In a bylined editorial published Sunday in the Los Angeles Times, Samantha Geimer, the victim of a 25-year-old statutory rape case against Polanski, said that his actions toward her in 1977, while “creepy” and “scarey” at the time should not color whether he wins an Oscar this year or not.
“I don’t really have any hard feelings toward him, or any sympathy, either. He is a stranger to me,” wrote Geimer, who was 13 at the time of the incident but now is a happily married mother of three, living in Hawaii.
“I believe that Mr. Polanski and his film should be honored according to the quality of the work. What he does for a living and how good he is at it have nothing to do with me or what he did to me.”
Of course, the Polanski case is different from the clergy sex abuse cases. He didn’t abuse a position of trust as a minister of God, he didn’t have an institution abetting multiple rapes, and so on. Still, it’s interesting that were he Rev. Polanski, rather than Mr. Polanski, the media would hardly be giving him the sympathetic treatment he’s receiving. He’s still a convicted child molester and rapist and fugitive.