Chris Rock and Katha Pollitt Take Down Polanski—and His Famous Pals

| 10/2/2009 1:30:27 PM

Since film director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland last weekend, well-respected celebrities have come out in droves—et tu, Whoopi Goldberg?—to defend him or suggest that it's time to move on. So it’s an overwhelming relief to read Katha Pollitt’s searing piece for The Nation, in which she calls out Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Tilda Swinton, and the other “international culture stars” who have stepped forward to support a man who drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl. Pollitt writes:

The widespread support for Polanski shows the liberal cultural elite at its preening, fatuous worst. They may make great movies, write great books, and design beautiful things, they may have lots of noble humanitarian ideas and care, in the abstract, about all the right principles: equality under the law, for example. But in this case, they're just the white culture-class counterpart of hip-hop fans who stood by R. Kelly and Chris Brown and of sports fans who automatically support their favorite athletes when they're accused of beating their wives and raping hotel workers. No wonder Middle America hates them.

Chris Rock is one “culture star” who isn’t falling in line; he was on The Jay Leno Show Thursday night expressing his own disbelief over the controversy in appropriately simple terms: “Rape! It’s rape!”

He went on: “People are defending Roman Polanski because he made some good movies? Are you kidding me? He made good movies 30 years ago, Jay! Even Johnnie Cochran don’t have the nerve to go, 'Well, did you see O.J. play against New England?'”

Watch Chris Rock's entire one-minute Polanski rant at Jezebel.

Source: The NationJezebel 

10/10/2009 2:18:51 PM

Right On! Katha and Chris - its time the thinking public speak out. A crime is a crime. - Maybe - just remotely "maybe" - if Polanski had been making some great humanitarian contribution over the past many years, the punishment phase could be slightly modified - maybe!- but Polanski did what should be unthinkable - and he should endure the consequences (in this case, punishment) just like any "every day" person would.

10/8/2009 3:06:09 PM

No surprise about Woody, at any rate. We know where his d**k stands on such matters. What really gets me is the Pope's prayer yesterday regarding Polanski's "divine right to pull a Houdini just this one time." Hmmm, no surprise there either, I suppose. There has been some good reporting apropos irregularities in the prosecution's case, as well as possible evidence tampering (this is the LAPD, after all). But these (as far as I can tell unsubstantiated) charges of malfeasance on the part of the prosecution withstanding, the following are not grounds for reconsidering the charges against him: -He made some great movies -It happened a long time ago -The girl he raped has since forgiven him -He had nothing to do with the crappy sequel to "Chinatown" Here's Christopher Hitchen's (rather strange and angry, per usual) take on the matter: Here's mine: Send him to Folsom and make Scorsese document the festivities... from the inside (as penance for "The Aviator", if for no other reason).

10/4/2009 2:18:50 PM

The celebrity 'twits' that support Polanski might think different if it had been their child. He has gotten off long enough, now it is time to pay. Who knows how many more he has raped.

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