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.