How low will Hollywood go in defending Roman Polanski? Former Oscar hostess Whoopi Goldberg tries to parse the meaning of rape between rape and something called “rape-rape” — which, if you read the testimony of Polanski’s victim, Polanski literally did by raping her and then sodomizing her. Goldberg tries to argue that Polanski pled guilty to statutory rape, not actual rape, which is true, and that he served a sentence — which is absolutely false:
Tommy Christopher can hardly believe this argument:
What I find much more disturbing is that, in that clip and another one that’s posted at Jezebel, the ladies of The View engage in some terrifying “debate” about what happened to then-13-year-old Samantha Geimer. Whoopi floats the notion that rape “wasn’t the allegation,” and that the victim “was aware,” and Melissa Gilbert thinks it makes a difference that “Mom was in the building.”
What the EFF? I hate to even point out the sickeningly obvious here. First of all, “rape-rape” was the allegation. Samantha Geimer testified that she told Polanski “No!” While Polanski denies this, he loses a couple of credibility points by drugging and sodomizing a 13 year old girl. I’d say she gets the benefit of the doubt here.
Notwithstanding that, though, is that the standard of consent now, “She was aware?” Keep an eye on your drinks, ladies, because in Whoopi’s world, the right dose of rohypnol will leave you just conscious enough to have deserved it.
Although Polanski got a deal in which the counts of actual rape and sodomy got dropped, the victim’s testimony makes clear that Polanski did both, and it wasn’t consensual at all. He drugged his victim to make her more compliant, and then forced himself on her twice despite her protestations. Whoopi wants to focus on the age of the victim and the reduced charge for the plea agreement to make it into a Lolita situation, perhaps where the girl and her mother stalked Polanski, rather than a violent rape and sodomy.
I’m curious how other Hollywood feminists see this. Debra Winger defended Polanski yesterday and demanded that the US drop the charges, after many years of feminist complaints from Winger about the Hollywood system. She doesn’t appear to apply her standards and values to a male director who victimized a child trying to break into the business, but Winger will gas on for hours about how older women get mistreated by Hollywood. This seems to be a big credibility test for Hollywood, one which they are flunking — badly.
Not everyone has flunked it, however. Washington Post’s reliable liberal voice Eugene Robinson contradicts Anne Applebaum (who absurdly claimed not to know that her husband was pushing for Polanski’s release and the withdrawal of the arrest warrant) and wonders what the hell is wrong with Polanski’s defenders:
Polanski has dual French-Polish citizenship, and officials in Paris and Warsaw are outraged. Which makes me outraged. What’s their beef? That Polanski is 76? That he makes great movies? That he only fled to escape what might well have been an unjust sentence? Sorry, mes amis, but none of this matters. If you decide to become a fugitive, you accept the risk that someday you might get caught.
Much has been made of the fact that Polanski’s victim, now 45, has said she no longer feels any anger toward him and does not want to see him jailed. But it’s irrelevant what the victim thinks and feels as a grown woman. What’s important is what she thought and felt at age 13, when the crime was committed. Those who argue that there’s something unjust about Polanski’s arrest are essentially accepting his argument that it’s possible for a 13-year-old girl, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, to “consent” to sex with a man in his 40s. Or maybe his defenders are saying that drugging and raping a child is simply not such a big deal.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a huge deal. Even in France, it should be a big deal. This isn’t about a genius who is being hounded for flouting society’s hidebound conventions. It’s about a rich and powerful man who used his fame and position to assault — in every sense, to violate — an innocent child.
And it’s about a man who ran away rather than face the consequences of his actions. Before any sentence could be imposed, he absconded like a weasel to live a princely life in France.
Only a moron or a moral midget would read the transcripts and the actual facts of the case and conclude that Polanski deserves to avoid accountability for this crime. Unfortunately, Hollywood is filled with both.
Update: Jazz Shaw notes that both Goldberg and Winger are active in a certain kind of charity work:
I did some quick checking at “Look to the Stars” which promotes charitable work by celebrities, and Debra Winger is listed as one of their most prominent advocates for women’s issues charities. And what is the fourth most prominently championed organization there? The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. And who else is listed as a key supporter on the same page? Why, it’s none other than Whoopi Goldberg, whose profile includes the following:
The comedienne has channeled her celebrity into bringing attention to countless causes including AIDS, children’s issues, healthcare and substance abuse.
So, Ms. Winger and Ms. Goldberg are both prominent activists in the protection of females and children. Unless, of course, the female child in question crosses paths with the great Roman Polanski, in which case, well… you know… we understand they’re all kind of whores at that age, right?
Apparently that’s the message coming from Hollywood feminists and defenders of children like Goldberg and Winger.
Update: As for the argument that the judge was going to unfairly renege on Polanski’s plea bargain, Michael Stickings has the most sensible answer for that:
If the case was politically motivated or mishandled … let the evidence be presented in a court of law, not in the faux court of the pro-celebrity press.