Yesterday, I wrote that Hollywood’s rush to defend a child rapist who happens to make good movies might finally give the Left the same view of Tinseltown mores as the Right has had for decades. Today, Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post connects those dots. Well, almost:
Could it be that the conservative culture warriors who portray Hollywood as a cesspool of moral bankruptcy have been right all along? Not really. But in the case of Roman Polanski, the puritan scolds definitely have a point.
Even the French government has backed off its defense of the fugitive director. Polanski, who has dual French-Polish citizenship, fled the United States in 1978 before he could be sentenced on a charge of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles. He spent the past three decades mostly in France, and officials in Paris reacted angrily when he was nabbed in Switzerland at the Zurich airport. In more recent statements, however, French leaders have taken a much more measured position, saying that justice should run its course.
But some of Hollywood’s most prominent luminaries contend that Polanski’s crime — which he acknowledged in a guilty plea — really wasn’t so awful. Or that maybe it was a big deal at the time, but now we should let bygones be bygones. Or that maybe it’s still a big deal, but whatever sins Polanski may have committed are outweighed by the brilliance of his art.
Robinson revisits his outrage, well-vented in his column last week, and simply can’t believe that Hollywood can take itself seriously as moral arbiters while defending a man who sodomized a child:
The Los Angeles Times quoted Weinstein as saying in an interview that he doesn’t believe public opinion is running against Polanski — or that Hollywood is out of step. “Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion,” Weinstein said, according to the newspaper. “We were the people who did the fundraising telethon for the victims of 9/11. We were there for the victims of Katrina and any world catastrophe.”
Hollywood was there, all right, whenever the tragedy was distant, the victims were anonymous and the “compassionate” concert or telethon had acceptable production values that made all the stars look their best. How heroically they rearranged their busy schedules!
Robinson may start off saying “not really” in regards to whether conservatives had Hollywood pegged right all along, but that passage sounds like he’s about ready to concede it. And people throughout this nation are not nearly as wedded to the Hollywood Left’s power as the liberal commentariat.