The case should end a nearly 50-year era in which the mandarins of our cultures almost unanimously ignored, laughed off, or even outright celebrated sexual exploitation of very young women.
Perhaps the most historic, in the sense of era-defining, moment in the history of the Academy Awards was that standing ovation Roman Polanski got when he was given Best Director honors in 2003. There they are, leading Hollywood liberals, leaping to their feet to cheer for a man who, at age 43, gave a 13-year-old girl Quaaludes for the purpose of having sex with her and sodomizing her. Polanski suffered in no significant way for his crime, and today it seems obvious he should at the very least be denied the highest honor his profession can bestow.
In 2018, Polanski (along with Bill Cosby) was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which suddenly discovered 40 years after his crime that he was no longer in accord with “ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.” They meant “moral standards,” but acknowledging the existence of morality is still too much to ask of the Academy. Before Harvey Weinstein, the only person ever expelled from the Academy was Carmine Caridi, an actor who appeared in The Godfather. His crime was sharing a DVD screener with a friend, who put it on the Internet.