I always find myself amazed at how quickly we are willing to forgive and forget the criminal or ethical indiscretions of celebrities.
For those who do not know the back story, please allow me a chance to explain a bit.
Roman Polanski was born in France, but raised in Poland prior to the start of WWII. During the war, he lived in the Krakow Ghetto, and his mother died at Auschwitz. He would eventually wind up in America as a movie director (I know, I've made a big jump here). He married an actress named Sharon Tate, who became pregnant with his child. While she was 8 months pregnant, she was murdered by the Manson Family (Charles, not Marilyn). All of this is a lot for one life to bear. I do not deny it.
But things would get a little sticky. You see, Mr. Polanski had a 13 year old girl come to his house. She was left unattended (Which makes you wonder what parent leaves their tween daughter with an older man, but anyways.....) for a photo shoot at Jack Nicholson's home (Nicholson has no other connection to this event). According to his victim, he gave her Champagne and Quaaludes. She protested the sexual acts, and Mr. Polanski then , allegedly, forcibly, performed Oral,Vaginal, and Anal Sex on her. A 13 year old child!
Mr. Polanski was arrested. And was initially charged with rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor. But for some reason, he was allowed to plead to Unlawful sex with a minor. He was supposed to spend 90 days at Chico State Prison for a psychiatric evaluation.
Now how this was ever allowed is infuriating to me. 90 Days in jail for drugging and raping a child? What The Fuck???
Now the judge apparently decided that he could be famous, or something. And it appeared that the judge was going to back out of allowing the plea deal to go through. Maybe he had a lapse of reason, or maybe he thought he could drag it out. Who the hell knows. Afraid of having to do real jail time for committing a heinous crime, Mr. Polanski fled to France.
And he's lived there, in a luxurious chalet, for 30 years. His supporters have claimed that he's had a hard enough life, and that he's been forced to live in exile. He even won an academy award. Harrison Ford picked it up and delivered it to him.
Why do some people feel that this was ok? The same thing with Woody Allen? He married his adopted step daughter and had a kid with her. What The Fuck??
If either of these guys was just Randy or Walter from down the block, they'd immediately be referred to as Creepy Randy, or Weirdo Walt. You wouldn't send your kids to their house to play with their kids. In fact, look at Phillip Garrido (The guy who kidnapped and fathered children with Jaycee Dugard). Is he that much further away from Polanski? Yes, Polanski didn't keep his victim locked away in his creepy campout for 18 years. But they're both pedophiles who believe they are geniuses. Their biggest difference is that Polanski has money, and powerful friends, and Garrido really is the creepy guy. But if Polanski was broke, and didn't know Harvey Weinstein, and Jack Nicholson, he'd be the same creepy guy.
Recently, Polanski had lawyers file a motion for dismissal, citing judicial misconduct. The presiding judge said he'd hear the case (Since the first judge has died), however Mr. Polanski would need to return to the U.S. for the case. He even said it was possible that Mr. Polanski would not be jailed while awaiting disposition. He still refused to come back to the U.S. His motion was dismissed.
Last week, he was picked up by Swiss authorities, and is being held. And all his familiar supporters have come out, and asked for him to get bail, and asked that he not be returned to The States. How would we all fair in these situations?
Would Harvey Weinstein, or Harrison Ford come speak out for me if I was in this situation? Or better yet, would a judge listen to my friends and allow me to receive bail, after I already fled the country once? I think we all know the answer.
But the problem, I believe, is us. You see, we sit around and idolize these entertainers, instead of appreciating them for what they are...ENTERTAINERS! Actors, Musicians,Artists, Athletes, and the such are nothing more than entertainers. Do we really need to be involved in every detail of these peoples lives? Do we really need to elevate them above the rest of society? They've made our lives more fun, perhaps, but they haven't really improved out lots in life, have they?
We need to step back, and reevaluate the relationships we have with celebrity. Stalin knew this, and exploited it with his "Cult of Personality". We don't follow the Starbucks Barista home, and wait for them to sign an autographs after their shifts. But they provide a service, as do entertainers. We need to stop. Stop with idol worship. Stop with the use of the phrase "Hero".
We can't live in an equal society, if we don't hold people to the same standards. How can we complain when we aren't held to the same standards?