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30 September 2009 @ 06:04 pm
France backing down + Directors Not Signing Petitions  
French drop Polanski release call

The French government has dropped its public support for Roman Polanski, saying the 76-year-old director "is neither above nor beneath the law". The move follows a backlash against a campaign for Polanski's release, with several leading European politicians and cultural figures refusing to join. He is being held in Switzerland on a US arrest warrant over his conviction for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. On Monday, the French foreign minister called for Polanski to be freed. Polanski, who has dual French and Polish citizenship, was arrested on Saturday when he flew into the country. He had been due to pick up a lifetime achievement prize at the Zurich film festival.

'Serious affair'

Speaking to reporters, French government spokesman Luc Chatel said: "We have a judicial procedure under way, for a serious affair, the rape of a minor, on which the American and Swiss legal systems are doing their job." Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner have written to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton calling for Polanski to be freed. But the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has distanced himself from the move by asking his ministers to show "greater restraint" in defending him. He added that despite a "leading Polish director" being involved, it is still a "case of rape and of punishment for having sex with a child".

A member of the British parliament has called on the Council of Europe, of which he is also a member, to support Polanski's extradition to the US. Denis MacShane said the film-maker "should be held accountable" for his actions. French film-maker Luc Besson, who directed the 1994 movie Leon, has also refused to lend his support. Speaking to French radio station RTL, he said: "I have a lot of affection for him, he is a man that I like very much ... but nobody should be above the law. I don't know the details of this case, but I think that when you don't show up for trial, you are taking a risk."

Despite that, Mr Polanski has no shortage of supporters, including at least 110 film industry figures who have signed a petition calling for his release. Among them are Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and David Lynch, as well as Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodovar, Tilda Swinton and Monica Bellucci. Actor Peter Fonda said he thought "celebrating the arrest of Osama bin Laden and not the arrest of Polanski" was far more important.

Mr Polanski fled the US in 1978 before he was sentenced on a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. He has never returned and even missed receiving an Oscar for his 2003 film The Pianist.


These directors haven't signed Harvey Weinstein's petition, according to the latest Polanski-ONTD post. (Doesn't mean they won't, but hope springs eternal.)

Tim Burton
Peter Jackson (YES!!!!)
Steven Spielberg (YES!!!!)
Robert Zemeckis
George Lucas (YES!!!!)
Christopher Nolan
Brad Bird
Edgar Wright

Actors/Writers Anti-Polanski

Luc Besson
Greg Gunberg
Noel Clarke
Paul Cornell
Kevin Smith
Seth Meyers
Kirsti Alley
Marinajavabreeze on September 30th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
I am so glad there are more actors/directors who are anti-Polanski. It makes me so happy that Jackson, Nolan, Zemeckis, Spielberg, Burton and Lucas refused to sign. :D

Edited at 2009-09-30 10:15 pm (UTC)
madeellymadeelly on September 30th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I think the US should just leave Polanski alone.

Does that mean I think sex with underage girls is okay? No, I don't. But I think that it's really not the government's business. Say you have a fifteen year old girl and a nineteen year old boy. Or even a fourteen year old boy and an eighteen year old girl. Whose fault is that? It's not up to the government to decide personal issues. It's an invasion of civil liberties. It's creepy what he did, but he shouldn't be arrested for it.

Plus, isn't there a statute of limitations on this?

I also think that the Swiss were not expecting that the first thing the US would do after that tax fraud bill was passed would be to arrest Polanski. It seems like a real abuse of what the bill was for.

ILY Kevin Smith, but I disagree with you this time.
Flying Mint Bunnyharo on September 30th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Um. It wasn't sex. It was rape.
madeellymadeelly on September 30th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
Consensual sex is now rape? Oops.
Flying Mint Bunny: annoyedharo on September 30th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
Moneypenny: you scare mejeanne_dark on September 30th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
demented & sad, but socialpapilio_luna on September 30th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
Check your facts, it was in no way consensual. He gave a minor child drugs and alcohol, and then raped her despite her repeated pleas for him to stop.
Arabianarabian on September 30th, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC)
It was not consensual. He drugged her. He raped her. She said no several times. He then sodomized her. It was NOT CONSENSUAL at all.
madeellymadeelly on September 30th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
Could I have these transcripts, please? The only transcripts I found were those of him pleading guilty to having sex with a girl under eighteen who was not his wife.
gowdiegowdie on September 30th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
I believe these are the relevant ones, via the Smoking Gun.

Figured I should add - these are long, horrifying step by step details of precisely how he victimized this child. If there are any triggering worries, they should be avoided.

Edited at 2009-09-30 11:32 pm (UTC)
demented & sad, but socialpapilio_luna on September 30th, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
Salienne de Lioncourtsalienne on September 30th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)

Or if you aren't up to reading 36 pages, scroll down here for particularly infuriating bits from the girl's testimony:


WARNING: triggering content at both links

(Also, if you really see nothing wrong with a 50-something year old man taking advantage of a 13-year-old even if she HAD consented [which she in no way did], well, I question your POV.)
Salienne de Lioncourtsalienne on September 30th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
40-something-year-old man.

Sorry for the typo, but my point still stands.
madeellymadeelly on September 30th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)
You really think I think it's okay for a forty-four year old man to have done it, even if it was consenual? I said that it was creepy and I don't think it's okay. I never would say it's okay. All I'm saying is that I don't like statutory rape laws. Apparently, this case is not the one to "tie that horse to," and I'm starting to agree with that.

You don't need to put words in my mouth just because you dislike me. If you really think I'm wrong, then maybe you should get what I said right.

Edited at 2009-09-30 11:41 pm (UTC)
Arabianarabian on September 30th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's that, it's just that for those of us who are aware of the details, it's horrifying to hear someone casually say 'yeah, the US should let it go," thus we get passionate about it.

I have a migraine, am going to bed, don't want to wake up tomorrow to a full-blown war in my lj.
madeellymadeelly on September 30th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
I apologize for my blatant ignorance, but I don't appreciate getting hanged by the mob.
Arabianarabian on September 30th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
You weren't, you were just given the facts and links by several people so that you would no longer be ignorant about it. One poster took a statement you made a step farther, that's it. You do know the facts now and you understand why we're so horrified by this whole thing.
gowdiegowdie on October 1st, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
For what it's worth, I wasn't trying to hang you. It was just your comments were dismissive, and it was clear that you didn't have the full skinny on all the facts. And I wanted to convey, "Stop talking. Seriously. Stop talking right now before you go and read what really happened. Because no good can come from this."

It's likely these are the things we all want to scream at the various actors/directors who apparently should not be allowed to speak in public. Peter Fonda, I repeat, what the fuck? And we are powerless to change their minds - so we desperately want to give you the full facts and change yours.
madeellymadeelly on October 1st, 2009 12:10 am (UTC)
Maybe "hanged" is a hyperbole, but recieving an inbox full of capslock responses and an accusation that I'm all for underage sex makes me feel frustrated.

I wasn't trying to be dismissive. All I'd heard was that he was convicted of statutory rape. That's what I was arguing. I wasn't aware that it was non-consensual. Stupidity and ignorance aren't the same thing, and it felt like I was being called stupid in fifteen different verbose ways.
madeellymadeelly on October 1st, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
I'm sorry about your migraine, by the way. I hope I wasn't the cause of it.
Arabian: ATttD - Sorryarabian on October 1st, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
No, no, my head began hurting hours ago, it just got to the point where I needed to go to bed when I posted that to you. It's not you at all, hon. Now, I'm going back to bed.
Arabian: One Angry Loganarabian on September 30th, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)

He drugged, raped and sodomized a 13-year old girl who consistently told him NO! He was 44. He drugged her. He raped her. He sodomized her. (I've read the trial transcripts). He then pled guilty to UNLAWFUL SEX WITH A MINOR to avoid the rape charge. He then FLED THE COUNTRY (another crime) for 32 years.

Let me say this one more time: HE DRUGGED, RAPED and SODOMIZED a 13-YEAR-OLD-GIRL!!!


And there is NO statute of limitations because he pled guilty!

ETA: It was NOT consensual sex between an older man and underaged girl. He drugged her with quaaludes and champagne. He then raped her. And then sodomized her. All the while, this drugged 13-year-old child told him no. Over and over, she told him: No.

Edited at 2009-09-30 10:44 pm (UTC)
madeellymadeelly on September 30th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
I have not read the transcripts. Maybe if I had done so, I would think differently.

From what I know, however, I figured it was consensual.

Again: this isn't about whether or not I think Polanski is innocent. This is about me disliking statutory rape laws.
Arabianarabian on September 30th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
But your first comment was "the US should drop this." Read the transcripts or don't, but how can you not think differently knowing from people (like me) who've read the transcripts ... A 44-year old man drugged, raped and sodomized a 13-year old girl. This has NOTHING to do with the type of statutory rape you are talking about.
gowdiegowdie on September 30th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
This is about me disliking statutory rape laws.

This is not the case to tie that horse to.
madeellymadeelly on September 30th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)
I'm starting to agree with that. My bad.
Salienne de Lioncourtsalienne on September 30th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)

At the time, Pelanski was dozens of years older than this girl. First, he took her (a 13-year-old) to his place, where no one could help her. Then he got her drunk. Then he drugged her.

He made sexual advances. REPEATEDLY, she said NO.

He proceeded to rape her vaginally, realized she could get pregnant, and raped her anally, after she said no yet AGAIN.

Then he fled before he could be sentenced.

30 months or 30 years, the man deserves to go to jail. Even if she hadn't been underage, it would still have been rape.

Plus, isn't there a statute of limitations on this?

That's only for charging someone with a crime.

He was charged. He was convicted. He pled guilty to sex with a minor (i.e. statutory rape) to avoid harsher penalties.

And if you pay attention to the time period, the prosecutor must have had a damn solid rape case to get that plea bargain.
gowdiegowdie on September 30th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
The problem is, this is not about the morality of a nineteen year old having consensual sex with someone only a few years younger. This is about a 44 year old having non consensual sex with a girl who was only 13.

Also, governments make ALL the laws. That is what government is for. Courts merely interpret what the law says, and how precedent affects certain cases. But the original source for all criminal law - your government.

I appreciate the fact that the media, for some reason, insists on focusing on the sex with a minor aspect. But as arabian has already expressed, that was the charge he plead down to. What he did was drug and rape a child. And then he ran away, to avoid punishment for drugging and raping a child. And he has continued to work very hard at avoiding that punishment for the last thirty years.

Seriously, you need to read the transcripts. If you truly believe this is about the government sticking their nose into someone's sexual freedom and personal issues, you really, really, need to dig deeper into the facts of this case.
Flying Mint Bunnyharo on September 30th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
Honestly, MOST of my favorite directors are on the did-not-sign list. That is awesome. Yay for them.

Eeeeh, Brad Bird.
Salienne de Lioncourtsalienne on September 30th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
God, I don't understand how people can stick up for this man.

Yes, he made some good art.

He also drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl and feels absolutely no remorse for this fact, and he has implied that he has done similar things in the past.

demented & sad, but socialpapilio_luna on September 30th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
Edgar Wright!

(Sorry, had to be done)

Also! Paul Cornell! and Noel Clarke!

This whole disgusting pile of massive fail just makes me want to vom, but good on these folks for not giving in to industry peer pressure.

Edited at 2009-09-30 11:12 pm (UTC)
gowdiegowdie on September 30th, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC)
Okay! So until Osama bin Laden is caught, kiddie rapists get a pass. What the fuck, Peter Fonda? What the fuck?
Arabianarabian on September 30th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
Maura!: & pol: hot and qualifiedfujiidom on October 1st, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
Larissa: StarTrek_logicalfacelarissa_j on October 1st, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
Perhaps my migraine will go away now? Nice to see some common sense and decency prevailing.
aroniwen on October 1st, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
Yay Noel Clarke!!!

*has no icon*
Sylvikefishsanwitt on October 3rd, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
I don't know about any of the others - but I read Luc Besson's statement and I don't think he's 'anti-Polanski' so much as 'pro-justice'.

I'm heartened to see that Peter Jackson hasn't signed that stupid petition. I hope no-one else does.
Arabianarabian on October 3rd, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Regardless, that is actually an almost greater stance. Despite how much he cares for the man, he is still choosing to put justice above the man.
Sylvikefishsanwitt on October 3rd, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
My respect for Luc Besson just keeps going up.
(Deleted comment)
Arabian: Little Boy Bluearabian on October 3rd, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Lynch and Neil Jordan break my heart.
(Deleted comment)
Arabian: Little Boy Bluearabian on October 3rd, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
I watched The Crying Game THIRTEEN times in the theater. I had the damn film's dialogue memorized. It's just depressing because there are only two directors whose work I've actually actively sought out: Neil Jordan and David Lynch. *sigh*

Edited at 2009-10-03 07:24 pm (UTC)