The 'real Hollywood' isn't supporting Polanski

Ethel C. Fenig
Maybe Hollywood and the American entertainment industry folks aren't so out of touch with American morality after all. Writing in the Los Angeles Times , Patrick Goldstein emphasizes  that most of the signers of the petition defending Roman Polanski  were European entertainment figures; the few prominent American signers such as Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese live in New York as does Whoopi Goldberg who distinguishes between rape by an older man on a drugged 13 year old, which is apparently ok and "rape-rape," which if, presumably done on her as a teen ager or her teen aged daughter, is not.

There's no petition going around with the names of the real Hollywood elite -- "A"-list filmmakers and studio chiefs like Steven Spielberg, Alan Horn, James Cameron, Amy Pascal, Jerry Bruckheimer, Brian Grazer, Tom Rothman, J.J. Abrams, John Lasseter or Michael Bay -- because the real Hollywood elite isn't supporting Polanski. In fact, they haven't offered the slightest hint of backing for Polanski. It's only European and New York-based artists, who clearly see the world in a very different light than the real Hollywood elite.

A good--and reassuring--point. And somehow I think that most New Yorkers, even in the entertainment industry, think Polanski's behavior was repulsive, Allen, Scorsese and Goldberg notwithstanding. The European entertainment figure's reaction seems to be more of an automatic anti American reaction and support for a fellow European than any endorsement for rapists of children.

However, in France, Roman Polanski supporter and French television personality and now Culture Minister Frederic Mitterand, nephew of former French president Francois Mitterand, is under fire and being pressured to resign after publicly describing his sex tours to Thailand for the explicit purpose of sex with young boys according to the AP.

Mitterand wrote about this in an autobiography, The Bad Life (translation) published in 2005; French President Nicholas Sarkozy appointed him to his present job in June, 2008 but it was Mitterand's public defense of Polanski which focused attention on his earlier confessions.

What a sad commentary that this went totally unnoticed until extreme French nationalist and anti everyone else, Le Pen, brought up the issue. No one else noticed? Cared? Or felt because he conducted his sex life in Thailand with young, presumably poor, Thais and not in France, this wasn't a problem? Is this French sophistication on sexual matters? Is this subtle French racism?

Now will the same European entertainers who defended Polanski now support Mitterand? Do the French hate the Thais as much as the U.S.?

And will current American safe schools czar Kevin Jennings weigh in?

Meanwhile, children in America and Europe are being damaged and brutalized because some adults consider them mere playthings for their own satisfaction. This isn't a European issue or an American issue, a left, right, up, down, conservative or liberal one, it has nothing to do with alternative or diverse lifestyles or wealthy entertainers vs. middle class; minimal protection of children is a hallmark of society. Elevating people like Jennings and Mitterand to positions in education and culture while ignoring their actions does not say much for the society.





Maybe Hollywood and the American entertainment industry folks aren't so out of touch with American morality after all. Writing in the Los Angeles Times , Patrick Goldstein emphasizes  that most of the signers of the petition defending Roman Polanski  were European entertainment figures; the few prominent American signers such as Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese live in New York as does Whoopi Goldberg who distinguishes between rape by an older man on a drugged 13 year old, which is apparently ok and "rape-rape," which if, presumably done on her as a teen ager or her teen aged daughter, is not.

There's no petition going around with the names of the real Hollywood elite -- "A"-list filmmakers and studio chiefs like Steven Spielberg, Alan Horn, James Cameron, Amy Pascal, Jerry Bruckheimer, Brian Grazer, Tom Rothman, J.J. Abrams, John Lasseter or Michael Bay -- because the real Hollywood elite isn't supporting Polanski. In fact, they haven't offered the slightest hint of backing for Polanski. It's only European and New York-based artists, who clearly see the world in a very different light than the real Hollywood elite.

A good--and reassuring--point. And somehow I think that most New Yorkers, even in the entertainment industry, think Polanski's behavior was repulsive, Allen, Scorsese and Goldberg notwithstanding. The European entertainment figure's reaction seems to be more of an automatic anti American reaction and support for a fellow European than any endorsement for rapists of children.

However, in France, Roman Polanski supporter and French television personality and now Culture Minister Frederic Mitterand, nephew of former French president Francois Mitterand, is under fire and being pressured to resign after publicly describing his sex tours to Thailand for the explicit purpose of sex with young boys according to the AP.

Mitterand wrote about this in an autobiography, The Bad Life (translation) published in 2005; French President Nicholas Sarkozy appointed him to his present job in June, 2008 but it was Mitterand's public defense of Polanski which focused attention on his earlier confessions.

What a sad commentary that this went totally unnoticed until extreme French nationalist and anti everyone else, Le Pen, brought up the issue. No one else noticed? Cared? Or felt because he conducted his sex life in Thailand with young, presumably poor, Thais and not in France, this wasn't a problem? Is this French sophistication on sexual matters? Is this subtle French racism?

Now will the same European entertainers who defended Polanski now support Mitterand? Do the French hate the Thais as much as the U.S.?

And will current American safe schools czar Kevin Jennings weigh in?

Meanwhile, children in America and Europe are being damaged and brutalized because some adults consider them mere playthings for their own satisfaction. This isn't a European issue or an American issue, a left, right, up, down, conservative or liberal one, it has nothing to do with alternative or diverse lifestyles or wealthy entertainers vs. middle class; minimal protection of children is a hallmark of society. Elevating people like Jennings and Mitterand to positions in education and culture while ignoring their actions does not say much for the society.