Thursday, October 1, 2009

Roman Polanski Meets Industry Standards

Roman Polanski Meets Industry Standards

There are writers who are outraged that the entertainment industry seems to be coming together to defend why director Roman Polanski should not be extradited to the United States to be sent to prison for drugging, raping, and sodomizing a 13 year old girl. (And contrary to Whoopi Goldberg’s claim that it wasn’t “rape-rape”—-read the transcript of the victim’s testimony. She kept saying “No,” in between going in and out of consciousness from the drugs Polanski gave her.)

And why not? Polanski simply meets industry standards—which regards rape—-and even rape of children, as no big deal. Polanski, unfortunately, is not just one weird example. Victor Salva, the director of Powder, is a convicted child molester, who once filmed himself having oral sex with a 12 year old boy—an actor who Salva directed in a “low-budget horror film about three boys terrorized by circus clowns.” (In the interests of realism, they should have been terrorized by Hollywood directors.) Salva served 15 months in prison (it is California), and so of course, he ended up making a film for who else? Walt Disney Studios. I suspect that Walt Disney, the guy who wanted Disneyland to be the happiest place on Earth for children, would be horrified.

A CBS producer gets caught in a sting, offering to swap football tickets for someone’s 11 year old daughter. “I will be very gentle with her.” I’m guessing that once he gets inside a prison cell, his fellow inmates will find out why he’s there—and they won’t be gentle with him.

Three weird examples? John Doe v. Capital Cities, etc. (1996) is another of those charming examples of the sort of people that infest the entertainment industry. (“Capital Cities” is the owner of ABC.)
An aspiring actor is first drugged and then gang-raped by a casting director and four other men one Sunday at the casting director’s home. Can the actor successfully allege causes of action for sexual harassment and negligent hiring against the casting director’s employers?
The question that the courts had to answer was whether gang-raping an actor was within the job duties of a casting director. Now, those who have long worked in Hollywood would probably answer, “Yes. At least, it’s one of the perqs of the job.” I’ve known people that got out of the business because the path to employment often led through the casting couch.

I’ve tried to identify what happened to the rapists in John Doe v. Capital Cities. They are identified in that suit as Jerry Marshall, Barry Parker, Michael Sullivan, Ken Dickson, and Fred Goss. Unfortunately, these are all very common names, so it’s hard to tell whether the people working in the entertainment industry today by those names are the guys who drugged and raped John Doe. (There are two different people in the entertainment industry or related fields named Fred Goss who are old enough, and live in Los Angeles: one is an actor and comedian, the other writes opera reviews for The Advocate, a gay newspaper.) The tragedy is that when an industry mobilizes to defend someone like Roman Polanski, it becomes very easy to believe that this minor little misbehavior would not have been obstacle to future employment.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin linked to this September 29, 2009 Daily Telegraph article, which quotes from an interview with Polanski back in 1979. It's too vulgar to quote (even with various words dashed out), but essentially: Polanski is convinced that what he did to that little girl is what everyone wants to do. Classic projection problem.

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