So you might have heard that Roman Polanski got arrested in Zurich, on a 30-year-old warrant issued in the United States for 'unlawful sex' with a 13-year-old.
Both France and Poland are asking for his release, while we're waiting to see whether the US will request Polanski get extradited and stand trial for his crime.
Now, I like Polanski a lot - one of his films, Bitter Moon, is a personal favorite of mine. I also acknowledge that he got a really bum rap with his trial judge, Rittenband, who basically double-crossed him by reneging on a plea-bargain.
But let's get one thing straight... 30 years ago, Roman Polanski got a 13-year-old girl drunk and stoned on Quaaludes - and then screwed and sodomized her. There's nothing okay about that, because she was thirteen.
Polanski invited Samantha Gailey to his house to photograph her - so he knew how old she was. Even ignoring the ethical implications of having sex with a drunk, passed-out girl - Polanski should have known what he was doing was wrong from the very beginning.
Samantha Gailey was apparently 'no angel' - but that's really not relevant (how come a girl's sexual history is always brought up, to somehow suggest that she 'deserved' what happened to her?)
Even if the courts consider the girl to be a 'raging whore,' making an overt and deliberate attempt to seduce a guy, it's still wrong to sleep with her if she's only 13-years-old!
I mean, there's no ambiguity there. It's just a case of 'right' or 'wrong.'
And Polanski didn't just have sex with this girl - he got her drunk and high first. While I think it's fine to pour champagne and pills down a willing girl - it's only fine if the girl's not 13!
And there's some debate as to whether the sex was consensual, or if she passed out and Polanski just decided to have vaginal and anal sex with her while she was unconscious. In my mind, both scenarios are wrong because of her age.
If she was drunk and high, but willing and horny, she was still 13! No way, no how, should Polanksi have thought that was acceptable!
And if she was actually unconscious - actually unable to consent - than that's a whole new level of 'wrong.' That's rape.
Now I'm normally pragmatic about this kind of thing. If the girl had been 18, I'd have been willing to give Roman Polanski the benefit of the doubt - but she wasn't.
She was 13-years-old. Which means that whatever happened that night, Roman Polanski had already made one deeply questionable moral decision when he had sex with her. Why wouldn't anything else that happened that night be equally morally dubious?
So I'm not saddened by Polanski's arrest. Whatever his contribution to cinema, or his achievements, what he did was wrong. If the US hadn't have pursued this, it would have been an unspoken message that it's 'okay' to have unlawful sex with an underage girl if you're rich and famous.