The way Hollywood is closing ranks around Roman Polanski, you'd think he was Alger Hiss come back to life and sent back to prison--instead of a convicted pedophile who drugged and raped a little girl three decades ago and then fled to France to escape punishment. The list of celebrities outraged over his arrest in Switzerland (he went there to get a prize, and he got one), which has an extradition treaty with the U.S., and where he currently languishes in jail waiting to learn his fate, is long and shallow: "I know it wasn't 'rape' rape," philosophized Whoopi Goldberg. "I think it was something else, but I don't believe it was 'rape' rape."
"He pled guilty to having sex with a minor and he went to jail, and when they let him out (on bail, pending sentencing), he said, 'You know what, this guy's going to give me 100 years in jail. I'm not staying.' And that's why he left. . . . So that's why I wanted to be really clear, cause I want to know exactly what I'm talking about."
Uh huh. That's really, really clear, Whoopi. You're one of our deep thinkers. So, too is actress Debra Winger,
president of the Zurich film festival's jury, [who] blasted Switzerland for its "philistine collusion" with the U.S. in arresting Polanski, who was honored by the festival Sunday night even though he was in jail.
Another great philosopher, French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, "said that he hoped authorities would respect Polanski's rights â€˜and that the affair [will] come to a favorable resolution.'"
Best of all, though, is the fabulous petition signed by 138 film people decrying "The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance [and which] opens the way for actions of which no one can know the effects." More deep thinking! Among those demanding "the immediate release" of Mr. Polanski: one Woody Allen, noted moralist and chairman of the North American Man/Teenage Girl Love Association.