Roman Polanski, who in his life has made some damn fine films (irrelevant), was arrested in Switzerland this weekend and is awaiting extradition to California on account of charges he pled guilty to over 30 years ago before fleeing the country to avoid sentencing.
The crime in question involved drugging and raping a 13-year old girl. But really, the girl's age is really rather beside the point, isn't it? The point is that he raped her. It would be no less infuriating if she had been 23 or 33 at the time.
And yet...the reactions on the other side of the pond I keep hearing fall along the lines of "it's a shame they've arrested such a great artist," and "really, this isn't that big of a deal."
Look, I love Chinatown as much as the next guy. And I also thing that America's collective hangups about the sexuality of teenagers are fair game for criticism, if not outright ridicule. But if the belief that fucking someone (anyone!) in the ass (or anywhere else!) without their permission ought to be a crime for which one is vigorously prosecuted makes me a bourgeois puritan, then I guess I'm a bourgeois puritan, after all.