Another day, another attempt to bring Roman Polanski to "justice."
Yes, Roman Polanski was a dirtbag and a an unethical man in the 1970s (and, probably, long after that). We have not dealt fully with two culturally significant realities from that era, namely that
1. Everyone did a lot of drugs and
2. Men with money and power slept with underage girls/boys
This is true in the arts as well as in business, politics, and even welding repair. It's a continuous thing, but I associate it with the mentality of the 1970s because that was the heyday of the truly lecherous practitioners of this sort of thing, Polanski being synonymous with the sleazier aspects of the time.
In the arts community, there has always been an attempt to excuse this behavior with the application of the genius label. Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, and so forth and so on, are "geniuses" and are able to explore human sexuality and relationships for the sake of their art. Their criminal activities are to be excused. This is a simplification, but when you create art that is beloved, you do get a pass for being an asshole.
No aspect of American society was exempt from this vile behavior, and Polanski was a practitioner of it along with many, many other men in his industry as well as in his income bracket. That reality escapes the prudish beliefs of many Americans who have conveniently forgotten how they acted during the 1970s (or, really, any era where permissiveness flourished) and the law has never caught up to enough of these characters. You can trace it through American society, through the 1980s and 1990s, up to the Britney Spears era and the To Catch a Predator era (which sort of overlapped).
We have educated our society a bit on the practice of having sex with young people, but you still see teachers engaged in the practice. You still see other celebrities or sports figures having to answer for their proclivities:
A video has emerged of a 1984 Monday Night Football interview featuring a young Cris Collinsworth, sporting what appears to be the remnants of a home perm.Men with power and money become predators, regardless of the era. Polanski hasn't answered for something a lot of people forgot they did, too. The Polish government is a lot less bought and paid for than it may have previously appeared.
Links to the clip now appear at places like With Leather, Deadspin, and The Big Lead.
To his credit, Collinsworth isn’t running from his past. He has issued a statement regarding the situation. It came without a request for comment; we’re told that he wanted to address the situation affirmatively and proactively.
“As a family man I am extremely embarrassed by an interview I did when I was in
my early twenties about dating,” Collinsworth said. “My comments were insulting, immature, and foolishly intended as a joke. They do not reflect how I lived my life then . . . or now. I was asked to do something humorous about dating, and it has been a major
embarrassment to me since the day I said it. I apologize to anyone who has ever
had the misfortune to see it now or a quarter-century ago.”
You can be rest assured that when Polanski needs some publicity, he'll sneak into a country his lawyers have already investigated and draw some attention to himself. Nothing more will happen and the world will continue to forget how things were.