Last night one of my kids asked if we were going to see Wreck-It Ralph this weekend. The new movie from Disney, Wreck-it Ralph tells the story of a video game character who rebels against his role as a villain and dreams of becoming a hero. It looks like a great movie from the previews, and features all sorts of awesome things like cameos from other video game characters and lots of cool celebrity voice talent, including John C. Reilly voicing the lead character. Which is why we can’t see it. Because John C. Reilly was in a Roman Polanski movie. Six degrees of Roman Polanski is ruining Wreck-It Ralph for my family.
In 1977, Roman Polanski was arrested for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl after he drugged and raped her in one of Jack Nicholson’s bedrooms. He pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful sex with a minor. To avoid sentencing, he fled the U.S. to his home in London and eventually hid out in France. In September 2009, he was arrested by Swiss police at the request of U.S. authorities, which also asked for his extradition. The Swiss refused and released him as a free man. He lived in a sort of gilded exile in a penthouse in Paris, marrying and fathering 2 children, continuing to work as a director, owning multiple homes in Europe. It wasn’t until his 2002 film The Pianist won three Academy Awards that this whole rape incident really came to light again, and numerous celebrities spoke out in support of Polanski, including Whoopi Goldberg who said this about the director:
“I know it wasn’t rape rape. It was something else, but I don’t believe it was raperape … When we’re talking about what someone did, and what they were charged with, we have to say what it actually was, not what we think it was.”
To fully understand and appreciate the fuckery of Hollywood supporting Polanski is summed up brilliantly by my friend Kate Harding who wrote an excellent piece in Salon about the incident:
Let’s keep in mind that Roman Polanski gave a 13-year-old girl a Quaalude and champagne, then raped her, before we start discussing whether the victim looked older than her 13 years, or that she now says she’d rather not see him prosecuted because she can’t stand the media attention. Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let’s take a moment to recall that according to the victim’s grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, “No,” then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.
As Kate Harding states above, the victim, Samantha Geimer, who was 13-years-old when the rape occurred, has since “forgiven” Polanski, and has received a settlement of around $500,00. Geimer is writing a memoir about her life as Roman Polanski’s rape victim. A whole lot of celebrities support and work with Polanski. His own victim has since moved on. But as a mom and a woman I find the idea of supporting, which is too weak of a word, celebrating, an actual rapist appalling.
John C. Reilly isn’t a rapist. He’s an excellent actor who I was a huge fan of until he decided to appear in a Polanski movie. Along with Kate Winslet, Jodi Foster and Christopher Waltz. None of these celebrities have spoken up about the whole rape thingy. Which was, despite whatever Ms. Goldberg thinks, an actual rape. Of a child. A lot of the celebrities who have worked with Polanski are parents. I’m not sure how this whole thing works, are you able to look at your own kids and think “Hey, if you are raped at age 13 I can forgive your rapist and be totally cool hanging out with your attacker?” Yes, it didn’t happen to any of the kids who were born to these actors, but how do you spend time with someone who raped a kid and never have it come up in conversation? Hollywood, I don’t understand you.
I can’t move on from this whole Polanski incident until he is punished for raping a kid. Some may say that living in “exile” in France (while still working and making a whole fuckton of money) is punishment enough, but I think the actor/director Kevin Smith has the right idea when he tweeted:
“Look, I dig ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ but rape’s rape. Do the crime, do the time.”
All of the actors who have worked with Polanski obviously don’t have an issue with the fact he once raped a kid. They are cool with it. But I’m not. There are so many directors making movies! There are directors who have never raped a kid. Why did John C. Reilly have to work with that scumbag Polanski and make me feel all creeped out by supporting his career and buying tickets to see his movies? It’s six degrees of Roman Polanski, but it’s still six degrees too close to a man who raped a little girl.