Polanski versus Gary Glitter

Yakoub Islam (on Facebook) linked this video, in which Chris Rock compares Roman Polanski to OJ Simpson:

People are defending Roman Polanski because he made some good movies? Are you kidding me? He made some good movies thirty years ago, Jay! Even Johnny Cochrane don’t have the nerve to go, “well, did you see OJ playing against New England?”.

Yakoub thinks Gary Glitter (a glam rock star from the 1970s who was subsequently convicted on child pornography charges and was later jailed in Vietnam for sexually abusing children) is a better comparison than Simpson. However, Roman Polanski is, despite his crime, a respected director, while Gary Glitter was a has-been from an embarrassing bygone age, and I suspect some people were only too happy to see him fall on his face (as with Jonathan King). (More: Dictator Princess.)

Still, I’m wondering why so many people from the world of showbiz are falling over themselves to excuse him. Is it really the case that these people are so blinded by his ‘brilliance’ or his ‘authority’ that they don’t see that a 13-year-old girl was raped, or think she is insignificant compared with him? Or is it a case of fear: fear that they might do their careers damage by offending him or one of his powerful friends?

I’m not convinced by the argument that sending him back to the USA would cause more trauma to his victim. The victim will not have to give any more evidence; it would be different if she did, as there were in fact several sexual assaults and yes, she did say no to him. Admittedly, perhaps she does not want to continue being reminded of the event, but it is too late for that now that the wheels have been set in motion. The victim could also have been spared this ordeal if Polanski had simply served his time thirty years ago.

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