Avary Gets Year In Jail, Celebs Want Polanski Set Free and I Weep for Society

Roman Polanski’s jailing has certainly inspired people to write some of the most insane ramblings I have read in some time. Take for example, Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere writing the following in his comment section on this post:

I didn’t say that Polanski deserves a pass from his self-created troubles because he’s a great artist, or “Art God.” I said and believe that Art Gods have earned the right to be shown an extra measure of consideration when such matters arise. That doesn’t mean “give them a pass” — it means show a little compassion.

Basically — if I’m understanding this correctly — having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old is not as bad if you directed Chinatown than, say, if you were just an average person. Hopefully you can figure out for yourself how ridiculous I believe such a statement to be, and this goes for everyone, not just Polanski.

Beyond his baffling comments, the meat of Wells’ original post points out a growing pair of domestic and French petitions from celebs, or “artists” as Wells refers to them, putting pen to paper to demand the Swiss “Free Roman Polanski”. It’s like Team America has come to life! The first name Wells lists is an obviously intentional starting point with expectation to add fuel to the fire:

Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, Martin Scorsese, Monica Bellucci, Tilda Swinton, David Lynch, Jonathan Demme, John Landis, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Wim Wenders, Asia Argento, Terry Gilliam, Wong Kar Wai, Darren Aronofsky, Michael Mann, Julian Schnabel, Tom Tykwer, Salman Rushdie, Milan Kundera, Pascal Bruckner, Neil Jordan, Isabelle Adjani, Arielle Dombasle, Isabelle Huppert, William Shawcross, Yamina Benguigui, Mike Nichols, Diane von Furstenberg, Claude Lanzmann and Paul Auster.

In conjunction with this, Nikki Finke has her hot little hands on an email going out tonight imploring Hollywood and world moviemakers to add their names to a petition protesting Roman Polanski’s Swiss jailing and possible extradition to Los Angeles.

The best part of that letter is the second paragraph reading:

In Marina Zenovich’s documentary “ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED”, it clearly showed that a plea bargain was made with the judge; the District Attorney and Polanski’s lawyers too acknowledged that a deal had been made. Roman however got a tip that the judge had recanted his decision and planned to double cross him, causing him to leave the US to which he has not since returned.

I’m sorry, but as well-done as I believe Zenovich’s documentary to be, using the narrative of a movie as part of an ongoing 31-year-old legal debate just doesn’t sit well with me. Sure, use the same factual evidence, but don’t point to the movie itself, it reeks of ease of availability and a lack of complete understanding of the situation at hand. It’s Cole Trickle learning how to drive stock cars from ESPN… It opens our eyes to things we most likely didn’t know but the important details must be learned on the battle field. Nobody passes on the outside in turn four!

From here we turn to another Hollywood celeb in trouble as Oscar-winning Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary has been sentenced to one year in jail as a result of the 2008 car crash that killed a passenger in Avary’s Mercedes in Ventura County. Authorities say Avary’s car was traveling at more than 100 mph when it crashed into a telephone pole. Avary pleaded guilty in August to gross vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving.

So, one has to wonder, when will the “Free Roger Avary” petition get underway? Should we ask Jeff Wells if perhaps a year is too much? Should they “show a little compassion” and maybe knock it down to six-months house arrest? I mean, Roger suffered since January 2008, enough is enough… right?

Roman Polanski was on the verge of a raw deal back in 1978 with a judge determined to offer up a sentence that would not only satisfy the public, but one that would also not buckle to an appeal and he bungled it to the point it became a joke. Polanski plead guilty and was ready to face sentencing, but the incompetence of Judge Rittenband ended in the mess we are faced with today, which is how to treat a man who fled justice, but at the same time was the victim of what appears to be a flawed judicial process. However, to insinuate public figures or “Art Gods” are somehow entitled to different treatment than the rest of society is plain ignorant. They chose their lot in life and are rewarded financially for it. They still remain subject to the same laws as the rest of us, and I find it hard to believe anyone would think otherwise.

As written in an editorial at the New York Times, “[Where] is the injustice in bringing to justice someone who pleads guilty to statutory rape and then goes on the lam, no matter how talented he may be? [This] case has nothing to do with Mr. Polanski’s work or his age. It is about an adult preying on a child. Mr. Polanski pleaded guilty to that crime and must account for it.”

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