A fellow online writer, Mary Borsellino of the Wolf House books, related an interesting story today in response to the Roman Polanski to-do. Big name Hollywood types are lining up to show their support of Polanski, who raped a 13-year-old girl back in 1977 then fled the country before he could be sentenced and has spent the subsequent 30+ years jetting around Europe and having awards thrown at him left and right. (For his films, not for raping the 13-year-old.)
Mary brought up a memory from college:
I got into a fight with one of my professors in a postgrad creative writing
class once, because he told his students that art had to come first, above all
other considerations in life. I suggested that I thought not being a shitty
human being was even more important than art. "Then you'll never be an artist,"
To which I would have responded, "And you, sir, will never be a human being. In which case all your great art is worthless."
Let's get this straight: Art does not come before Humanity. EVER.
A child rapist and fugitive who creates wonderful, powerful films is still, at the end of the day, a child rapist and fugitive. If sex offenders everywhere tried their hand at watercolors, should we give them a free pass? No.
Contrary to popular belief, talent does not give you the right to treat the rest of the world like shit. And powerful friends or wealth should not override society's responsibility to protect its women and girls.