Rabbit

It is a well-known fact that certain members of Hollywood have contributed their fair share of criminal conduct to the world. However, how does pop-culture react when we are made aware of the crimes that our so called “stars” have committed? In particular, this article focuses on crimes and incest committed against minors. These minors are merely children who are victimized by our so called “stars.” These genius producers and directors are still idolized by Hollywood and today’s pop-culture, their crimes simply omitted and forgotten. In this article, the criminal actions of famous icons such as Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, and even Charlie Chaplin are explored in depth and cross-examined with the way they are rewarded in the media. After cross-examining the crimes of these men with the way their legacy is portrayed in Hollywood we are called to question not only the way in which pop-culture choses who is a criminal versus who is a genius but also the type of message reinforced when we categorize people as one or the other.
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Genius vs. Criminal

Roman Polanski is famously recognized for being many things including a director, producer, writer and actor. However, he is not commonly referred to as a rapist. In 1977, Polanski lured and raped thirteen-year-old Samantha Gailey. Polanski pleaded guilty to the rape charges but soon fled the country after serving merely 42 days and being freed on bond. He currently resides out of the United States but continues to produce films with quite well known actors. Polanski’s quick departure was supported by Hollywood. Strong figureheads such as Jodie Foster and Harvey Weinstein spoke out in response to public outrage by claiming that Polanski had served his time. This is evidence that Hollywood choses to see only the genius in an idolized figure such as Polanski, rather than acknowledging that what he did was a crime and that he should be justly punished for his actions just as any other civilian would. In a late night interview with George Stroumboulopoulos, Kim Catrall defended Polanski by saying “that kind of passion you have to respect.” Indeed, Polanski is talented and possibly genius judging by the work he produces, but the truth of the matter is that we are all a bit of a genius in something. Each individual has their talents along with their flaws. The difference is that our talents do not in any way make our crimes acceptable. There is no scoreboard in life. The fact that I contribute something beautiful to the world does not give me the justified right to destroy a part of it. In this case, Polanski destroyed the innocence of a little girl. But why do we allow pop-culture to categorize celebrities like Polanski as a genius without recognizing his crimes?

False God Syndrome

Over the years we have allowed the media to idolize celebrities more and more. Each time we idolize them we place them in a class higher than us until being even remotely similar to them becomes out of our reach. This gap between the Hollywood Gods and the middle class eventually becomes too large to surmount. It is evident in magazines such as People and OK where there are pages dedicated to showing the average guy or girl that stars are in fact “just like us!” The media uses this as a tactic in making the stars appear relatable by snapping pictures of them doing their groceries and pumping gas into their car. However, this is just a tactic to sell magazines. Our admiration of famous people is similar to the way a young child idolizes their mom or dad. Every person goes through a developmental stage in your life where your mom and dad are the ultimate human beings. They are looked up to with strong admiration because in the eyes of their child they are the coolest person and can do absolutely nothing wrong. We all reach a breaking point, as we get older we realize that our parents are just people and that they too make mistakes. Our image of them shatters and we see their flaws. So, I then wonder when will our images of our beloved Hollywood Gods shatter? When will we realize that the men who we once saw as genius film directors and producers are also rapists and child molesters? If we are able to break that image we also close the gap that separates celebrities from regular people, because when it comes down to it that’s what they are… REGULAR people. They in no way deserve any better treatment than anyone else and thus, deserve to serve a just punishment for their crimes.
Emerald Team_Rape, too drunk to consent_A3 Poster

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“How much did you allow?”

The response to an atrocity committed by Polanski, Allen and Chaplin say more about our society than we think. The feedback from the media and famous individuals to an act such as rape has a strong impact on the way we view the male/female dynamics. For example, celebrities, especially female idols in my opinion should be sending a message out to youth that this behaviour is not okay, not their fault, and most importantly needs to be dealt with. Instead, they are justifying the rape, which sends a convoluted message that rape is not serious enough to require proper punishment. To make a tragic matter even worse, pop-culture has once again provided us with a perfect list, telling us what we should be and how we should act. Specifically, society has created “victim culture,” as said by Gailey herself in an interview with BBC. But as we begin to understand with most boxes given to us by the media, not everyone is the “cookie cutter” version of a victim. In the case of Gailey, as a result of the conditions of her rape she received a large amount of accusations questioning whether or not it was in fact rape. The real fact however, is that she was thirteen years old, a child, and she said “no.” Rape is rape and it is that simple.

Sources

http://www.shewired.com/opinion/2014/01/17/op-ed-when-hollywood-excuses-famous-men-who-rape

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4 thoughts on “Rabbit

  1. The videos you posted are extremely interesting! As much as Whoopie Goldberg believes she is not victim blaming, it is clear she is making excuses for Polanski. This is quite shocking considering it should be a cold cut case since he plead guilty. Sherri Shepherd, another member of The View, was pointing out how people are making excuses for his behaviour because of his work. I thought she made lots of good points up until the end when all of them started blaming the parents. Again, this is putting the blame on the victim (not the direct victim, but I would consider parents victims as well), while ignoring the perpetrator. In addition, Cattrall says she knows Polanski is guilty; however, she separates work from the person. To me I found this troubling, and I am unsure if you can separate the two. By accepting a job, in general, by someone who has done terrible things, is in a sense condoning it!

  2. You have some very interesting videos posted to further enhance the thoughts of rape issues within Hollywood. There is a lot of victim blaming in the videos throughout as eeyorehastheblues states. Regardless of what a person does or says, they are not putting themselves at risk for any kind of assault or bullying. It is not something that is self-inflicted. There are people in society that still do not get that fact. It is always going to be the victim’s fault regardless of the situation.

    Furthermore, one’s work, especially a film director’s work, is something that is hard to be separated from the person. What one does ultimately affects their life. For example, I totally understand Woody Allen is a genius when it comes to his films; however, his personal choices in his past do come into play when the audience hears of his name.

  3. I was very interested in your post, I had never heard of the Roman Polanski incident. It is surprising at how many people do not blame Polanski for what he did. This is not the first time something like this occurred. It seems like more and more people are blaming the victims for what happened to them. Whether it be the clothes they’re wearing, how late they’re out at night or just being flirtatious and not saying no. Just because they don’t say no doesn’t mean its right. In the woody Allen case his daughter was 7 years old, does she have the capacity to say no to her own father? Of course not but that doesn’t make it any less wrong. In both these cases the girls were severely under age yet 2 full grown men abused them sexually and somehow in the Roman Polanski case it is the girls fault? She was 1. drunk and 2. given prescription medicine. For a girl who has never drank before and to combine it with pills she might as well have been unconscious. The fact that Polanski fled the country after doing minimal amounts of jail time proves he know he was in trouble. In both cases these men should be publicly shamed and booted from the film business

  4. I find it disgusting how in sports, athletes are stripped of their medals for doping but in the entertainment industry, rape culture seems to be accepted as a part of the lifestyle with little repercussion. For example, following the Chris Brown and Rihanna situation, there was a outpour of memes and references to parody the situation, some of which is still referenced now years later. When society downplays these crimes committed by celebrities, it seems as though they don’t participate in the same society with the same laws as we do.

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