The entire #MeToo movement, has long seemed like a rather trendy way of “getting with the times” and ruining celebrities’ lives over something that happened in the long-forgotten past.
In 1977, film director Roman Polanski (then 43 years old) drugged and took advantage of then 13-year-old Samantha Jane Gailey (now Samantha Geimer).
While in Jack Nicholson’s house he drugged the minor and took sexual advantage of her. A Grand Jury charged him with 5 charges:
- Rape by use of drugs;
- Lewd and lascivious act upon a child under fourteen;
- Furnishing a controlled substance to a minor.
This ultimately led to Polanski’s guilty plea to a different charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Through various circumstance, Polanski fled his verdict to London in 1978. Since then, Polanski has not served a prison sentence, has been to various countries most of them refused any extradition.
He was there to accept a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich film festival, the organisers of which expressed “great consternation and shock” at his detention.
“I confirm that Mr Polanski has been arrested. The American authorities issued an international search request in 2005 in relation to a 1978 warrant,” said Guido Balmer of the Swiss justice ministry. “There was a valid arrest request and we knew when he was coming. That’s why he was taken into custody.”
Following the arrest in 2009, over 100 people in the film community signed a petition for the immediate release of Roman Polanski, who was arrested in Switzerland. These people included: Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Darren Aronofsky, David Lynch, Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton, Pedro Almodovar, Guillermo Del Toro, Harmony Korine, Michael Mann, Alfonso Cuaron, Jonathan Demme, Alexandre Desplat, Terry Gilliam, among others.
It took the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – which gives out the Oscars, 41 years to decide to expel the director in 2018.
The Academy stated:
“The board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”
Polanski’s legal team responded to the dismissal by threatening a lawsuit stating the Academy had violated its code of conduct.
The Academy responded to Polanski’s lawyers by stating:
“The Board of Governors retains its independent duty and authority as outlined in the bylaws to address and take action on any matter, whether submitted by the process outlined above or not, related to a member’s status and to enforce the Academy’s Standards of Conduct.”
In 2017, the victim Samantha Geimer tried to dismiss the case, and the judge refused the notion.
“The defendant in this matter stands as a fugitive and refuses to comply with court orders,” Superior Court judge Scott Gordon wrote.
Geimer went to Los Angeles superior court in June pleading for his case to be resolved, saying she had forgiven Polanski years ago and wanted the case put to rest “as an act of mercy to myself and my family”.
To compare the ‘targets’ of the #MeToo movement – notably Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, come to mind.
Harvey Weinstein was completely disgraced when in October 2017, The New York Times published a story accusing him of three decades of sexually harassing and paying eight settlements to actresses and female production assistants, temps, and other employees who worked at Miramax and The Weinstein Company.
Former colleagues and collaborators of Weinstein told reporters that these activities were enabled by employees, associates and agents who set up these meetings, as well as lawyers and publicists who suppressed complaints with payments and threats.
There was really no substantiating evidence at all, there were just claims – by a lot of people, yes, but simply claims.
Separately, Kevin Spacey was accused of groping 18-year-old former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh in 2016.
Spacey’s defense attorney, Alan Jackson, argued in court filings that the incident was a “consensual flirtation” that the accuser exaggerated to impress his friends. He honed in on the text messages in pre-trial hearings, first asking for the accuser’s cellphone and then—when it was not recovered—grilling the accuser and his mother over what he said were missing texts.
And recently, on July 8th, Jackson read aloud several texts he said police had recovered from the accuser’s cell phone. In one, the accuser’s then-girlfriend wrote, “I can’t really tell if you’re kidding and I’m violently confused.” In another, she wrote, “Holy shit, slowly back away.” Neither messages appeared in the screenshots the accuser initially submitted to police.
Following that, Unruh refused to testify and the case against Kevin Spacey was dropped.
But he’s still “the bad guy.”
Since, starting from 2017 – a person’s life is ruined by simple claims and each individual is guilty until proven innocent – and that proven innocence is scrutinized to no end and the person’s life is under constant observation by a public microscope.
Why, wasn’t that the case starting from 1977 until 2009 and onwards, a person who admitted to actually drugging and raping a minor could roam free for upwards of 40 years, and there were even petitions against his arrest. Petitions by the same people who then “threw stones” at Weinstein, Space and others.
In this event, the #MeToo movement, similarly to many other contemporary “human rights” initiatives, appears to be little more than a way to “get with the times,” “sharpen your pitchforks, light your torches” and go on an old-fashioned “witch hunt.”