If you’re going to rape kids, make sure you’re famous

And European. The media will be much nicer on you. Compare the coverage of Dennis Ferguson with that of Roman Polanski: one portrayed as a monster, the other a famous film director being hounded by the big bad US.

As Paola Totaro reports in the Sydney Morning Herald:

The decision to arrest the director has created a furore among the artistic community in Europe. Film luminaries have banded together to call for the director’s release as have politicians including the French Culture Minister, Frederic Mitterand, and President Nicolas Sarkozy, who have vowed to follow the case “attentively”.

Ok, so the man gets a 13-year-old drunk and rapes her, pleads guilty, flees the US before his sentencing in 1978 and has been living it up as a free man in Europe ever since – making sure he avoids visiting countries that have extradition treaties with the US.

In a story earlier today, Totaro reported the French Minister for Culture, Frederic Mitterrand, described the arrest as ”absolutely horrifying”.

Now imagine he was an Australian pedophile, with unfortunate facial tics.

Update: Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has a great piece on how male artists are exempt from being decent humans:

We have long prioritised men’s art over women’s safety, because there is a belief that a talented man, an auteur with a vision, might change the world, and to truncate that grand possibility with something as bourgeois as justice would be devastating.

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