I have long advocated for separating an artist from his work. I listen to Michael Jackson without the slightest twinge of guilt, and I watch Roman Polanksi’s movies without the slightest twinge of guilt.
But “separate” is key. Had Michael Jackson been convicted of child molestation, I would have supported his punishment. Being a talented artist should not give you a pass for repellent and criminal behavior.
The case of Roman Polanski is especially disturbing. His guilt is not in question. He gave a thirteen-year old girl alcohol and drugs, and then anally raped her. He knew her age. He also knew what the word “no” meant.
For normal people, the fact that it was a long time ago is irrelavant–Catholic priests are routinely prosecuted for decades-old crimes. However, the “arts community” seems to believe that their elite members deserve a pass for such trifles as sodomizing an unwilling minor. Sadly, the list of people rallying to the defense of this creepy rapist includes many whose works I admire.
So far as I know, there has been only one American artist of prominence who has stated the obvious. That is Jewel, who posted to her Twitter page:
Polanski-admitted raping a 13 yr old-whys every1 in the arts upset hes facing jail? cause hes a gifted director? what am i missing?
Thank you, Jewel, for bringing the common sense and decency that seem to elude so many of your fellow artists, causing them to support someone who drugged and anally raped a thirteen-year old girl.
Jewel asked in her first hit, “Who Will Save Your Soul?” Who indeed? Who will save Polanski’s soul? Who will save the souls of his defenders? I know this statement is contradictory: They better pray that there is no God.