Roman Polanski, the visionary director of such films as Rosemary's Baby and Repulsion was arrested in Switzerland when he visited the country to receive lifetime achievement award at the Zurich film festival. Some are outraged by the action of the Swiss government against Polanski who has had a house in the country for over twelve years. There has been speculation that the arrest was the result of a sinister plot between the US and Switzerland: Polanski in exchange for leniency in cases of US tax fraud involving Swiss banks.
As I mentioned in my comments on Pax Romano’s blog (Where'd You Get them Eyes?) there is a sexual double standard being applied Polanski’s crime versus the very similar case of Victor Salva, who was also accused of molesting an underage child. The crucial difference between the two indiscretions lies in the gender of the victim. Polanski drugged and raped a 14-year-old girl while Salva molested a 12-year-old boy on video tape.
I find it odd that people are more likely to forgive a heterosexual man for raping an adolescent girl while the homosexual implications of Salva’s crime have made him a leper in the film business. By the same token, Polanski’s achievements have been cited as reason enough to exonerate him, while Salva’s work has always been haunted by the molestation.