Put Simply, It's Rape: Chris Rock on Roman Polanski
By Christine Cupaiuolo — October 5, 2009
Last week we heard that Roman Polanski’s rape of a 13-year-old girl wasn’t “rape-rape“; the media downplayed the crime; and celebrities petitioned for Polanski’s release.
Comedian Chris Rock’s disbelief over the reaction captured our own. During an interview on The Jay Leno Show, Rock cut through the messy rhetoric and exclaimed, “Rape! It’s rape!”
“People are defending Roman Polanski because he made some good movies?” Rock continued. “Are you kidding me? He made good movies 30 years ago, Jay! Even Johnnie Cochran don’t have the nerve to go, ‘Well, did you see O.J. play against New England?’”
Jezebel has the clip:
Latoya Peterson writes:
As Rock says at the end of the clip: “The United States, we want to capture Osama Bin Laden, and murder him. We don’t want to rape him – that would be barbaric!”
Rape is a barbaric act.
And I’m amazed it took a comedian to say it outright.
So am I. Yet while I want to cheer Rock on, a quick search shows that in 2001, when a woman accused Rock of rape (after first claiming she was pregnant with Rock’s child, which proved to be false), Rock turned to Anthony Pellicano, one of Hollywood’s sleaziest private detectives.
Their conversation, which came to light during Pellicano’s 2008 trial on charges of wiretapping and racketeering, was excerpted on Gawker. Pellicano describes how he would ruin the woman, and his comments are pretty ugly. As for Rock, Ryan Tate sums it up at Gawker: “For most of the call, Rock sounds annoyed and aloof, if shifty about his story. But however annoyed he might sound, he is the one who hired this guy.”
More good reads:
“Roman Polanski Has a Lot of Friends,” by Katha Pollitt
“Reminder: Roman Polanski Raped a Child,” by Kate Harding
Right on, Chris! For more on all this from a historical perspective, see my blog.