... by this whole Roman Polanski episode.
I didn't even know about his rape conviction until the recent arrest. I'm sure many people didn't. In case you still don't - the film director Roman Polanski was charged in 1977 with statutory rape, after drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. A deal was struck and he pleaded guilty to a different charge - something like "unlawful sexual conduct"... but in between then and the sentencing he fled the US and set up camp in France. Since then he has made lots of films, married, had children, won an Oscar and carefully not entered the US or the UK.
He was recently arrested when entering Switzerland for a film festival being held in his honour. Switzerland has an extradition treaty with the US so the idea is that he will be sent back to the US to be sentenced and serve his time. He did, after all, admit to raping a child and then fled the country.
Now comes the shocking part. Hundreds of film industry names (these names) have been signing a petition to free Polanski (to allow him to remain freely in Europe), which states that the arrest takes away the freedom of an artist of international renown.
Maybe I shouldn't be shocked at this. Maybe I should have realised that rich and famous people usually think they're better than everyone else. That very talented people sometimes start to think that their own talent is more important than truth, or justice, or integrity.
But I am shocked. I honestly believed that most of the people in the film industry, even the great big famous ones, still knew that they are people just like everyone else. I thought that the self-centred, up-on-a-pedestal ones were really very rare. According to that list of names, I was pretty wrong. People I admire are on that list - Harrison Ford, Tilda Swinton, Terry Gilliam, Guillermo del Toro....
I have to admit I searched frantically through the names and was very relieved not to see Johnny Depp, or Geoffery Rush, or Kate Winslet (though, disappointingly, her husband, Sam Mendes, is there). I love my favourite actors for their own character as much as for their abilities so at least I still have that measure of sanity to cling to.
Disappointing, "Hollywood", so disappointing.
I'm going to bed, hoping that someone with as much integrity as money & fame stands up and speaks the truth - simply that a convicted criminal should face his past and serve his time.