Talent is No Excuse

by Ben Cohen

Chez Pazienza eloquently articulates why no person, no matter how talented, deserves to be above the law:

It took all of a few hours after Polanski’s arrest in Zurich for the

notoriously pompous European artist community to rush to his defense,

claiming outrage and indignation at the notion that Polanski could be

impolitely busted while visiting Switzerland to receive (gasp!) a

lifetime achievement award for his filmography. They’re calling it a

“provocation.” The implication is crystal clear: There is often an

unnavigable gulf between the artist and his work and, dammit, that’s

okay; you can honor the man’s abilities without letting your paean be

tarnished by any of the nastier realities of who he is or what he’s

done. If this kind of nonsense sounds familiar, it’s because we all

just lived through weeks of it when Michael Jackson died. Although it’s

never wise to willfully trample on someone’s grave, you can’t simply

pay tribute to an artist’s talents without recognizing that there’s a

very real person who may be guilty of very real crimes at the center of

your love-fest.

I’m with Chez on this. Polanski should be held accountable for the charges laid against him, just like anyone else. A great film maker, yes, but in the eyes of the law, still a child rapist.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.