Dear Mr. Hoyt:
I am writing to express how disgusted I was by Dennis Lim’s February 12 article about Roman Polanski. Certainly, the Times has given plenty of coverage to Polanski’s crime, including a 2009 editorial which read: This case has nothing to do with Mr. Polanski’s work or his age. It is about an adult preying on a child. Mr. Polanski pleaded guilty to that crime and must account for it.
Unfortunately, the Times‘s feature writers don’t seem to share the editor’s outrage–witness the following line in Mr. Lim’s Polanski’s Visions of Victimhood:
“Every Polanski movie has a theme: corruption meeting innocence over water,” he says in Marina Zenovich’s 2008 documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” noting that Mr. Polanski had seduced his under-age quarry in a Jacuzzi.
His “quarry”? With those words, Mr. Lim figuratively dehumanizes a 13 year old rape victim. She’s not a child, or a girl, or a victim, but “quarry”–a hunted animal. How incredibly offensive.
With regard to “seduced”, Mr. Lim should read grand jury testimony of Polanski’s victim–see link–which makes it clear that she was drugged and trying to escape Polanski while in the Jacuzzi. That is not seduction. That was a grown man forcing drugs, and then himself, on an 8th grader.
I very much doubt the Times would print the same word choice in a Metro section article describing, say, the abuse of a 13 year old suburban girl by her middle-school teacher. But because Mr. Polanski is an artist, Mr. Lim–and the Times–apparently feel it’s appropriate to describe the same crime in this dismissive, quasi-poetic way.
That description of the crime is especially ironic given that the next line in the article talks about the “glib” connection between the depiction of water, corruption and innocence. Unfortunately, Mr. Lim seems to be equally glib, only about the rape of a 13 year old child.
Sincerely, Becky’s Real Name