In other news, Roman Polanski has finally been arrested on his 31-year-old statutory rape charge. So we can all breath easy. I know *I* never felt safe in my bed knowing he was at large. I’ve heard of a cold case but this one is Baltic. Who did they get to arrest him, Canadian mounties? He’s been living in Paris for three decades, hasn’t he suffered enough? He made a film with Harrison Ford ffs!

End of jokes. I think it might actually be quite good to get this one off the books.

62 Responses to “Pole-axed”

  1. I caught wind of this this morning listening to the radio, they nabbed him in Switzerland. Does this mean they’ll ship him off here, to the States? I’m kind of on the fence with this. While on the one hand I don’t endorse doing what he did (although I don’t know all the details), on the other I have to ask myself what harm was ultimately done? With so much water under the bridge, it would be easier to assess. When they first mentioned his name I thought he’d died.

  2. Polanski gets nabbed hours after Susan Atkins — who stabbed his pregnant wife Sharon Tate to death as she begged for mercy — takes a dirt nap.

  3. There’s a certain amount of irony in David E’s bit of news, along with Polanski being the one to take the fall for what I understood was quite a popular sport back in ’70s Hollywood (e.g. hunting quail. as it was called). I never understood the severity of the charges considering that preteen groupies were servicing every rockstar fore and aft in every large city in the US. Gp figure. but I guess it was the backlash from the libertine ’70s.

  4. Here’s Roger Ebert on the very good documentary on the case.

    What the documentary doesn’t go into, but one can well read between the frames to see – is that the mother PIMPED HER DAUGHTER OUT.

    That was the reason she never wanted the case to go to trial. She would have been totally destroyed under cross-examination, and her mother would have faced charges.

  5. That’s what Mrs Sylbert seems to be hinting at in the documentary. But even so, there’s a crime been committed. So what if others got away with it? That doesn’t mean Polanski should be excused.

    I hope what’ll happen is the original sentence, imposed by a publicity-chasing DA, will be overturned and he’ll be allowed to go free after a fine or short sentence, with a new-found ability to visit the US and UK if he feels like it. The mess will be over with.

    According to one book, the girl faked an asthma attack during her time with Polanski. She didn’t have asthma. It seems likely she was trying to get out of having sex with him but didn’t feel confident enough to refuse. Kids are brought up to obey adults. That’s part of why what Polanski did was an abuse. But the whole thing has dragged on, the victim says she’s totally over it, and the best thing to do would be to close the case as expeditiously as possible.

  6. There’s more to it than that. There were other adults she had been offered to. Including Warren Beatty.

  7. Indeed, David E. She was shopped around (and was hardly the only youngster to have been pimped in this way). The only difference seems to be that Polanski got prosecuted. If you read enough of what was going on in the ’70s, it’s a wonder half the Hollywood stars weren’t doing hard time (well, no, it’s not a wonder – in America, whether you get prosecuted or not depends more on who you are, not what you did). David C., I hope you don’t think that Polanski was the only one who committed this crime back in the day.

  8. Not like Beatty to say no. Do we believe Julia Phillips’ story about Beatty trying to pick up her and her teenage daughter? “We’re both too old for you,” replied Phillips.

  9. When I clicked on the headline first thing this morning in the US at Yahoo news it took me to an email written by AP writer Bradley S. Klapper to his editor instead of an actual news story which stayed live for only about 1 min. Obviously someone screwed up big time but I quickly copied the email for the heck of it and here it is:

    “Swiss arrest Polanski on US request in sex case

    OK, can you do some more probing? New York will want to know
    frank’s out today.
    i checked already, and so did zurich. they say the question is irrelevant. he answered me with the quote i used, about we knew when he was coming this time. he’s been here many times in the past, we think.
    thx brad. aptn is aware, but unfortunately won’t make it in time, but is hoping to catch tail end.
    i’m pushing out another writethru with some more background details before press conference.
    no surprise, new york is really hot on this.
    they particularly want to know why now. (has he never set foot in switzerland before?) sheila, theorizes that’s because they’re under intense pressure over ubs and want to throw the U.S. a bone, but can yo ucheck with justice department sources there?
    is frank around too, or are you alone?
    u can tell aptn press conf 1700 (15 gmt) in bern at the parliament
    i’ll watch it live on internet

    AP 7:50 a.m. PST 9_27_09 Bradley S. Klapper”

    Fascinating stuff. As I mentioned on Twitter, I think the UBS comment is extremely telling.

  10. See above: I’m sure it was commonplace. A lot of people were looking forward to a time when the age of consent would be abolished. And while Polanski getting prosecuted while others get off raises questions that deserve to be answered, I don’t see that it means RP shouldn’t have been prosecuted.

    However, the charges should have been dropped since the judge’s corruption came out.

  11. Kimberley — wow!

  12. Julia Phillips’ is always to be taken with a GIANT grain of salt.

  13. Here’s an official news story about that private email being sent out: http://bit.ly/QZ9kZ

  14. How the times have changed.

    Errol Flynn would have gotten away from this with a wink and a nudge.

  15. The question everyone should be asking is “Why Now?” not “Why?” We all know why he was arrested but this isn’t the first time Polanski has visited Switzerland in the last 30+ years.

    As the saying goes… Everything is Politics!

  16. The question is always “Cui Bono?”

  17. My thought exactly.

  18. Um, should we be asking “Why now?”. Why? Why is nearly everyone here behaving like this is an incredible miscarriage of justice? Polanski didn’t simply have sex with a child, he had sex with a drugged child. “I have to ask myself what harm was ultimately done?” Um, well, that. You monsters. That drugged children looked like a buyer’s market in Hollywood is not an extenuating circumstance. There is absolutely no reason he shouldn’t be put on trial for fucking a drugged child. Good news: he doesn’t have to stay out of America any more.

  19. “Cui Bono?” You don’t seriously think Tony Blair’s behind this? That’s hilarious.

  20. Tony Williams Says:

    A crime has definitely been committed. But, David E. has pointed out here (and elsewhere) that mother’s role needed some investigation as well as the fact that Polanski was railroaded by the original judge.

    However, the question still remains, “Why now?” and one wonders whether the Obama Administration may be wanting to throw a bone towards the religious right while continuing the Bush Regime’s policy of extraordinary rendition, torture of prisoners and the extension of the Pariot Act ( which gives authorities the power to find out what books one takes out from the library.

    Yes, some enforcement of the original plea bargain arrangement may fulfill the letter of the law but a grave disparity exists between this arrest and the continuing freedom from prosecution of those who have done much worse, namely Cheney & Co and those who gave orders for actions little better than war crimes.

    Like the release of the Bill and Monica story at the time of the Pope’s visit to Cuba, I sense that other “smoke screen” issues are going on.

  21. Strongly agree that Polanski has committed a crime, and even if somehow drugging and sodomising a young teenager was a victimless crime in this particular case, which nobody has succeeded in arguing (and how could they?) there’s a case to answer.

    If the mother was prostituting her daughter that’s likewise a criminal matter, of course, but not one that let’s RP off the hook.

    In this instance, it’s already been established that the original judge perverted the course of justice, so despite all that in the name of strict legality Polanski should go free.

    So it’s a situation where nobody has behaved too well. And the “Why now?” and “Who benefits?” questions are still worth asking because I actually kind of doubt people have suddenly started acting wisely and humanely in this case.

  22. Tony, as long as Kissinger is unpunished I think the chances of Cheney et al being held to account are slim, but we can always hope. Agree that 90% of the news reported (and rising) is a smokescreen for what matters. I give some credit to the journalists who asked what was behind this arrest.

    Maybe Paramount want Polanski’s case settle so he can make them another Rosemary’s Baby?

  23. That would be true if Paramount still existed. It’s merely a “unit” of a megacorporation — ike all Hollywood “studios” today.

    Punishing Polanski instead of Cheney? Quite a slick scenario that I wouldn’t put past any of them.

    Christopher Hitchens claims to want Kissinger tried — but then he worships Cheney like a God, so. . .

  24. I never asked why or even why now. I just was rather astonished that for all the hullabaloo surrounding the case even today, it seems it was only Polanski that would take the fall. There was plenty more perps and victims where that came from. As for Julia Phillips, a grain of salt wouldn’t cover it, the Bonneville salt flats might. When I read her book, two things struck me – she was egomaniacal and a liar.

  25. Christopher Says:

    ..hell of a way to finally come back to Hollywood..

  26. I bet he wishes he’d come to collect his Oscar now, that would have been REALLY dramatic.

  27. Christopher Says:

    oh I dunno..this just all seems so irrelevant now..(bob evans voice)..come back to paramount Roman..make a picture for me..

  28. Well yes, a serious crime at the time is now a legal technicality for everyone but the perpetrator. I kind of hope it clears the way for American work though, whatever he’s done I’d rather have more Polanski films.

  29. I’d rather have Cheney in Gitmo.

  30. Agreed. Do something about that, would you? Why is it so hard to prosecute these creeps?

  31. Because they run the world.

  32. david wingrove Says:

    Not being a particular fan of Roman Polanski or his films, I can’t help but consider the wider legal implications of this case. Are we to assume – based on the actions of the Swiss authorities – that citizens (or residents)of the European Union are NOT safe from extradition to a third country should they dare to cross the Swiss border?

    Are political and religious dissidents to be flown back to Iran, or refugee lamas flown back to Tibet, all for the sake of a day-trip to Geneva? If so, then the EU needs to examine its ‘open-door’ travel arrangements with Switzerland very carefully indeed!

    Frankly, I think the EU should close its borders with Switzerland until Polanski is released and issued with a public apology. He is a French citizen who is wanted for no crime in any EU member state. Case closed.

    Although I have little time for the man or his private life, I do not see how the Swiss can claim any sort of moral high ground. Let’s not forget that Switzerland exists largely as a ‘tax haven’ in which some of the most evil men on earth can hide their money…no questions asked.

  33. It’s also where Jean-Luc Godard comes from.

  34. As I understand it, Polasnki could be extradited from Britain if he came here. It’s not about the EU, it’s about whether the specific member state has an extradition treaty with the US. We do, Switzerland apparently does, France doesn’t.

  35. Tony Williams Says:

    David C. is correct in what he says but I will also mention that the USA has an unequal extradition treaty with the UK and the rest of the EU. Hence some financiers were extradited over a year ago to face trial in the USA and some unfortunate hacker with health problems may also be facing extradition. However, the USA is notoriously unhelpful in extraditing wanted IRA terrorists who have committed murder in Northern Ireland so, again, one is highly suspicious about the timing of this act by an Obama administration under siege by the right-wing.

  36. The news just clarified this — in the UK, there’s a vague time limit which means it would be highly unlikely we’d extradite somebody on a 31-year-old charge. But we COULD.

  37. Tony Williams Says:

    Especially, if the USA asked for it or Gordon will not even get a five minute talk with Obama in a restroom!

  38. david wingrove Says:

    If that is the case, then surely the EU needs to coordinate its extradition policies to ensure that citizens can travel freely from one member state to another – without risking deportation to a third country!

    Freedom of movement within the Union is one of the basic principles of the European project, and the bewildering mess of extradition treaties surely flies in the face of that.

    OK, Switzerland is not a member so that wouldn’t apply to them – but surely the EU should present a united front in this case, to protest at the barbaric and illegal treatment of its citizens.

  39. That would make sense. Of course I have no idea how you cancel a treaty with a foreign power — does it have to be by mutual agreement? If so, it might be impossible, since I can’t see the US giving up an advantages.

    It occurs to us that if Polanski had been a Catholic priest guilty of the same offense he’d be getting a lot less sympathy (but probably more protection from above).

  40. david wingrove Says:

    Not sure I could ever compare Polanski with a Catholic priest. A priest who commits a similar offence has been placed in a position of trust and moral authority over vulnerable young people, but chooses to break that trust in the most cynical and despicable way.

    In the case of Polanski, while his actions may have been repulsive and reprehensible (and I think they were) he was not in any position of trust and certainly had no moral authority over the girl in question. It seems doubtful, in fact, that anyone had – least of all her own mother!

    As far as I can make out, a young girl “no better than she should be” had been pimped all over town by her mother…allegedly to Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty and God only knows who else! If anybody deserves to go to prison over this sordid affair, surely it’s the mother and not the one poor idiot who just happened to get caught.

  41. No, all the idiots deserve to go to jail. If somebody offers one a child sexual partner, should one take advantage of the offer or should one call social services? It’s not really a moral dilemma, is it?

    Grotesque as it may seem, Polanski was in loco parentis. Officially he was photographing the girl for Vogue, which puts him in the position of employer and child-minder. The mother’s intentions don’t count and the child’s attitude isn’t the central point, since she was below the age of consent. The fact that she tried to avoid sex with the guy doesn’t help his case either.

  42. Tony Williams Says:

    But, the UK is in the European Union and Blair’s signing of an unequal treaty with the USA puts everyone at risk, especially with New Labour’s tacit approval of “rendition.”

  43. I agree that there is something distinctly unequal about the extradiction treaties between uK and US. Never understood how General Pinochet wasn’t arrested in UK. This is not about hapless highly functioning aspergers computer hackers but the rape and explotiation of women. I’m pretty hard line when it comes to rapists and happy to have the mother tried too. What this woman says http://abbyjean.tumblr.com/post/199339106/its-time-to-go-hard-on-this is my view too.

  44. My desire for more Polanski movies does prejudice me, plus the fact that he’s probably going to spend more time in jail waiting for extradition than he ever will when sentenced, plus the fact that the victim doesn’t want him pursued any further, which makes the whole thing seem slightly pointless. But he does deserve to be punished. I’m just not sure he legally can be after what’s already gone on, with the outrageous behaviour by the original judge.

  45. I know in the UK that conviction of rapists has gone down in the past 20 years – if anything things are getting worse rather than better. And the idea that he should get off because of the shoddy state of US law makes me pretty unhappy. But it seems to be that there are always excuses for rapists to get away with it. And I can happily live without more Polanski. He could always teach filmmaking in prision .There was UK documentary maker who made a film in pirson taught several prisoners how to do sound and camera and they got jobs when the left the clink – now that would be a much more useful thing Mr Polanski could do – as recividism due to lack of jobs for exprisioners is quite a problem.

  46. Tony Williams Says:

    M, I can not disagree with the abbyjean blog or your feelings on this matter. Yes, Polanski should be punished . But he did not torture and murder on the scale of Pinochet, the Bush Regime, and the current Obama administration which is continuing these practices. I’m not saying that Polanski’s crime is minor here. It is very serious.

    But WHY is he being hunted down NOW especially with a President globe trotting to get the Olympic Games in Chicago rather than remaining in the White House and trying to get that government health scheme (now rejected by a Senate Committee) that he got elected on the basis of. Although Polanski committed a crime, if justice is supposedly blind, why not begin the indictment of Cheyney & Co?

  47. The hunt for Polanski was stepped up in 2005, apparently in a peevish response to his suing somebody for libel. Or maybe somebody didn’t like Oliver Twist.

    It seems reasonable that this arrest was planned because they knew he was coming to Switzerland, but he owns a holiday home in Gstaad so he could theoretically have been collared ages ago.

    British juries seem reluctant to convict for rape, the defense always managing to plant some “reasonable doubt” in their minds. I’ve always assumed that false accusations are phenomenally rare.

    In Polanski’s case, he actually was convicted — he confessed — but the combination of plea bargain and judicial misconduct means he may never see any authentic official punishment. The argument for punishing him, since his victim doesn’t demand it, is that rape should automatically be punished otherwise more of it will happen. The argument for freeing those who have been shoddily handled by a judge is similar — if you allow them to punish the criminal, they’ll continue to abuse the law because it gets results.

  48. david wingrove Says:

    There was on interesting piece in The Independent yesterday…along the lines of “how would you feel if it was your daughter?” Well, frankly, I would never allow my teenage daughter (and I have two) to be in a room, alone and unsupervised, with a middle-aged film director (and notorious womaniser) not even for some nebulous ‘modelling contract’ with French Vogue. The mother was either a knowing accessory to child abuse, or just plain stupid.

    Whether Polanksi goes to prison or not, ths scandal has clearly devastated him. before the scandal, he made REPULSION and ROSEMARY’S BABY. Since the scandal, he’s made PIRATES and BITTER MOON. Hasn’t he (and his audience) been punished enough?

  49. Well, being stupid isn’t a crime, and even if it were, it isn’t the little girl’s fault. And I’m not sure everybody’s that suspicious. They ought to be, but I bet Colin Farrell (to choose a modern ladies’ man) could get entrusted with a teenager for an afternoon if he tried. Look at Michael Jackson — those parents ought to have known better, but at least some of them didn’t. (Some of them may have been hoping to get a lucrative lawsuit out of it.)

    Since Vogue didn’t come out and say “Mr Polanski wasn’t working for us” (correct me if I’m wrong), I assume he WAS, and the perception of nebulosity is perhaps due to their efforts to distance themselves as best they can from the whole affair.

  50. david wingrove Says:

    Yes, but at the same time…What sort of parent would do that?!

    The mother of Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland (different generation, I know) would not let her daughters attend casting or photo sessions unchaperoned until they were well into their 20s. She was a sensible lady who knew what went on in Hollywood and was not prepared to take any chances.

    God, I sound like Maggie Thatcher here, calling for some sort of ‘return to Victorian values’ – but the sheer lack of parental responsibility in this case is horrifying! (As it was in the Michael Jackson fiasco.) That does not excuse Polanski’s behaviour in any way at all, but still I can’t help thinking: ‘Where in hell were the parents?!’

    Besides, if Polanski shagged his teenage model while photographing her for French Vogue, I doubt the magazine would have objected. I’m sure it wasn’t the first time…or the last.

  51. I just have to pipe in here and say that at age 13 I was doing drugs on my own and sexually active. Women tend to mature quicker than men and at that age I did a lot of things that my mother was completely unaware of. I was also attracted to older men and found myself in some uncomfortable situations. My mother would have undoubtedly gone nuts if she knew what I was up to but have you ever tried to control what a 13 year old did 24 hours a day? Good luck with that!

    And please don’t assume all 13 year old girls are sexually naive. At that age most of us have started menstruating. We’re able to have babies and we’re naturally sexually curious. But adults shouldn’t take advantage of that. No matter how you cut it, Polanski was undoubtedly the girls emotional and mental superior at the time of their encounter.

    Of course the case is extremely complicated by the events that followed, the media circus, the girls testimony and the final charge of statutory rape that Polanski was charged with before he fled the country. Many people seem to think he was charged with rape instead of statutory rape. The charge of statutory rape would imply that the sexual act between Polanski and the girl was more participatory than had been thought once all the evidence was gathered. Instead of discussing the actual crime Polanski was charged with a lot of people are discussing the girls original testimony which a court of law obviously found flawed. This isn’t helped by the fact that the case was so utterly screwed-up by the original judge, etc. and it’s currently colored by the horrible way that rape victims are treated by the law even in supposedly “civilized” countries.

    I’m personally trying to remain rather nuetrul about the whole thing even though I fully admit that I think Polanski is a brilliant director I don’t feel that the public has all the facts and the facts that are being presented by Polanski’s defenders and prosecuters are becoming more blurred every day. As for now, I’m still more interested in the “why now” because I do think it’s motivated by more than just some vague sense of justice. It’s a complicated situation and my heart goes out to the girl (who is now a woman) involved.

    Thanks for offering a calm place to discuss these events! It’s hard to have an adult conversation about the topic when so many are foaming at the mouth.

  52. As emotive as the subject is, you don’t get any closer to the truth by raving about it, so I’m all for calm.

    Agree that 13 year olds can’t be expected to be complete innocents. It’s not really about sexual knowledge or even experience: if Polanski were 13 himself, I don’t think he could have been charged if the girl was believed to have consented. But a man in his 30s is behaving exploitatively at the very least by persuading a 13 year old to have sex.

    I think the reason the charge was lowered to unlawful sexual intercourse or whatever it was, was not necessarily flawed testimony, but rather a plea bargain. Polanski agreed to confess to what he had clearly done, rather than admit to something he still seems reluctant to face: that by drugging a minor and forcefully persuading her to participate in a whole catalogue of sex acts, he was guilty of rape.

    The resources involved in bringing him to trial could definitely be better used… but it still doesn’t seem an entirely wasteful effort.

  53. “Instead of discussing the actual crime Polanski was charged with a lot of people are discussing the girls original testimony which a court of law obviously found flawed.”

    No court of law found the testimony “flawed”, it just became unnecessary to examine it further once the defense and prosecution agreed on a plea to a lesser charge. Which can happen for a variety of reasons e.g. Polanski’s lawyers felt that was safer than risking a conviction on the full original charges, the victim and her family didn’t want to go through the ordeal of cross-examination, the prosecution worried that they’d get a jury that thought “Eh, what’s the big deal, she’s probably a slut anyway”, etc.

    While it’s obviously a mistake to treat the girl’s grand jury testimony as proven fact, I think it’s fair game for discussion, for several reasons. Frankly, I’d be perfectly happy to ignore it and focus strictly on the statutory rape of which he’s clearly guilty, if more of Polanski’s defenders actually treated it as a serious crime. Instead we’ve got a boatload of people claiming that “just” fucking a 13-year-old (when you’re a middle-aged man) is no big deal, or sure it was bad but it happened a long time ago so let’s just forget it (why? we’re only talking about it NOW because he’s been a fugitive for decades — obviously it would have been better for everyone if the whole thing was resolved back when it happened, but the fact that it’s still dragging on is Polanski’s fault), or whatever. So it’s probably futile, but I seem to keep hoping that if people read the damn testimony and find out what he was actually accused of, they might rethink the “no big deal” response.

    Related point: While I accept that the girl’s testimony isn’t proven fact, I find it much more believable than Polanski’s denials. After all these years, she has forgiven him and moved on but she has never changed her story. His responses (as far as I’ve seen) have sounded really weak. And honestly, I would bet good money that the class of adults who see nothing wrong with fucking drugged 13-year-old girls probably overlaps substantially with the class of adults who would find it easy to ignore the protests of a girl who is too scared to shout at the top of her lungs, fight back physically, etc.

    And Kimberly, I get what you are saying about some 13-year-old girls being more mature than others but really, being old enough to menstruate, or feel interested in sex, or fool around with teenage boys, or develop a crush on a man, does not actually indicate that a girl is “mature” enough for a fully consensual sexual relationship with an adult. And I’m sure there must be some girls out there who wouldn’t really be harmed by certain instances of statutory rape, but I’m also sure that they’re in the minority. So the age of consent law is still necessary to protect those girls and boys who are still not ready — we really can’t rely on the judgment of kids OR horny creepy adults…

  54. Hmm, can I claim that I cross-posted with David if my comment is almost an hour later? I’m at work, I can’t help it!

    Re: better use of resources… I don’t understand why people are making this argument about Polanski of all people, when there are so many better examples of waste. (This is not directed at you, really, since you say it’s not entirely wasteful – I just want to spell it out.) I mean yes the case is old, but

    (a) Rape should be treated as a serious crime, not forgotten — it’s bad enough that many victims feel too scared/humiliated to report their rapists, many cases are not pursued due to victims’ understandable fear of going through a trial, many rapists are acquitted due to sexist juries, etc. With all of that already going on, I am really not OK with letting ADMITTED/CONVICTED rapists get away with it, just because they manage to stay in France long enough that everyone is sick of hearing about their case.

    and (b) the state really can’t allow any criminal with money or power to flee the country just because they don’t want to go to jail. Obviously punishing Polanski is not going to single-handedly put an end to either rape or fleeing, but it’s quite possible that it could make a few other rich/famous dudes think “hey, maybe I couldn’t get away with that after all…” And then of course the same thing needs to be done with other criminals, until we get to the point that people are actually seriously deterred. (And then, everyone gets a pony!)

  55. Iris, I’ll just repeat what I said above to your last comment directed at me and walk away from the topic since I think I ‘ve said all I can say and I also think that I’ve made myself perfectly clear.

    … please don’t assume all 13 year old girls are sexually naive. At that age most of us have started menstruating. We’re able to have babies and we’re naturally sexually curious. But adults shouldn’t take advantage of that. No matter how you cut it, Polanski was undoubtedly the girls emotional and mental superior at the time of their encounter.

  56. Kimberly – Sorry about that, I kind of rushed to emphasize that point (since a lot of people seem to agree with the “not all girls are totally naive and immature” part but then don’t accept the counterpoint) and didn’t express it very well, obviously, since on rereading I realize my comment implies that YOU are one of those people!

  57. David W on the subject of French Vogue – last week or was it this week? Women’s HOur on Radio 4 had a fascinating and horrifying item about the amount of sexual harrassment and sexual exploitation of female models. One woman from the models union said that milan was particularly notrious for having lots of very sleazy men who had joined the fashion industry just for access to young and underage girls. And I too was horrified to realise that girls as young as 14 are sent to do casting calls alone and unchaperoned.

  58. I think a ban on modeling for underage girls would make a lot of sense, except in very specific cases when children’s clothing must be advertised. Or else trustworthy chaperones should be compulsory.

  59. david wingrove Says:

    It’s not only female models who are exploited and harrassed. I know a young Italian guy who went to Florence for a ‘modelling shoot’ and the photographer promptly tried to get into his knickers. He’s not that way inclined and said so…and his career as a model stopped there.

    The ‘casting couch’ works for both sexes (and in all professions) and is probably impossible to stamp out, but clear guidelines to protect children strike me as essential.

  60. It’s incredible that in this age, when generally people are if anything oversensitive to the possibility of inappropriate behaviour, that the fashion business hasn’t instigated safeguards. Anybody working in kids’ TV is checked, chaperones are hired, etc.

  61. david wingrove Says:

    Just shows you how ominously powerful the fashion industry is – in a dark, creepy and totally covert way. A bit like the Vatican, only with better accessories!

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