Related: Living, Social Issues



David Letterman is a victim.


Roman Polanski is a victim.


How about the female co-workers (subordinates) with whom Letterman had sex?


How about the 13 year-old child raped by Polanski 30 years ago?


The annals of bad behavior by famous men defy complete cataloguing.   Seems that no amount of potential shame, harm to careers and families, or potential legal liabilities can offset their uncontrolled passions — or abuses of power.   Recent sex scandals have displayed an even more insidious side to the abuse of power — the claim of victimization on the part of the men who get caught playing around.

Yes, the producer who allegedly tried to extort money from Letterman in exchange for silence on his affairs is also reprehensible.   What he coulda/shoulda done was report Letterman’s misconduct to the CBS Office of Human Resources or the EEOC that investigates sexual harassment.  There were many things that guy could have done legally; extortion is a crime.

But the fact that Letterman’s secret was exposed via blackmail does not make his actions with his female subordinates any more acceptable.  Even if the relationships were consensual, the spectre of sexual harassment is clear — to say nothing of the shame (now, there’s a concept!) that this kind of revelation brings upon the Letterman family and co-workers.  The number of victims in this story is unknown, but certainly far more than one powerful entertainment figure.

Speaking of entertainment figures, I’m having an equally hard time working up sympathy for Roman Polanski, the movie director who’s been on the lam for three decades after admitting to raping a 13 year old child in Los Angeles.   After working out a plea deal in 1978, Polanski skipped bail and fled to Europe where he has lived quite well for 30 years; he was arrested last week in Switzerland to the anguished outcry of his “fans” who complain that the Swiss police somehow betrayed a good fellow.   Seriously.  He admitted the rape.  The fact that the now-43-year-old victim forgives him does not change the crime.   Do the crime, do the time.   Isn’t that what other people who are not so powerful have to face every day?

Really, though, what’s wrong with these guys?











Read Eugene Robinson’s excellent commentary on the Polanski case in today’s Washington Post

What do you think?  Comments can now be posted on this blog, click the link below and leave your comments.  No profanity, please.

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3 Responses to Huh?

  1. Yes and no, Ms. McGuire. It takes two adults to tango. Yes, Roman Polanski should either have his thing cut off as Islamic Sharia law would dictate or be made a beyatch upstate for life. But men are not the first and foremost blame of women’s problems! Letterman’s other female knew very well what she was getting into, ditto for Monica Lewinsky, and they did it anyway. I now am a Muslima record and film producer and I live in the inner-city of Philadelphia. Women here let men they barely know move in with them and their children who aren’t worth the spit to cuss these “men” out; leave them to babysit, then their kids get abused by these “men” and they stick up for their “men!” I just wish folks would put thier kids first! Not only that, as you know I’m tri-racial and have an interesting look. Willie lynch is a problem with black people, with women it is ten times worse. Do brothers cut on other men 24/7 and say vicious gibes such as “you think you’re cute, but you need to put lotion on your ashy elbows” and gang up on each other for trivial gradations in skintones and hair textures the way we do? Hardly-they fight among themselves, but not the way we do! Men make choices-but unless it’s out and out rape, so do we. Unfortunately, there is always at least an element of choice in victimhood. True empowerment for women or anyone is not coming from whining and demanding for what we think we’re entitled to-but by standing up and taking responsibility for our own. So no, I am not mad at men-if I’m mad at anyone, it’s us for making such lousy choices when we know better.

  2. Lauren says:

    I completely agree, President McGuire. It seems like it is still a man’s world, and women must pay the price. In 2009, it seems like that should be different.
    Thanks for the blog, I enjoy reading it, even though it’s my first time commenting.

  3. Liz Zamorski says:

    President McGuire,
    Thank you for acknowledging this discouraging trend of reconciling the actions of public figures who break the law. In recent weeks, members of the general public have been signing petitions, starting grassroots campaigns, and legitimizing the crimes of sexual harassment, rape, and incest. Celebrities should not be held to a higher legal standard than their peers in the general population. We live in a common law system that proselytizes “liberty and justice for ALL.” By denying justice for the perpetrators of these crimes, we are making exceptions to our legal and criminal justice systems that have far-reaching implications. Until Hollywood becomes its own nation-state, we must hold all citizens legally accountable when they behave in injurious ways.
    Thank you again,

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: