Talk:Roman Polanski

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Semi-protected edit request on 13 August 2017[edit]

There is a consensus for not describing Polanski as a rapist in the lede sentence. An alternative solution has been reached of including a second sentence in the lede about Polanski's fugitive status and what he has been charged with/pleaded guilty to. Those in favour of excluding "rapist" from the lede sentence have also noted that the issue is dealt with in detail further down in the lede. --Brustopher (talk) 10:50, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should we add rapist to the lead sentence of Roman Polanski's intro. Gene2010 (talk) 12:18, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

Roman Polanski's introduction states him as being a: French-Polish film director, producer, writer, actor, and convicted statutory rapist. I think that this matter is covered extensively in the article itself and it is unnecessary to state such a thing at the top of the page.

Already done by Light show. jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) (talk) 06:06, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

I would argue that Polanski is known as much for being a statutory rapist as he is for his work in the film industry, and as such, it is appropriate and consistent with other Wikipedia pages regarding infamously criminal celebrities (see, for example, O.J. Simpson) to highlight it at the top. By way of illustration regarding Polanski being well-known for raping a kid and then fleeing the country, Google his name: The majority of the first page of links are in regards to Polanski-as-rapist, not Polanski-as-director (if searched in private/incognito browsing mode). What mitigating details and background, exactly, are you referring to in arguing that it's "hateful and unfair" to highlight his conviction in raping a 13 year old girl? Please be more specific. Until then, I am adding the note back to the top line in order to maintain internal consistency. SALLY 9000 (talk) 23:16, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

I'm surprised nobody has reverted the edit. Read the Wikipedia policy MOS:OPENPARA here: The lead sentence should describe the person as he or she is commonly described in reliable sources. Gene2010 (talk) 12:00, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
And if you look up almost any reliable source in the last 20 years or so, Roman Polanski is described as a convicted rapist. Here's an article about him filming in Poland, and it mentions his raping of a child. Another random sampling of articles is all about him being a child rapist. Here's an entire review of The Pianist asking if it can redeem Polanski from the stigma of being a child rapist. Grognard Extraordinaire Chess (talk) Ping when replying 17:06, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Agreed, unless you live in a bubble it's clearly what Polanski is primarily known for to the general public and should thus be mentioned first up. Also, for me the article's emphasis on "statutory rape" is rather odd, as it implies some sort of consent (like, "oh, this would be fine if she were an adult") ... when according to the facts of the case (which AFAIK aren't in dispute) he drugged her and then overpowered her. Ivar the Boneful (talk) 17:56, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes, the fact that he was convicted has been wildly covered in many many reliable sources. What he did was ugly and unforgivable. Nothing debatable there. But please don't let emotion get into this. The point of MOS:OPENPARA is, is it what he was commonly called in reliable sources? A rapist? Gene2010 (talk) 00:23, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes! Time magazine calls him a "fugitive" in the headline of their biography. He is commonly known as a child rapist. Even in articles discussing his films and career, they usually bring up his raping of a child or state his "controverisial private life". And in all honesty, the fact he's been a fugitive from justice for 40 years now has equal weight with his career, much like OJ and the murder trial. Grognard Extraordinaire Chess (talk) Ping when replying 09:15, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
That's exactly my point when I search futilely for the word rapist in the source you provided. I think we really need additional comments on this. Gene2010 (talk) 11:48, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, the article used the word "sexual assault" instead of rape. Maybe we should change the lede to reflect that? Grognard Extraordinaire Chess (talk) Ping when replying 10:25, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Here are a handful of reputable sources explicitly using the word "rapist" to describe him:
Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen Defend Child Rapist Roman Polanski, Why Shouldn't You?
Roman Polanski Case: Does France Love Child-Rapists, Movie Directors, or Both?
And, as you know (or you wouldn't be demanding the verbatim use of "rapist"), there are countless sources calling what he did "rape." If you are infamous for raping someone, then you are a rapist. SALLY 9000 (talk) 02:14, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
The Atlantic does not call him a 'rapist' it cites others describing him thus. Pincrete (talk) 21:07, 2 December 2017 (UTC)


  • include in first paragraph + add to lede "fugitive from American justice". His multi-decade fugitive status is highly notable and bears mentioning in the lede.Icewhiz (talk) 13:25, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude from opening para, the subject is covered quite neutrally at present in para 3 of lead. He is known primarily as a film-maker, not as a rapist. nb, for those discussing the case above, RP was prepared to plead guilty to the 'statutory' charge, but the other charges ('actual' rape, drugging etc) have never been tested in a court and are denied by him. Pincrete (talk) 14:53, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
I am strongly opposed to the characterization of statutory rape as not being "actual" rape. It is disgusting to minimize rape in such a way, and I'm sure many others would agree. Here are the Google News archives for Roman Polanski. Every article for 6 pages (at least for me) is about his status as a fugitive rapist. If that isn't evidence of his notability as a rapist, I don't know what is. Grognard Extraordinaire Chess (talk) Ping when replying 10:24, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
You note I put 'actual' in inverted commas, that does not minimise 'statutory' - which is rape regardless of circumstances, since we deem people under a certain age of being unable - by definition - to meaningfully give consent. The two are different, not necessarily more or less serious. The law uses different terms, and so should we. Pincrete (talk) 20:32, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude 'statutory rapist' from opening sentence but mention fugitive status somewhere in the opening paragraph. Actual notability derives from his work as a filmmaker, not the statutory rape charge (otherwise we would have an article about every person who commits statutory rape). Keep a reference to his fugitive status in the opening paragraph as it is an important subject, but giving the rape charge equal weight to his actual work in the opening sentence doesn't read as NPOV to me. carelesshx talk 14:17, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
How does this possibly relate to NPOV? It's not a "point of view" that he raped a 14 year old. He did so and pled guilty. Grognard Extraordinaire Chess (talk) Ping when replying 17:02, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
It's not neutral in tone. The phrase 'statutory rapist' is emotive and unencyclopaedic and doesn't belong in the opening sentence, in my opinion. It looks like advocacy for the victim, which, while noble, is not what WP is for. carelesshx talk 21:01, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
I'd like to reiterate my earlier point about the observation that the vast majority of public discourse on Polanski over the past few decades have been equal parts Roman-as-Director and Roman-as-Rapist. Systems of information targeting a universal audience like Wikipedia should and do strive to prioritize the frequency with which information on a given feature of any item in its collection is sought and discussed by its users. Information systems are highly contextual in nature. As such, I would continue to argue that it is indeed appropriate, useful, and encyclopedic that both features of his life that are subject to frequent public discussion be mentioned at the very beginning of his entry.SALLY 9000 (talk) 23:22, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
Addendum--Here is a list containing a sample of other biographical Wikipedia articles in which the first or second sentence describe the individual's sex crimes, often using the word "rapist" to describe them:
Polanski is decidedly not alone in having his rape conviction mentioned at the top of his entry. SALLY 9000 (talk) 00:54, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Unless you can show that it's in the MoS somewhere, or it's been arbitrated on before, the fact that other articles are written like that is not a positive argument for why this one should be. Besides, in at least half of those articles the subject's only claim to notability is their crimes - this is clearly not the case with Polanski. I don't see any positive argument here for why including the phrase "and statutory rapist" in the opening sentence improves this article, given that the subject is covered exhaustively in the body of the article. carelesshx talk 03:05, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
It is NPOV: He is a convicted statutory rapist as validated by reliable secondary sources interpretation of public court documents, there are no contentious labels being used regarding his legal status as such, and his status as a rapist is a common topic for discussion by reputable sources and has been for a long time (as per The Atlantic in 2010, "it's not hard nowadays to find mainstream sources willing to call Polanski a rapist"). Is his role as a notorious rapist as notable as his role in film? Well, maybe. Is his is role in the film industry as notable as his role as a notorious rapist? Well, maybe. His work as a director, producer, writer, and actor is discussed extensively in his article as well. I could just as easily say that I don't see how including the phrase "film director, producer, writer, actor" in the opening sentence improves this article, given that the subject is covered exhaustively in the body of the article. SALLY 9000 (talk) 04:47, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
It is best to avoid equating statutory rape and rape, by the use of rapist, in Wiki's voice. He is notable for his fugitive status due to his statutory rapist conviction. His fugitive status is clearly pertinent. If this were an old 40 year old conviction it would be one thing - but in this case he lived his entire life since as a fugitive, unable to travel, and at risk of apprehension by law enforcement.Icewhiz (talk) 06:20, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
This is a fair point, and his fugitive status can be verified as ongoing by reputable and timely secondary sources, including LA Times, the Guardian, Reuters, CBS News, the NY Times and multiple Variety articles. I chose the language referring to him as a convicted statutory rapist because, in addition to being accurate and a significant source for his notability, it was the most concise way of fitting it into his introduction. However, if you and others on the talk page have a strong sense that the article would be improved by referring to the act of rape rather than referring to Polanski as a rapist, I will try to rephrase it in a way that flows well and notes his fugitive status. SALLY 9000 (talk) 23:10, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Addendum--Thoughts on phrasing as something along the lines of "Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański (born 18 August 1933) is a French-Polish film director, producer, writer, actor, and international fugitive from United States law enforcement for statutory rape" for the intro? SALLY 9000 (talk) 00:04, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Reverted. In no way does this conceivably pass BLP. - Wikidemon (talk) 17:02, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Undid reversion. It does indeed pass BLP. SALLY 9000 (talk) 20:31, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Reverted. This one does not appear close to me. You're not supposed to edit war over BLPVIO issues. There clearly is not a consensus on this page. If you disagree, the appropriate step is to start a discussion on BLP/N or an RfC. - Wikidemon (talk) 23:04, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough, although there is already a RfC on this page. Also, after considering comments from Icewhiz, I am happy to concede that it the tone may appear more neutral if phrased as something along the lines of "Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański (born 18 August 1933) is a French-Polish film director, producer, writer, actor, and international fugitive from United States law enforcement for statutory rape." SALLY 9000 (talkcontribs) 23:47, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
I support this or something along these lines (maybe trim down international / tweak phrasing).Icewhiz (talk) 05:09, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. SparklingPessimist Scream at me! 06:19, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Consensus(?)--Include modification of the first line as follows:

"Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański (born 18 August 1933) is a French-Polish film director, producer, writer, actor, and fugitive from the United States' justice system for statutory rape."

This version is based on changes made to satisfy objections made in comments favoring exclude by editors Gene2010 and carelesshx to the use of the term "statutory rapist" to describe the person rather than describing conviction itself ("statutory rape"); on change of phrasing to include fugitive status suggested by carelesshx and Icewhiz, leading to conditional include and further feedback from Icewhiz ("maybe trim down international / tweak phrasing," modification made based on this feedback); on editor comments to include in initial form (as "statutory rapist") from SALLY 9000, Chess, and Ivar the Boneful; on new editor comment from L3X1 following modification recommending to include; and lack of other properly sourced reason to exclude. Because this is a BLP (and out of respect to other editors), I will refrain from making this edit to the article for a short period of time (24 hours from the time of this comment), and if there is no further objection after this time, I will include the modified version, indented above, in the article. SALLY 9000 (talk) 23:41, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

While it sounds odd to me, and I would rather leave it out of the lead then include the "fugitive from DOJ" part, your edit does address everything so I guess I'm fine with it. Someone said above that if statutory rape was notable, we would have articles on every rapist ever. I want to point out that we would only have articles on the notable rapists. L3X1 (distænt write) 02:14, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
It reads a little long. I would split it into separate sentence, eg. "Roman Polanski is a writer, director, actor, etc. Since 197x he has been a fugitive from the US justice system for statutory rape". But it addresses the main concern, so I'm fine with it. carelesshx talk 15:00, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
Good suggestion, thanks! I've used this version in the article. SALLY 9000 (talk) 02:32, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude as proposed (invited by the bot). Just put the key facts relevant to this in the lead. Once that is done there no need, conveyance of additional information or encyclopedic purpose to make "rapist" the / an identifying noun of the person. Also there are legal complexities. In the US, even when guilt is 100% obvious, it is not stated unless/until they have convicted. If someone is arrested while committing a bank robbery, they still say "accused bank robber", not "bank robber" until then. And statutory rape of often a legally distinct term from rape without that adjective. North8000 (talk) 15:42, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude 2nd phase in the lead ("Since 1978, he has been a fugitive..."). This is excessive because the controversy is described in sufficient detail in the 5th paragraph of the lead. My very best wishes (talk) 14:34, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment the "fugitive from United States law enforcement for statutory rape" phrasing is a big improvement on the initial suggestion, I would amend it slightly (if used) to "fugitive from United States law enforcement charged with statutory rape". Regardless of the weight of evidence or his own willingness to plea bargain, there has been no trial and we should not be implying a conviction. I will not amend my vote above, since I think the matter is better dealt with more fully in para 3 - as it is at present, but this new phrasing is more WP:V and NPOV. Pincrete (talk) 21:00, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Semi-protected edit request on 21 October 2017[edit]

In October 2017, Roman Polanski returns to Poland to appear in a documentary about his childhood during the Holocaust and after the war, with his longtime friend, the photographer Ryszard Horowitz. They visited Krakow and the village, where Polanski was in hiding after fleeing the ghetto. The film is produced and directed by Mateusz Kudla and Anna Kokoszka-Romer.[1][2][3] 185.195.201.86 (talk) 15:35, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. JTP (talkcontribs) 15:57, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

References

Instrumentalization of Wikipedia[edit]

Some words related to the last few months discussion:
I find it a little ironic that, someone that apparently only participated to Wikipedia to satisfy her non-NPOV agenda of presenting Mr. Polanski has a "rapist" has obtained satisfaction in a way through the final consensus (weak consensus as it is not with much participation). This user edit history says all: SALLY_9000
While the article dealt with the subject in a reasonable way for most than 16 years without this necessity of such words in the lede, the fact this change happened in October 2017, in such an emotional background does not guarantee the fact this was a reasonable change. The rules of Wikipedia are here to prevent such instrumentalization and changes based on short term perceptions (as for example emotional events). Mayfoev (talk) 15:31, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

Actually, my edit history clearly shows that I created my account three years ago to update an article about a Fortran-based statistical software package, but this was a very clever attempt at an ad hominem attack on my Wikipedia presence to protest my reasonable contribution to this page. SALLY 9000 (talk) 14:30, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Confusing 2017 Polanski quote in Guardian article May 3, 2018[edit]

I came to this article to discover facts relating to "Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby expelled from the film Academy" by Guardian Staff 14:52 Thu May 3, 2018. At first, I thought I didn't find them, because I was looking for when Polanski came back to the U.S. _recently_. Perhaps the article could make this clearer. I didn't notice any discussion of the 2017 Polanski quote below in the article (but didn't yet read the main article on legal dispute). The Guardian didn't give a source.

A minor point: I needed to know about the main article on the legal controversies immediately but discovered its existence after much reading. Not a waste of time, but irritating.

Quote from The Guardian:

Polanski, who won an Oscar for best director in 2003, has been a fugitive since fleeing to France in 1978 while awaiting sentencing for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old. While his membership is being taken away, he will keep his award.

“As far as what I did: it’s over,” Polanski said in 2017. “I pleaded guilty. I went to jail. I came back to the United States to do it, people forget about that, or don’t even know. I then was locked up here [in Zurich] after this festival. So in the sum, I did about four or five times more than what was promised to me.”

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion[edit]

The file 20110927ZurichFilmFestival1371.JPG on Wikimedia Commons has been nominated for deletion. View and participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. Community Tech bot (talk) 09:51, 26 May 2018 (UTC)