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The Schmooze

MeToo Is ‘Collective Hysteria,’ Says Roman Polanski, Convicted Child Rapist

What is the biggest criticism of #MeToo, the social movement that has swept America since the Harvey Weinstein revelations in 2017, encouraging women to speak out about their experiences with sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct?

Not enough due process.

Of course, all of us would rather be tried by a judge and a jury than the Internet at large. And who better than Roman Polanski, the famed filmmaker who was found guilty in court of child rape in 1977? Polanski, who pled guilty to “unlawful sexual intercourse” with a 13 year-old girl, this week told a Polish publication that the #MeToo movement is based on “collective hysteria” and that the phenomenon smacks of “total hypocrisy.” According to the AP, he compared alleged assault victims’ behaviors to the faux-mourning that North Koreans perform after the deaths of their leaders. Observing it, he said, he “can’t stop laughing.”

Because the article was published this week, it may appear to be Polanski’s reaction to being ejected from the Motion Pictures Association of America, the body that, among other things, dictates the Academy Awards. In fact, Polanski’s interview with Newsweek Polska took place before that announcement.

Polanski also said this week that he will be suing MPAA.

We are wishing him plenty of due process.

Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

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