October 1st, 2009
08:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Schwarzenegger: Treat Polanski 'like everyone else'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/01/art.arnold10.0109.jpg caption="Schwarzenegger: Treat Polanski 'like everyone else'."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told CNN on Thursday that he thinks filmmaker Roman Polanski, who was arrested in Switzerland last weekend for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, should not get special treatment because of his celebrity status.

As some in Hollywood rally to Polanski's defense, the movie star-turned-Republican governor said he wouldn't promise the director a pardon if he gets extradited to the United States and re-enters California's legal system. He said that he would "not treat (Polanski's) situation any differently than everyone else's."

"It doesn't matter if you are a big-time movie actor or a big-time movie director or producer," Schwarzenegger told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I think that he is a very respected person, and I am a big admirer of his work. But nevertheless, I think he should be treated like everyone else."

soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    is that what happened when some woman said you did something wrong to her?

    October 1, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. Diane Bralley

    I can't believe I am in agreement with a Republican, but the govenor is so right. What Polanski did is wrong. Had it been a normal guy on the street, he would be rotting in prison now. The legal system may have been unfair to him, but if he had not been raping 13 year old girls, the judge would not have been able to do so.

    October 1, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  3. Irene

    Please, The GOP has no moral authority. If they did, they wouldn't allow live people to die from lack of healthcare. The prosecutor has already confessed to trumping up charges for a documentary, the victim wants it left alone, he has already served time, and LA has much more important things to do with the money spent on this witch hunt. Arnold is the last person to claim moral authority with his checkerd history of sexual harassment.

    October 1, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. pat

    It isn't right what Polanski did – pretty disgusting. Drinking and drugs could make you do stupid things. But the guy didn't have it easy when his wife and unborn baby were brutally killed and he had to endure all the aftermath. There's no excuse, but maybe he wasn't in the right mind during those years, and under the influence, forget it. The mother should have never left her young daughter alone in the room with an older man either, no matter who he is, especially if the girl didn't feel entirely comfortable. A bit careless. Polanski is an old man now, and I'm sure very sorry for his behavior, let's move on now. The girl did.

    October 1, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. girlsouth

    and Terry from West Texas....
    good for you. Except in one respect.

    Polanski already settled out his debt to his victim, in dollars.

    He has yet to pay his debt to society, for both crimes.
    Society tells the legislators "Keep our children safe".
    No matter how much time has passed, he cannot get away with a crime he has already been convicted of and admitted to.

    October 1, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  6. tealtripod

    I agree with the govener about pepole paying for their crimes and mistakes. Please tell me when he will admitt that he has a bankrupted the state. We have no jobs and the alliens in this state are stealing what jobs there are.

    October 1, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  7. Heizel

    Polanski raped a child and like any other rapist he must pay for his crime in jail – if he was willing to rape this child he might have been willing to rape other children- who knows if there are more victims in Europe – whether the victim now forgives him or not does not right the wrong he did – he was a grown, experienced man who was in complete control of a child and knew what he was doing was wrong and didn't care to hurt the child, he only cared to satisfy himself – we cannot excuse this rapist or we must excuse all other rapists and then where does that leave the victims?

    October 1, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    You have to be a complete idiot to believe that this has anything to do with being liberal. Two words...Mark Foley. Should we assume that conservatives are all pedophiles because Mark Foley, Republican congressman from Florida, sent sexually explicit e-mails to teenage male pages? How about Catholic Priests? They're pretty conservative politically. So ridiculous!

    I'm liberal, and I would happily shoot someone in the backside if they ever did something like this to my child.

    October 1, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  9. Madrid Olympics

    Liberals don't stand for anything, but they've put their fingers to the wind and will now most likely stay silent or support Arnold's position.

    The liberal Hollywood scum that jumped the gun and signed the "Woody Allen" petition will soon be running for cover or somehow try to amend their position.

    October 1, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  10. Valerie

    I think he should be treated like anyone else. If that had been my daughter I would have been livid. Go Arnold!!!

    October 1, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  11. Dan Scherschel

    Not many times in my life have I agreed with a Republican but this time Mr. Governor I agree with you 100%..

    October 1, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  12. charlie in Maine

    Yes I agree with the Gov. See I can agree with Republicans but only when they are right. Something they have avoided on the national scene for some time.

    October 1, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. butDUDE

    Not that I'm condoning Polanski's actions, then or since ...

    But where is the historical perspective? Roman
    was away filming when members of the Manson
    Family broke into his house. They killed his wife
    Sharon Tate who was eight months pregnant at the
    time, along with other guests at his house. To
    say they were "grisly" is an gross understatement
    of the events.

    So while I don't condone his actions, this guy has
    suffered far more than most of us.

    October 1, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  14. Fitz in Texas

    Oh, but all those Hollyweirds that support Polanski think we should just forget what Polanski did to that thirteen year old girl. Wonder if they would feel that way if it were their thirteen year old daughter. I know what I would feel towards Polanski....and forgiving wouldn't be one of my feelings.

    October 1, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. pbj

    Polanski is a child rapist, plain and simple. I look forward to him being in prison, where at least the felons know how to deal with a child rapist, even if Hollywood thinks the quality of one's "art" somehow excuses drugging and raping a 13 year old.

    October 1, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. Gus The Willie

    As an Independent who is not fond of Republicans, this is one Republican I respect for his stance on the treatment of Polanski. If someone else did the same now, imagine how outrage we would all be. An out of control 45 year old taking advantage of a 13 year old did a crime then, and it is still a crime. No one should be given special treatment or given a status above the law. He skipped, got caught, and now he has got to pay for his misdeeds.

    October 1, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  17. Whitney Ivey

    I do not think that he should get spacial treatment either. What he did was very wrong. To me personally I think he knew just what he was doing. Just because he is a big time actor what makes him so special to the point that his punnishment is different from anyone else who breaks the law. he deserves what ever they give him.

    October 1, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. Denna

    Why would anyone with half a brain think that liberals would back this guy up? He should be arrested and tried, although I understand that the victim believes that he should not be tried. In any case, liberals are not boogie men, or evil. We actually have family values and believe in God, Mom and Apple Pie.

    October 1, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  19. Ravi


    That is just plain GROSS.

    October 1, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  20. Chad

    Why do liberals protect child rapists??? Polanski is just one example... The judges in Vermont and Massachusettes have a long history of letting them off the hook. I just don't get their thinking.. Creepy.

    October 1, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  21. Joe D.

    I knew someone couldn't resist the temptation to make this a liberal/conservative issue. I can assure you most liberals are in favor of enforcing the laws equally, despite fame or political power. Since he has already been convicted, I assume they don't need the victim's participation for the sentencing phase. People who claim he's too old don't see that he's enjoyed decades of freedom in a civilized country that he didn't deserve. Whether he served his sentence when he was meant to or now is irrelevant. That he is a notable director is irrelevant.

    October 1, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  22. Robert

    Well, the governor finally said something I can agree with... I'm sickened by the Hollywood crowd wanting charges dropped against this guy because 'he's a genius.' He may be, but he's also a criminal.

    I'm especially disgusted with Debra Tate, the sister of Sharon Tate, who carried on nonsensically about him being a genius and should be shown leniency and let off.... while she was unyielding and unforgiving of Susan Atkins, a woman who so obviously had transformed herself. Up to the day she died. With cancer, a leg amputated and unable to even sit up and she would not show her an ounce of mercy. Because she was a victim. As was her sister. But in this case, she wants the genius off the hook because of her relationship with him.

    What a hypocrite..

    October 1, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  23. Bubble of Sanity

    The outcry from Hollywood is so hypocritical that it stinks almost as much as the current slate of movies they are inflicting on us.

    Woody Allen wants Polanski free. That should be enough right there to convict him.

    October 1, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  24. worriedmom

    Polanski should not get special treatment. The man admitted his guilt, fled the country, continue to go on with his life as nothing happened. No one is above the law and it appals me these Hollywood people defending him. But it just shows you that a lot of Hollywood elites are not in connect with the real world. I think this is just a way of life for them. Sad to say but true

    October 1, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  25. Gentwelve

    I'm a freedom lovin liberal and not in any way shape or form in agreement with conservative politics, that's just what they are, frickin opinions. Mr. Polanski needs to be put in prison, For how long? I don't determine that. Let of the hook? Sorry Woody Allen and your buddies. Not going to happen, I'll go to Sitzerland myself and make sure he pays!

    October 1, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
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