Is Polanski Syndrome to Blame for Hollywood Giving Alec Baldwin's Homophobic Comments a Pass?

It seems obvious that Alec Baldwin gets pass after pass from the liberal Thought Police crowd because he's one of their own.

Hard to argue with that, especially when you compare Baldwin's vile tirades against lesser acts by, say, director Brett Ratner. Something else also could be in play, a factor I'll dub the Polanski Syndrome.

Director Roman Polanski plead guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl and never officially paid for his actions. The basic facts of his case aren't in doubt, yet a good number of Hollywood denizens, including Oscar winner Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Jonathan Demme, have rallied by Polanski's side for years.

Why?

One reason is talent. Polanski has oodles of it, as seen in his landmark films Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown. He's a legend, artistically speaking. And one can't help but sense his fellow artists don't want him silenced, no matter what he may have done.

We saw this embodied by Henry Winkler's comments regarding Kevin Clash, the creator of Elmo who has been hounded by sexual assault accusations. The facts regarding Clash's behavior haven't been fully vetted in court--three lawsuits against Clash were thrown out today on a technicality--but Winkler weighed in a few months back all the same on the subject of Clash's guilt or innocence.

Kevin Clash is was and continues to be BRILLIANT ... end of story

A-list actors have been lining up to co-star in director Woody Allen's films for decades, a fact that didn't change after we learned of Allen's relationship with his girlfriend's adopted daughter. Allen is a comic genius, no question. Does that influence how actors see the opportunity to be directed by him?

That brings us to Baldwin. No matter what one may think of the actor's politics or combustible persona, it's hard not to admire his craft. He segued from handsome leading man to intriguing character actor, like his deft turn as Jack Donaghy from the low-rated 30 Rock.

He's equally nimble hosting Saturday Night Live, one of the toughest gigs on television.

Does that give him a Get Out of Thought Police Jail card for life? Said card appears to be in fine working order. Even GLAAD, a group which vilifies those who demean gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people, quickly accepted Baldwin's obligatory mea culpa.

Is Baldwin too talented to be punished? If true, what does that say about Hollywood's value system?


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