Eastwood’s conceptions of heroism and villainy have always been, if not endlessly complex, at least never simplistic.
The 2008 documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (which I recommend to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the charges facing him now) documents a public perception of Roman Polanski that blamed him not only for the darkness of his films, but even for surviving the Holocaust and for the Manson-led murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, and friends. All of this years before he pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and then fled the country before sentencing.
I don't know what was going through Larry King's mind last night on his CNN show, but here's what happened (from the CNN transcript):
KING: Joining Lawrence Silver with us now is Debra Tate, Roman Polanski's former sister in law, the sister of the late Sharon Tate. On a persona note, I knew Sharon Tate. I had interviewed her a couple of months before her tragic murder. What do you want to see happen?
DEBRA TATE, FMR. SISTER IN LAW OF ROMAN POLANSKI: I would like to see this whole thing go away. I think that there has been a lot of time that has passed and we need to bring it to an end.
KING: Have you ever talked to Roman Polanski?
TATE: I have.
KING: How can you have a civil conversation with someone who so brutally murdered your sister?
TATE: Roman didn't murder my sister.
KING: I'm sorry. When the fact that he would have this terrible thing happen to him after the death of your sister, to once again focus you into the public light. That's what I meant.
Bizarre how easily the lines get blurred...
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