Do The French Actually Even Want Roman Polanski Back?

polanski517Plenty of debate in the old blogosphere this week over Roman Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland this weekend and whether he should be returned to the U.S. to face trial for raping a 13 year old girl in 1977. You can find a solid roundup here.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s arrest took most of the world by surprise and much was made in the American papers about how dearly the French loved and supported Polanski, especially their government!

Culture minister Frederic Mitterrand said he was “dumbfounded” by the arrest and “strongly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them,” President Sarkozy wants him released as quickly as possible. Oh those French and their ideas!

Not so fast! According to the New York Times the French public may not actually be so hot on Polanski’s freedom.

The mood was even more hostile in blogs and e-mails to newspapers and news magazines. Of the 30,000 participants in an online poll by the French daily Le Figaro, more than 70 percent said Mr. Polanski, 76, should face justice. And in the magazine Le Point, more than 400 letter writers were almost universal in their disdain for Mr. Polanski.

Sounds less like the French “desire” Polanski at the moment and more like they are just as split on what should happen to the Oscar-winning director as the rest of the world.

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