Roman Polanski Cancels Lecture at Lodz Film School After Protests
Roman Polanski, a convicted child rapist, canceled a lecture at his alma mater on Saturday after protests from students and employees over his scheduled appearance. “Like any other educational institution, our film school should be the place where sexual violence is condemned,” an online petition said, adding that the filmmaker has been accused of multiple incidents of sexual misconduct. The rector at Lodz Film School, Mariusz Grzegorzek, defended the decision to invite Polanski in a statement. “His achievements, and the role of the film school in Lodz in shaping his artistic path, consistently and repeatedly emphasized by the director, have become a cornerstone of our position on the international arena,” Grzegorzek said. “We owe him a huge debt of gratitude.” Variety reports that Polanski, 86, graduated from the school in 1959 and is in Poland to receive an award that honors “rebellious filmmakers going against fashion and trends.” Polanski fled the U.S. after he pleaded guilty to statutory rape in California in 1978. His latest film, An Officer and a Spy, is about a wrongfully convicted man.