Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen want Roman Polanski released from a Swiss Jail.
The two directors and more than 100 other filmmakers and actors have signed a petition voicing their objection to Polanski's arrest on 32-year-old charges of having sex with a 13-year-old girl, according to E! News.
News: Roman Polanski arrested in Switzerland
Zurich authorities took the 76-year-old Oscar-winning director of The Pianist
into custody Saturday. Polanksi, who also directed Chinatown
and Rosemary's Baby
, fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with the underage girl.
The Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement that U.S. authorities have sought the Polanksi's arrest since 2005.
Check out all of Polanski's filmmaking credits
Despite the guilty plea, the signers of the petition demand Polanski's release and find fault with the way he was arrested. "It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by the police to apprehend him," the petition says. "The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance ... opens the way for actions of which no one can know the effects."Other celebrities weren't so supportive. Singer-songwriter Jewel and The View
co-host Sherri Shepherd both took to Twitter to voice their disapproval."Polanski-admitted raping a 13 yr old-whys every1 in the arts upset hes facing jail? cause hes a gifted director? what am i missing?" Jewel tweeted
: "Whew...long day at The View
...two shows today...hot debate over the Statutory Rapist Polanski. 45 year old man plies a 13yr old w/drugs & Liquor and anally & orally penetrates her w/o her consent is a RAPIST. We hunt down 75 year old Nazis. We must protect our children."Polanski's lawyers recently filed for dismissal, based on misconduct allegations in a 2008 HBO documentary that suggested behind-the-scenes manipulations by the judge and a prosecutor.
Watch the film about the case, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
On the Today
show, meanwhile, Debra Tate, the sister of Polanski's late wife, actress Sharon Tate, said Polanski is a "good guy" and she doesn't think her former brother-in-law can get a fair trial in the United States. Sharon Tate was murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson's followers when she was eight months' pregnant.Polanski's arrest also put the completion of his latest film on hold. Polanski's agent, International Creative Management chief Jeff Berg, told The Associated Press that Polanski has completed much of the editing on The Ghost
, which stars Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor, but other post-production work remains to be done.Polanski's attorneys have filed petitions asking Swiss Criminal Court to release him from custody and block his extradition to the U.S, His attorneys want Polanski, a dual Polish and French citizen, to be allowed to post bail or be put on house arrest at his Swiss chalet in Gstaad.Do you think Polanski should be released?