Whoopie Goldberg is causing ructions stateside after a proclamation she made on yesterday's recording of The View.

The woman, who starred in The Colour Purple, said of Roman Polanski's violation of an inebriated 13-year-old girl 30 years ago, and his subsequent fleeing of the United States to France: "It was something else but I don't believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and when they let him out he was like, 'This guy's going to give me 100 years. I'm not staying'. We're a different kind of society, we see things differently. Would I want my 14-year-old having sex? Not necessarily, no."

How about if your 14-year-old was in fact 13? And fed booze and pills before being taken advantage of by 45-year-old man? That OK? What's your definition of "rape-rape", by the by? Does there need to be a darkened lane way? A car park in the dead of night? A pin ball machine and a baying crowd? If it wasn't rape, are you trying to say they were just making whoopie, Whoopie?

What's even harder to wrap the head around is the gaggle of film sorts who've signed a petition "objecting to the 76-year-old director's arrest." The document reportedly states: "The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country (that being Switerland), where he assumed he could travel without hindrance... opens the way for actions of which no one can know the effects. 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."

Um, yis, that's how the law works when dealing with fugitives who've been hightailing it to Cannes every year. Should "one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers" be allowed get away with rape (satutory or otherwise) of a 13-year-old? Tilda Swinton, David Lynch, Terry Gilliam, Martin Scorcese, Monica Bellucci (who starred in Irreversible's most harrowing scene, depicting what Whoopie might call "rape-rape"), aaand Woody Allen believe so...

Samantha Gailey has also said she would prefer if Polanski was let away with it. This is particularly controversial as she is the woman at the centre of this furore. One can understand why; she wants to move on, not be continuously reminded of what happened, not always be known as that 13-year-old. This may be the case, and that is her right, but what does that say to countless other people who are potential statutory rapists, with the accompanying fondness for vulnerable younglings? "If that 13-year-old wasn't scarred for life, maybe I'll find one who'll also be OK with a 45-year-old pressing against her... AND, failing that, if I make something akin to Rosemary's Baby I'll be above the law?! To the directing school! Then the pharmacy!!

One of Whoopie's co-hosts on The View, Sherri Shepherd, posted this on Twitter following the show:

"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 and Liquor and penetrates her w/o her consent is a RAPIST. We hunt down 75 year old Nazis. We must protect our children (sic)."