|Yes, he is extremely unsavory. No doubt about it.
I think he has made some incredible films. However, he is an exemplar of the grotesque business and social culture that is hollywood, aka the american film business, even if he is barred from entering the U.S. and stays overseas, even if he doesn't win the oscar. The "good" hollywood folk judge him, wash their hands, and still think they're "clean."
I would not lightly accuse others in hollywood of child molestation, but like Heidi Fleiss, Polanski "got caught." I think that a lot of this unseemly behavior takes place with minors within the hollywood community, and with others who are unwilling or who submit because they're awed by fame or because they think they'll get ahead by doing so--and some of them do profit from their work on the casting couch.
The whole scene is so tawdry and grey. Think about this 13 year-old girl being left alone with Polanski the predator. Maybe she was flattered and felt "wild" while they were just taking pictures. She'd been exposed to drugs and sex before, but she was cast in Polanski's B-movie hollywood model fantasy. That may have been irresistible initially, until his crawling 43-year old manflesh made its goal so unceremoniously and unpleasantly real.
The "directing" and the drugging, the laissez-faire attitude of "the woman" (anjelica huston?) and the girl's mother--It all screams of the potency of fame as a drug that sedates, hypnotizes and weaves fantasy not only for the
paeons, but for the famous themselves.
I try to separate personalities from the art or the professional actions of public figures; (Dubya's nice to his kids, his wife, blacks and latinos in his administration--great!?!) This holds for Polanski as well; even though I find him warped and twisted, some of his films are great because he is warped and twisted.
But beyond his personal guilt is the way in which he's been used as the "really bad guy," worse than other big-time hollywood sleazebags. Despite his terrible conduct, hollywood cannot claim its own righteousness by denying him an oscar or by forgiving him and offering him the prize because his latest film concerns triumph over victimization.