If you've been arguing with your friends and family about the arrest and detainment of Roman Polanski in Switzerland last week, don't feel bad -- you're not the only one with an opinion. There's a debate brewing in Hollywood over the acclaimed director and his current legal predicament, and everyone has jumped into the fray. Polanski fled from the US after a conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor back in 1978, and with his recent arrest some of the biggest names in Hollywood have been publicly showing support. Recently, filmmakers like Michael Mann, Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam, and Woody Allen (ahem, yes, even Woody Allen) signed a petition demanding the filmmaker's release from a Zurich jail. On the other hand, there is a very real possibility that not everybody is on board the love train, and the problem is that those people aren't talking.

Hollywood is a business, and just like in any other business, reputation can be everything. If you think of Hollywood as the world's biggest high school, then you can see how nobody wants to be excluded from the 'cool table' -- and it doesn't help that the pro-Polanski faction has Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, and the opposition has Sherri Shepherd and 'Nellie Olsen'. In a piece for the LA Times, writer/blogger Melissa Silverstein said, "I think people are afraid to talk in Hollywood. They are afraid about their next job." Sure, that might sound slightly paranoid, but power players like Harvey Weinstein are writing op-eds in support of the director, so maybe she's not completely off the mark.

After the jump: making excuses and Hollywood vs. Middle America...

In the past weeks I have marveled at some of the rationales for Polanski's 'choices' 31 years ago, but I shouldn't be that surprised. Even if you take the fame factor out of the equation, as a society we're still pretty comfortable with blaming victims and looking for excuses when it comes to sexual assault. No matter what you think about Polanski, you can't tell me it's not disheartening to see sexual crimes against a minor described as a "case of morals" or hear a daytime TV host sum it up as "not rape-rape".

The media has been pitting Hollywood against so-called "Real Americans" for as long as I can remember. With the Polanski case, journalists have gone full steam ahead with the image of Liberal Hollywood being out of touch with moral god-fearing folks in the rest of the country -- which is not only simplistic, it's insulting. In the end, this is no longer about what you think Polanski might have (or might not have) done, because whether we like it or not, moralizing and hand-wringing is not going to change what happened. While the petition made clear that support of the director is because of the issue of freedom of expression for filmmakers traveling abroad, the irony of it all is that in this discussion about "freedom of expression across the world", the only expressions being made are ones that are in line with the status quo.

So what do you think? Has Hollywood truly fallen in line in support of the director, or do you think that celebrities are afraid to speak out to protect their paychecks? Sound off below...