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A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist

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Simply put, can you separate the art from the artist?

In this particular instance I'm referring to a popular female English author known for her series of children's fantasy novels. But feel free to substitute her for any other famous figure in the entertainment business mired in controversy.

Should people boycott her movies for example? Given that so many other people worked on and put their talents into making them? Because at the end of the day they are still her properties and she still benefits financially. Same with the video games, toys and so on...

And if the answer is no then where is the line drawn? I'm guessing there isn't a soul out there today who, being aware of his crimes, would wear a Gary Glitter t-shirt.

Finally how much input does the person have to have in a project before it becomes unacceptable to support it. Specifically I have the Lostprophets in mind here. Should their work be ignored because of one person?

It would be interesting to hear how other people deal with/view these moral dilemmas :)

Colin YNWA:
We discussed the possible subject of this post and thoughts on her views over in this thread recently

On the specific I can struggle with this. Do I throw out my old Cerebus books, no. Do I buy anymore Dave Sim comics or books. No - I realised when I check in on him a couple of years ago that I wasn't comfortable with where he was still at and so moved on.

If he came to some realisation and revisited his views I might do the same in my view of buying more stuff from him. I see little point in not re-reading the work I have that he created though. In fact I've done just that and found it fascinating to do so. Especially when you read his revisionist views on his own work.

That said I don't not buy something just because I disagree with them. No, but if their views are appalling I personally don't feel comfortable. Where (and if) you draw those lines is of course a personal choice.

Sometime how it can be beneficial to read the views / works of someone you disagree with to better understand an opposing view. Again where that extends to is a personal view.

As for work thats a collabrative effort I guess you can expect some 'collatoral damage' and by boycotting the work others based on the offenses of one does not apportion blame, but is a necessary consequence...

.... man I'm not sure I've said anything to add to the open post except to say you have to draw your own lines, after all what we find offensive will be deeply personal in  the first place.

Greg M.:
Personally, I couldn't care less what an artist's opinions are, even if they're extreme, deemed unpleasant, or wildly divergent from my own - if I like the art, I like the art. For the most part, the same goes for their personality and conduct.

The Enigmatic Dr X:
I don't think any line should be drawn at all. I think that to ask the question is to create the thin wedge of thought policing.

I consider it wrong for you to judge my conduct by imposing your opinion of a third person on me. That is intolerance.

I consider it wrong to equate a legal, lawful opinon with a crime because you do not like that opinion. That is censorship.

And I consider it wrong that any individual or individuals should decree that further sanctions should be imposed on a criminal beyond those put in place by the state. That is mob justice.

Funt Solo:
It's sometimes difficult to dislodge a public figure's behavior from their work.

I'm a bit fickle, honestly, but I can't stand to watch anything with Robert Downey Jr. in it because he's just far too precious when he appears in public. That interview with Krishnan on C4 News really cemented it for me, especially given that he was playing a character whose history riffed on his own, and promoting the movie. How dare an interviewer make the obvious and clear link between life and art?!

I've gone off Brad Pitt ever since he did a Pepsi commercial in the middle of a zombie movie. "What's my motivation?" Oh, it's the $$$.

I've never had much time for the Potter stories (or movies), so my feelings there are irrelevant.


It would probably be in poor taste to mention Hitler's paintings...


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