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Author Topic: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist  (Read 5740 times)

RocketMother

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A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« on: 04 October, 2020, 09:22:24 PM »
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

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #1 on: 04 October, 2020, 09:42:20 PM »
We discussed the possible subject of this post and thoughts on her views over in this thread recently

https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=46939.0.

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.

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #2 on: 04 October, 2020, 10:03:48 PM »
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

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #3 on: 04 October, 2020, 10:19:57 PM »
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.

« Last Edit: 04 October, 2020, 10:23:00 PM by The Enigmatic Dr X »
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Funt Solo

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #4 on: 04 October, 2020, 11:29:41 PM »
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.

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JayzusB.Christ

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #5 on: 05 October, 2020, 12:23:26 AM »
It's a tricky one, alright, and I was thinking it over only last week.  I was listening to The Smiths, see, and thinking about what a racist, far-right little gobshite Morrissey has turned out to be.  I think the Stone Roses' first album is one of the most beautiful albums ever made, and Ian Brown is currently spouting life-threatening bullshit about not wearing masks and the 'lamestream media'.  I've loved the Pistols since I was about 14 and now Johnny Rotten is poncing about in an XXXL MAGA T-shirt.

But I won't stop listening to their music.  I will just suspend my disbelief as I listen, and mentally transport myself back to when these people either weren't complete gobshites, or were and I didn't know it.
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Link Prime

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #6 on: 05 October, 2020, 12:33:28 AM »
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.

Agree with this stance 100% - I couldn't give a monkey's toss.
If I did, I probably wouldn't be reading or watching much - including 2000AD.

CalHab

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #7 on: 05 October, 2020, 12:18:46 PM »
This is something I've struggled with and that I don't think I'm consistent with. The one positive thing is that I learned early to separate the art from the artist when I met a musician who I absolutely idolised and he was a bit of a dick. Maybe I caught him on a bad day, but it made me realise that I could like his music without liking him.

An interesting non-contemporary case is HP Lovecraft. He had absolutely vile views, even by the standards of his era, and they make it into his books. Yet he is one of the most influential horror authors of all time.

Richard

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #8 on: 05 October, 2020, 12:52:10 PM »
To me, the character of the creator is completely irrelevant to the quality of and my enjoyment of their work, unless their views and values find their way into their work, in which case I'm then still judging the work on its own merits. I'm not going to enjoy a book or a song any less just because of who it's by.

I don't listen to Gary Glitter because his music is shit. I still listen to Michael Jackson, although I wouldn't have hired him as a babysitter.

SmallBlueThing(Reborn)

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #9 on: 05 October, 2020, 03:50:00 PM »
I am completely inconsistent on this. I think I've come to realise that, like most people, I am more likely to forgive creators extreme views or behaviours if I like them. And by 'like them' in this instance, i mean of course their work: which is all I can judge them on. Since I dont hold any musicians in high esteem (I'm not interested in music at all) my reactions to them when they do a Morrisey/ Ian Brown/ John Lydon/ Gary Glitter/ Michael Jackson is easy for me to process- I just dont like them. Van Morrison was harder for me, as his Moondance is my "favourite song" if I have such a thing.
I have more attachment to writers, so I feel more of a sense of disappointment when Dan Simmons/ Brian Wood/ Warren Ellis/ JK Rowling/ Orson Scott Card turn out to be a bit of a nightmare. But do I stop reading their work? Not really. I dont like Stephen King's beliefs about Intelligent Design or Alan Moore's supernaturalism either, but the phrase "feet of clay" was made for heroes.

I have yet to be faced with a monumentally serious transgression by someone I really admire though. Were that to happen, I might find it more difficult to process.

SBT


wedgeski

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #10 on: 05 October, 2020, 04:08:53 PM »
I have yet to be faced with a monumentally serious transgression by someone I really admire though. Were that to happen, I might find it more difficult to process.
This sums up my position as well.

Professor Bear

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #11 on: 05 October, 2020, 04:32:57 PM »
Isn't that just a lack of empathy, though?  Boycotting a person or entity involves being asked to do literally nothing, I don't really see how that could be seen as asking too much.

Tjm86

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #12 on: 05 October, 2020, 04:39:08 PM »
I think for the most part I'm the same as others in these parts.  I don't dwell too much on some of the witterings of various 'celebrities' or artistes.  I do draw the line when their worldview starts to permeate their work a bit too much.  A good example was Tom Clancy.  Admittedly there was always a jingoistic dimension to his work but his later novels took it to a whole new level.

In the case of Rowling I've always found her work to be trite and hackneyed.  There was little that I felt even underwhelmed by, much less 'whelmed'.  Such views have been called sacrilegious in the past but when even Enid Blyton produces better literature you have to ask questions.  I always point interested readers to Le Guin's Earthsea works, the Weirdstone of Brisinghamen or Feist's earlier work (especially the Daughter series) before he crawled up his own backside and started repeating himself over and over ...

milstar

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #13 on: 15 February, 2021, 05:58:13 PM »
To me, it just depends on whether artist's body of work is influenced by artist's personal views or actions. Because you can be an a-hole in real life, and Mr. Magic in whatever is what you do (drawing, writing, acting, directing). In fact, when I look at directing for instance, James Cameron or Michael Bay are a-hole directors to me, but hey, one made Aliens, Abyss, Avatar, the other made Transformers series, earning piles of money in the process. And old Hollywood directors were much cruel toward actors and crew. But should we hate John Ford's She Wore Yellow Ribbon? I don't think so. Someone mentioned HPL. I admit I haven't got his views initially, only when I read his biography. In Shadow Over Innsmouth, fishmen were scary because I thought of them as any  malicious monsters you could find. Needless to say, HPL views were typical for 1920s. Okay, now I am straying off the subject here. Back on point, I believe reader's (or viewers) should have a little responsibility to what they chose as an object of consummation. What I do, for instance, before I read something new that interests me, is to read about the work, the artist so I could determine if I actually will enjoy it. I never read Cerebus, neither now I will. On the other hand, I loved Ender's Game, even though Orson Scott Card doesn't like two uncles in intimate situations. But to find something that just a little reeks on homophobia in Ender's Game is like a searching for needle in haystack.
Finally, like someone said, we all draw our (personal) lines. So, what matters to me, might not matter to other and vice-versa.
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Jim_Campbell

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Re: A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist
« Reply #14 on: 15 February, 2021, 06:54:03 PM »
Needless to say, HPL views were typical for 1920s.

Even by the standards of the day, Lovecraft's racism and antisemitism were pretty extreme.
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