One Guy Lobbies For the Idea That We Can Separate the Art from the Artist

This is a question that’s getting more and more traction in this day and age of cancel culture. Because of things like social media, movements like #metoo, and the twenty-four hour news cycle, we’re learning more than ever before about the creators behind some of our favorite products.

It’s not as if we’re unfamiliar with this concept – Hemingway, Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, and like, a bunch of people from old Hollywood were all jerks, and yet somehow, their work manages to stand on its own.

Just because a celebrity did something bad and cancel worthy does not mean we should disregard their catalog of work
byu/Teenmom_42069 inunpopularopinion

Nowadays many people seem reluctant to still enjoy a book or movie or television show if it’s attached to someone we later learn is a horrible human being – but should it be that way?

This guy argues not, so let’s see what the responses say on Reddit.

12. It can depend on the lens.

Its also very selective who we ostracize and who we don’t.

For example the msm wants to cancel Marilyn Manson yet the Grammy’s invited Cardi B (drugged and robbed men) to perform

11. It can be done.

One ought to be able to hold in one’s head simultaneously the two facts that Dali is a good draughtsman and a disgusting human being. The one does not invalidate or, in a sense, affect the other.

The first thing that we demand of a wall is that it shall stand up. If it stands up, it is a good wall, and the question of what purpose it serves is separable from that. And yet even the best wall in the world deserves to be pulled down if it surrounds a concentration camp. In the same way it should be possible to say, ‘This is a good book or a good picture, and it ought to be burned by the public hangman.’

Unless one can say that, at least in imagination, one is shirking the implications of the fact that an artist is also a citizen and a human being. -George Orwell

10. Some people do seem to largely get a pass.

I’d like to point out that everyone loves Michael Jackson still, and elvis presley, and lena Dunham. As well as how many rock stars that had groupies that were underage or barely legal that they’ve had s^x and done drugs with.

Another one is if we took all the movies Harvey Weinstein every had anything to do with off of the face of the earth that would be so many. Yes they’ve done horrible things but does that mean I’m not going to watch a movie or listen to thriller every again or that I condone what they’ve done no.

Am I going to buy their personal memoirs and be an obsessed fan no. I think thats the distinction if you’re enjoying their public works thats ok but when you start buying all their merch and reading all their biographies and the like then thats when you became part of the problem.

9. Those decisions are tough.

I dislike Kevin Spacey as much as the next person but there’s no way I’m disregarding all of his iconic performances.

Even to this day, I maintain that continuing House of Cards without him was a big mistake. Just canceling the show right then and there would’ve been perfectly understandable.

As excellent as Robin Wright was, she was only a half of that show.

8. It’s a slippery slope.

One thing to consider about this opinion is that if we start to consider more of the art over the artist (their behaviour/life/deeds) then it becomes a way of life where we actively encourage and contribute to that behaviour by sponsoring them through their art.

It’s like paying more for an author’s (outstanding, unparalleled, very enjoyable) works but the work of someone who outright ostracises segments of people. Slowly it may turn mainstream – that’s how usually propaganda works. Or marketing. And monopolies. Or addiction.

First they hook people in with good freebies, then with lower prices, and then before we know it, people are addicted.

I mean, that’s how money laundering works at many levels too.

7. There’s no easy answer.

Seinfeld went on Colbert discussing the issue regarding Bill Cosby.

What I find so memorable is how easy it is to follow their reasoning, and as much as I respect these men as comedians, I disagree so vehemently about their conclusion. The climax of Seinfeld’s documentary, Comedian, he meets his #1 inspiration and hero, Bill Cosby.

Fast forward to this interview, and he dismisses the very art that got him to where he is now.

6. For some, it’s really that simple.

Meh. I don’t help professional a$$holes make any money off of me.

Tom Cruise is dead to me.

5. Maybe it just takes time.

I mean, we literally do the same thing for past figures and cultures.

4. For some, it’s black and white.

Upvoted because it’s actually unpopular. I completely disagree. I never look at it, read it, listen to it, feel it ever, the same way again.

Guess I’m weird for monsters still affecting me in this day and age.

3. Enjoy it, but don’t give them money.

Okay, but here’s the thing. I love Gary Glitter’s cheesy goddamn music, but I do not want that sick creep making a dollar off of me, so I scrupulously do not stream his music nor would I purchase anything of his at retail.

Same with Polanski. Rosemary’s Baby is a riot, but I watch my second-hand dvd and I do not stream it, even though it would be convenient.

2. If you wanna get deep…

This is a moral dilemma that has existed since time immemorial. People are complex individuals and in the end you can only answer this question in the absence of emotions, but emotions are needed to look at and feel art.

Someone should be subjective and objective at the same time and not lose their mind.

1. Human beings are complex individuals.

Agreed. HP Lovecraft was a vile racist excuse for a human. He’s also the father of modern horror genre. Both these things are true. I love his writings and I hate him, especially for what he named his cat

I think this is a super tough question, and I think the answer is probably (annoyingly) “it depends.”

What are your thoughts? We really want to hear them down in the comments!