Separating Art From The Artist

  • I've been thinking about whether you guys can separate the art from the artist if said artist has done something heinous and depraved. Huber discarded the director of Jeepers Creepers and refused to rank those horror films because of his actions. Personally I feel like I can separate the art from the artist but it does make me feel uncomfortable depending on what that person did.

    For instance Lostprophets' lead singer Ian Watkins-I'm not going to go into detail about what he did but it was so disturbing and utterly unforgivably grotesque that I can't listen to Lostprophets at all without thinking about what he did. I don't harbor hatred for anybody but actions such as his were morally bankrupt to say the very least.

    Also Chris Benoit and what he did was unforgiveable but I still love his craft in the wrestling ring and he's still one of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time.

    Sorry for the morbid subject matter but it's been weighing on my mind recently.

  • Personally, I don't like cancel culture in general, so I tend to keep it separated as much as I can. The idea of basically bullying / exiling someone for a mistake they made, without giving them a chance to repent or grow from it, just feels juvenile honestly. What's that one beloved book of moral lessons say? Something about the one casting the first stone? I feel like few of this cursed race have really gone their entire lives without doing anything that someone would find deplorable, especially with how divergent cultures are, and even those who might have probably were raised off the deplorable acts of their parents and other ancestors shielding them from ever having to dirty their hands themselves, whether those ancestors realized the consequences of their actions or not.

    All that said, what I really hate about the entire idea of it, is cancel culture is people giving up on each other. They don't want to hash it out to work out their differences. They don't want to empathize with a fellow human and try to understand why they did what they did. They just want to pass judgement and spread hatred in an attempt to completely choke a person out of society. They want to erase them. That's not far from straight up wanting to murder people for disagreements you have with them, and some of the people who practice this have honestly vocalized such desires before. It all just feels so twisted and warmongering and honestly lazy.

    I definitely do think artists need to be scrutinized and studied alongside their works however. If an artist is using their medium to spread some questionable agenda, that stuff very much should be discussed and challenged. That doesn't really stop with artists though. Holding people accountable isn't a bad thing. We just need to tone down the extremes people jump to in attempting to do this and be more willing to forgive one another if one shows remorse for past mistakes in a way that seems honest. Even if they don't show remorse, we need more of the mentality of respectfully approaching people engaging in problematic actions and diplomatically attempting to understand why they act this way and curve them towards a more respectable middle ground both parties can agree on instead of picking a fight that makes them double down on their stance and retreat to familiar support groups enforcing this stance. Maybe that sounds too idealistic for some, but you won't know if you never try, and cancel culture is equivalent to never trying to begin with.

    People really do be committing some deeply disturbing and shocking acts though, and for those who can't handle knowing about those things due to past trauma or personal morals or whatever, if that simply becomes all you can think about when observing their existence, maybe it is better for everyone's sake to just willfully separate yourself from that as much as possible. That doesn't meaning going online and trying to cancel them though. Avoid them, and if that isn't enough maybe consider therapy to work through and overcome whatever deeply ingrained reasons you have for have for struggling to tolerate even glimpsing them anywhere without exhibiting an extreme reaction. I would never say those feelings are a person like that's fault, but their ability to control emotional outbursts on the other hand are indeed their responsibility.

    Anyways, all that is just the way I feel about it. Despite any language I might've used, I'm not trying to enforce how I believe one should act on others, because I think people should be able to choose that themselves within reason and reasonable societal law. I simply think we can do better than many of the responses you see people taking in these situations. Mobs and exiling should've died with the Dark Ages. People need to accept that we're all very different from one another and disagreements will naturally ensue constantly. I personally believe we need healthier ways of approaching these disagreements. I write this post in hoping to convince others to deescalate discourse whenever they can stand to.