Artists vs. their Art

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Flack
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Artists vs. their Art

Post by Flack » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:57 am

Yesterday I wrote a blog post that was a little too broad in scope and asked too many questions. I'd like to pull something specific from that post, and ask it here. I'll break it down into a few different specific questions.

01. Do you separate artists from their art? Are you able to enjoy art that was produced by criminals?
02. Does it depend on the specific crime the artist committed?
03. Does it matter what role the person had in the creation of the art?

My original blog post was in response to radio stations pulling Michael Jackson songs out of rotation after the release of the (apparently fairly damning) documentary Finding Neverland.
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Flack » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:23 am

I don't want to lead the conversation -- and any opinions are welcome -- but I'll tell you my own personal opinion, and what I've seen so far.

Personally, I am able to completely disconnect artists from their artwork. I don't know for a fact that Michael Jackson was a pedophile, but even if he was, it doesn't change the act that I still like Thriller.

The second question is self-explanitory. It seems that people are more likely to distance themselves from artists convicted of sex crimes (Jackson, R. Kelly, Cosby) than things like, say, a DUI or drug conviction.

The third question is also interesting to me. Harvey Weinstein has also been charged with sex-related crimes, but I haven't seen a huge backlash/boycott against Miramax films in general. Compare that to Kevin Spacey and Mel Gibson, where people DID push back against the films they starred in.

Anyway. No right or wrong answers here. I'm legit interested in people's opinions.
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Jizaboz » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:21 am

01. I'd have to say no considering I still don't believe Jackson was ever a pedophile. I also really like Burzum despite the story of how Varg killed a guy.

02. Maybe? Though the only one that comes to mind at the moment is Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski. The latter however I thought their "art" sucked to begin with so it just made me dislike the guy even more.

03. I'd say so. There's a big difference between the lead guitar player of a band getting in trouble for something serious versus say the backup keyboard player.

I think Finding Neverland is probably chock full of sensationalist BS to make the movie sell. Same goes for the Lords of Chaos movie.

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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by pinback » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:35 am

Are we counting sports athletes here? I'm generally forgiving of "artists", because the stuff they already did, I mean... No matter how pervy Cosby was, "Noah" is always going to be funny. MJ could have murdered those kids instead of just raping them, and you will still get moving to Billie Jean. You'd never say "I really like Michael Jackson", but you will always have to say, those were some of the best albums ever.

Athletes are more about, are you still going to root for them and cheer them on. I've found recently that an athlete I've been a huge fan of for decades did something, not illegal, but distasteful enough to me that I find myself not caring about what he does anymore, or even actively rooting against him.

Screw you, Tiger.

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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Flack » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:40 am

I was more thinking about entertainers than athletes, but it's a great question. I was more thinking of people like Roseanne, who had her show cancelled three hours after she blasted out a racist tweet, and then had places like Hulu pulling all nine seasons of her old show off of their streaming service.

It doesn't seem like the same rules apply to sports franchises. ESPN didn't quit showing Pacers games after Ron Artest went into the stands and fought with fans. The closest example I can think of would be someone like Lance Armstrong, who got caught doping, had his previous medals stripped, and was banned from the sport. But that was because of something he did within the confines of the sport (cheating) and not an external event. A more direct comparison would be (like you said) Woods or maybe Mike Tyson, whose career was barely inconvenienced by his prison term. After serving three years in prison for rape, he emerged prison and fought Peter McNeeley to sold out crowds and a then-record setting $96 million PPV.
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by pinback » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:10 pm

There's also the videogame angle. I definitely do not support developers who are DICKS, BRAD.
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Flack » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:36 pm

I dunno. EA is both the most hated and most profitable developer.
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Casual Observer » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:17 pm

To me what matters is whether the art has some connection with the crime. Like, Louis CK, I don't give a shit that he masturbated in front of women. If a woman stayed in a room while they were uncomfortable that fucking Louis CK is pulling out his dick and jerking off then why the fuck didn't they leave? Louis CK has no power in the comedy industry, he's barely getting by. My problem with Louis CK is that 90% of his material is about him jerking off. So when I try to listen to his standup all I can think about is the scandal, and I really don't need reinforcement from real life about this guy wanking his dick so it kind of turns me off. Maybe he can get some new material that doesn't have to do with his junk.

Cosby: Look, most of the accusers that came out had a common problem that after the alleged incident they kept hanging out and taking pictures with the guy. As my wife says, if you know you got raped why the fuck would you keep smiling and hanging out with the guy? The answer of course is they wanted fame and thought that Cosby was the conduit to make that happen. So in short, greed. There are legit victims who had their lives ruined like the one whose case got him 3 years in prison but dozens of those women were ok with it if it got them some money or fame. I'll still watch the Cosby show if there's nothing good else on (with 500+ channels + Netflix + Amazon + Hulu there's always something else good on).

Michael Jackson: You have to give this guy some understanding. He was groomed from a kid to do one thing which was to perform and become famous. He was really talented and if you really listen to his music it was fucking well done. Not the cheesy pop music but real music with actual instruments. Before his nose was killed by rhinoplasty he could sing and dance really well. He also wrote songs based on his life like Billy Jean so as long as he didn't write a song about sucking off Macaulay Culkin then I don't have to even think about anything but the music.

Roman Polanski: we've known he's a perv since I've been aware of movies so it's a little late to be bothered by that.

Woody Allen: This is a tough one because he puts himself in all his predator glory right in his movies. I mean, he has an entire movie focused on him being an old perv dating a really young girl (Juliette Lewis). Most of his movies have some form of perversion, cheating, or even sexual murder (Match Point). I think what he did to Mia Farrow was a raw deal but personally, I don't really care what he's done and most of his movies are "just ok" to me.

Kevin Spacey: I don't care that he grabbed the ass of a young boy. We've suspected that Spacey was gay since Seven so he came out and we're like "ok, we knew, so what". I don't think they should have written him out of House of Cards because the character was already shown as a closeted gay and super corrupt. I mean there was an entire story arc about his character having a gay affair with one of his employees which would be scandalous in the real world. How is it that a star shows that they are actually very much like the character they're playing but because of some kind of PC movement they have to get kicked out of a role they've shown that they're perfect for.

R. Kelly: Meh. His music is ok to me and it seems like he's a bit of a pedo but that's not going to affect his record sales.

Rosanne: She mostly got fucked because most of the country is so upset about Trump and his racism that anyone in hollywood that jumps on that is in danger. I watch her old shows still and it's true that the original Rosanne show was very inclusive. She had lots of shows promoting tolerance and getting along with diverse people, her original show was actually pretty progressive considering it was focused around a podunk rural family that you would expect to be racist and republican. Her new show had some controversy with at least one episode but I think the backlash for that was mostly because Rosanne had already been tweeting Trumpish shit. I'll watch her old show over and over but what I saw of the new one didn't really impress me. My bet is she'll be allowed back as soon as Trump is gone.

Dukes of Hazzard: This confederate flag backlash went too far last year IMO. Anyone who watched the DoH knows that the Duke brothers embodied the idea that showing that flag doesn't mean you're racist. Show after show, they made the point that they were just "good ol boys" doing their best and not looking down on anyone, no matter the race. There were numerous episodes where they helped out people of color or just interacted with them like regular folks. Interestingly, they initially pulled this show off streaming networks during the controversy but now like I predicted not even a year later I'm watching Dukes on Amazon Prime (Bezos doesn't give a shit about racism, IMO).

Justin Smollett: I don't watch Empire so have no horse in this game but I think he's colossally stupid for the stunt he pulled.

Weinstein: I mean, the "casting couch" has been a well known thing for decades so why are we surprised by this shit? There are so many people involved in making a movie, why would I hold the producer against the entire work. (Casting couch porn is one of the best types imo)

Al Frankin: Gotta mention this guy because he got a fucking raw deal in congress. Super funny and talented guy, I'm not sure why he wanted to waste his time in our stupid government but he certainly shouldn't have been drummed out of congress. What was he accused of? A joke picture where he pretended (hands nowhere near the body) to grab the tits of a woman wearing a full flack jacket (pls to be telling me how you can grab the tits of someone wearing a flack jacket). Seemingly baseless accusations of him grabbing the assess of a woman while he's taking a picture next to her husband. If the woman was still grinning in the picture and the husband was ok with it, then what's the fucking issue? I get that the dems folded and turned on him because they wanted to be the "moral party" so they could attack Roy Moore and Dump but they lost a great member of congress for that shitshow. Frankin asked some of the best questions in committee that I heard and he would have been great in this year's investigations. I'm going to re-watch some of his SNL greatest hits today, especially the "Al Frankin decade" weekend update skits.

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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by AArdvark » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:33 pm

Hmmm, one of the biggest changes in the way that we function socially is that everyone has a voice. The Mob speaks. I'm remembering a quote from a soon-to-be-beheaded noble from the French revolution...er, paraphrasing anyway, something like: 'if everyone has a voice who will lead them?' ( I may be TDarcosing that quote)
The problem with radio stations is that they are afraid of losing money. If they keep playing the music from a socially ostracized artist that means they are on the side of the artist (because there is no gray area anymore) and they should also be ostracized. So let's pretend the artist never happened and not offend our sponsors.
In a related note WCMF has replaced the original version to 'Money For Nothing' by Dire Straits. For a while there nobody could use the word -f-a-g-g-o-t- even though the song's been out since MTV played music videos. Now if they could only do something about Piano Man, for some reason they cut out the verse about " 'Bill I believe this is killing me', as the smile ran away from his face."
Anyway, I'll keep on listening to Cosby's Revenge and Wonderfulness albums because frankly, I don't care what he does/did in his personal life. Same goes for Michael Jackson and the rest of the people mentioned above.
Ooh, I almost forgot, the weatherman for WHAM13 got fired for (supposedly ) using a racial slur during a weather forecast last January. He claims he just fumbled his words, there's no way to tell because they pulled the clip instantly but everyone of color claims he said: 'Martin Luther coon King park'. Naturally the station was on the side of whoever pays the advertising so they had to let him go as soon as the mayor hollered in response to The Mob voice on social media.
Sorry fella, nor fair shake for you. The mob calls for your head on a stick and a stick you shall get. Stuff like that gives The Mob power and they will always want more and more. There's never enough capitulating for The Mob. Perhaps that's the real issue, giving The Mob power and influence over artists and celebrities. I certainly wouldn't want my livelihood to depend on the capricious tweets of 20,000 assholes.

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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by RealNC » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:57 pm

Flack wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:57 am
01. Do you separate artists from their art?
Depends on the art. If it's an actor in a movie, the author of a book, a singer, a guitarist, a painting, etc, then I cannot make that separation. If the artist is not directly "outputting" the art (a music composition performed by others, the lyrics of a song, a movie script,) then I can separate the two. It seems that if transformative art is involved, then I can make the separation.
Are you able to enjoy art that was produced by criminals?
Only if I can do the separation. For example, if Cosby wrote a script, I could enjoy the movie if he's not in it. If he is in the movie, I couldn't watch it.
02. Does it depend on the specific crime the artist committed?
Yes. It depends on what my views are about the crime. Rapists and pedophiles completely overshadow their art for me. Murderers can, depending on the circumstances. If someone murdered their abusive spouse for example, I can deal with that. I can also be OK with an artist that killed someone because of circumstances. It seems to depend on what the crime says about the artist as a person. A serial killer for example enjoys killing and/or torturing humans. I can't accept someone like that. (I'm not sure if there's any examples of such artists out there.) Someone who killed because of an argument that got completely out of hand seems more acceptable. Maybe it depends on whether or not I believe that there's a road to redemption or not. Or maybe it depends on what the answer to "what if it was me" is.

If I think the crime is complete BS (like going to prison because of drug use or because of politics) then I don't even view the artist as a criminal.

Then there's also the kind of crime that's not BS, but it just doesn't seem to bother me and I can still enjoy artists that have been convicted. I'm not going to stop watching movies with Wesley Snipes in them, for example.
03. Does it matter what role the person had in the creation of the art?
Yes. If I don't feel the presence of the artist in the art, then I can separate the two.

Finally, I have a suspicion that all of this has nothing to do with crime. It probably depends on my perception of the artist's personality and actions, regardless of whether or not crime is involved. There's some artists out there who never committed any crimes (as far as we know) but because of the things they say and do, I stay away from their art. Racists and SJWs for example fall in that category. And again, only if I can directly perceive their presence in the art.

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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:53 pm

The outrage mob sickens me. People that participate it don't have enough going on in their life and they've taken to the Internet and the little blast of dopamine they get for being OMG RIGHTEOUS to fill the emptiness inside them. The BBS era was great because they weren't on-line. They have helped to ruin the Internet.

I also can't imagine the thought process behind people at companies reacting to fucking Twitter. For $20 I could get every single person on this forum 5,000 more followers. And that is $20 combined, not total. It's all fake. If someone that reported to me was caught up in TWITTER DRAMA it would affect me not at all. Who gives a shit?

(I do think that companies use the outrage mob to get rid of people they wanted to get rid of anyway.)

When it comes to artists or celebrities (not always one and the same) with few exceptions there's so much content out there that people don't care about they gladly exchange the fake rage they cannot possibly actually be feeling for that social media dopamine. Sure, Cosby was a scumbag, he coerced women into having sex with him. Weinstein did the same thing, not sure why he hasn't been charged. But the mob needed red meat so they tried turning on people who had bad dates and shit.

Look at this awful article by some asshole - https://bit.ly/2O0DyFu

He takes it as fact that Aziz Ansari was everything but a convincted date rapist. The author has no self-awareness at all. He can't BELIEVE these people are allowed to work again. He starts listing some dumbfuck arbitrary list of how the people that they've decided are irredeemable scumbags should apologize. The mob wants its ass kissed in a very particular way.

(In the article, literally one paragraph before the author lists the ways he thinks people ought to apologize, he has inlined Youtube videos of some other member of the offenderati setting celebrity apologies to music, mocking them. Because that's how you get the next person to make a totally stupid apology, plant the seed that some other talentless hack will use it for material.)

I don't know, does this answer your questions, Flack? Michael Jackson may or may not have been inappropriate with kids when he was alive. But he did give the world Thriller. He is somehow more likeable than people who run SorryWatch.com (a real website listed in that article) and these other people who protest comedians with signs and stuff. I hope these people grow out of getting offended on the Internet.
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Flack » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:55 am

The Kevin Hart situation really brought to my attention the current mob mentality. When Hart was asked to host the Oscars, people dug back into his old tweets and comedy specials and said some of his old jokes were offensive. Based on that contrived backlash, the Oscars asked Hart to apologize for his old tweets. The thing is, Hart had already apologized for the old tweets. That didn't matter, and the Oscars asked him to apologize again. When he didn't, they canned him.

There's so much wrapped in this that I don't understand. Let me break it down.

01. I don't understand this whole movement where people try to get comics to apologize for insensitive jokes. Hasn't pretty every stand up comedian except Brian Regan and Seinfeld told an offensive joke by now? It's like follow around a sailor and asking them to apologize for talking like a sailor. It's what they do.

02. I don't understand why we go after some comedians but not others. When Eddie Murphy was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor award in 2015, where were the protests about his stand up specials? Or those leather pants?

03. I don't understand why people who are offended get to demand if and how people should apologize and/or atone for things they said. ("Apologize for those tweets." "I already did." "Well... do it again.")

04. Frankly, I don't understand why people who are offended have any power at all. When I was a kid, if someone called you fat, people just told you to "suck it up." I'm sure that went for anyone else who heard racist or homophobic insults. If I demanded an apology from the mean kids on the bus, they would have kicked my ass. I believe people have the right to say "I'm offended," but I don't get how they can follow it with "so you better...". I don't understand how random people have been empowered to take action after being offended.

05. I think the term/phrase "offended" is greatly overused. Unless it made you cry or see red, were you really offended? (If so, "suck it up.") Seriously though, how can people honestly say 9-year-old tweet from a celebrity they never met affected their life? I couldn't care less if Kevin Hart likes overweight Irish guys.

06. I think a good litmus test if you think you're offended is to say, "how can I contact this person or company personally and let them know I was offended." I don't mean sending a random tweet out into the twitterverse. I mean, how can you call Kevin Hart or Eddie Murphy or Bill Cosby or Michael (bring a Ouija Board) Jackson and say, "that hurt me personally." You can't. They're not talking directly to you, or about you. Even better, be prepared to tell them what you, not some rabid mob, plans to do about it. "Based on the fact that you may have drugged a woman 40-50 years ago for sex, I will no longer watch my Fat Albert DVDs." News flash -- Bill Cosby is legally blind and in jail. The fact that you're fake-offended by his sex life isn't the worst thing he's dealing with.

07. I don't understand why people are offended because other people are offended. "That's insensitive to people without legs." Well, use yours and walk on out of that conversation. People get so excited about potentially being offended that they look for things that might offend other people and jump on that bandwagon. Get a hobby, people. My caveat would be defending people who are defenseless -- but to me that's helping/assisting/defending someone, not being offended. People without legs don't need you posting online about how offended you are about jokes.

I think that's it. Time for my 4th cup of coffee.
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Jizaboz » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:31 am

Huh ice I didn't know Weinstein wasn't in jail or something by now. If what they say is true he sounds maybe worse than Cosby.. who honestly I obviously know nothing of and really don't care to read all the rumors and counter-rumors.

I agree with you Flack people get offended at most anything these days. I don't even recall the last time something truly "offended" me. On the other hand TONS of people & things "annoy" me.

This concept may be worse in Japan though..
https://www.polygon.com/2019/3/13/18263 ... ine-arrest

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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Billy Mays » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:35 am

If Louis C.K. was an architect then I would be completely disgusted by what he did, the fact that he is a comedian just makes it so his work is even funnier since he is pushing the boundaries of comedy like Lenny Bruce did back in the day.

Sorry if somebody else already made this point, I stopped reading the posts halfway through it.

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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by pinback » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:48 pm

pinback wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:35 am
Are we counting sports athletes here? I'm generally forgiving of "artists", because the stuff they already did, I mean... No matter how pervy Cosby was, "Noah" is always going to be funny. MJ could have murdered those kids instead of just raping them, and you will still get moving to Billie Jean. You'd never say "I really like Michael Jackson", but you will always have to say, those were some of the best albums ever.

Athletes are more about, are you still going to root for them and cheer them on. I've found recently that an athlete I've been a huge fan of for decades did something, not illegal, but distasteful enough to me that I find myself not caring about what he does anymore, or even actively rooting against him.

Screw you, Tiger.

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At the start of the week, I didn't care. For the first time, I was happy to see him not on top of the leaderboard on Thursday and Friday.

Then Saturday happened, and then Sunday happened, and as much as I protested about what a disappointment and an asshole he turned into, god damn if I wasn't there with a lump in my throat as he pulled off the impossible. It was like I was 25 years old again, and life still held some hope.

Yes, turns out, I can separate the artist from the art.
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Flack » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:31 pm

I know how you feel. While they were showing golf on TV I was binging seasons of Full House. #FreeAuntBecky
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by RealNC » Fri May 03, 2019 7:19 am

OK, I take it all back.

I just tried watching House of Cards season 6. It fucking sucks. I'd rather watch Kevin Spacey hit on a 14 year old on-screen in House of Cards, than watch House of Cards without him being in it.

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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Fri May 03, 2019 10:30 am

How did they write him out? Just keeled over with a heart attack or something?
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by Flack » Fri May 03, 2019 10:47 am

Someone dealt him aces and eights.
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Re: Artists vs. their Art

Post by RealNC » Fri May 03, 2019 11:00 am

Liver failure. Too much poison.

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