Opinion: Separating the art from the artist


Kassie Ramirez, Staff Reporter

This article originally appeared in the February 14, 2018 Clarion hard copy.

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s a common saying that is said so lightly, but do celebrities have to adhere to different standards than the common man? It’s no secret that every private life of a celebrity is somehow exposed by the media and press. But when the public finds out the truth about the person, do we have the right to discredit someone’s work for the faulty person they are? I believe we have every right to, and I’ll explain why.

Celebrities are always in the public eye, with millions of people looking up to them. Some celebrities are truly our role models. While it’s true, I can admit it’s not fair. We are all people, we all have faults, holding certain people above others is a flaw that humankind has placed on itself. But sadly, it’s a reality in our modern world and artists should be aware of this and try to act the part.

Recently, scandals have been sweeping the nation. Various, awful acts have been allegedly committed by many of our most prominent celebrities. How can we react? What do we do? How does it affect us? These are some of the big questions that we have to ask ourselves.

One example of a celebrity who has been in the spotlight recently is Kevin Spacey. There have been awful accusations about him since last October, dating back to the late 1980s. How does this affect us?

I remember growing up listening to Hopper on “A Bug’s Life,” a character played by Kevin Spacey. That was one of my favorite movies and this scandal is directly affecting my childhood. Should I discredit the movie or any other work he’s done because of this? To say the least I am confused, I personally will not directly support any other works he has done or will complete from this point on, but what about movies like “A Bug’s Life”?

Because of all of the accusations, the movie “All the Money in the World” was completely reshot without Kevin Spacey. This was a brilliant idea and I fully supported it. Because of the producers’ actions, I went to watch the movie in theaters to show my support.

Another confusing scandal was Chris Brown physically abusing Rihanna. Growing up I didn’t know what to think, but I took a stance, even as a child. I stopped listening to Chris Brown’s music, I didn’t purchase any songs, albums, merchandise, or anything else that directly benefited him.

However, as the years passed and the scandal slowly faded away, I caught myself listening to his songs at times. While I never did purchase anything, I listened to his music. Is that right? Am I a bad person for doing that and enjoying his music even after what he did? I really don’t know the answer. But as long as we have our morals and values above the actions of humans then we are going to be okay.

It’s hard to separate someone’s work from the person that created it, but I think it’s necessary. If you don’t agree with a person’s actions or choices, then you should stop supporting their work. They directly profit from whatever art they do, and if the person receiving the wealth is an awful person, why are you supporting them?

We have a right to participate in defiant acts and I encourage it. If you disagree with a person’s actions, make it known. We are all entitled to our own opinions and actions.

I believe that everyone should try and stand up for whatever they believe in. It’s your opinions, your values, don’t let them be corrupted by the flaws of the role models we have.