Can We Take Art Away From The Artist?

I cannot condone what he did in any way, I don’t think anyone in their right mind can, but if he’s making genuinely good music what do we do?

Last week one of my good friends at Viberant posted an article titled ‘Can Bad People Make Good Music’ I’ve decided to take it that step further. Generally speaking there are bad people in every walk of life, we are in the wake of tens of men being accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault in Hollywood from Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey, but the question stands, can we take the art away from the artist?

October 31st marked the release of Chris Brown’s album, it’s over 40 tracks long and it’s been getting rave reviews, but we all know what Chris Brown did, so can we support this mans work? I cannot condone what he did in any way, I don’t think anyone in their right mind can, but if he’s making genuinely good music what do we do? From a personal standpoint I don’t listen to it and I don’t support it, but then am I a hypocrite for bumping XXXtentacion? Realistically it needs to stop, XXX made one of my favourite albums of the year, but the more I stream it the more I’m supporting a very bad person. For people who have a passion for art, whether it’s music, film or sport, it’s extremely difficult to just cut out chunks of that to maintain a moral code.

Perhaps the biggest example of this isn’t music, but pro wrestling. The most iconic name in pro wrestling is Hulk Hogan, he was the leader of the NWO in the 90’s and was the biggest name in wrestling throughout the 80’s. In recent years WWE has erased The Hulkster from their history because he’s a massive racist. Am I meant to not watch WCW in the attitude era because Hulk Hogan was a racist? Some would say yes, and lucky for me he wasn’t all that as a wrestler anyway. But then the slightly more difficult topic would be Chris Benoit.

In 2007, for world champ Benoit murdered his wife and son before taking his own life, and WWE swiftly erased all memory of him from the company’s history. His name will never be mentioned, his stats and credentials are none existent, but you cannot deny that he was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, can that be ignored?

I think such a sensitive and deep discussion will always rub people up the wrong way, and it’ll always cause disagreements. For me it’s hard to erase these men from history, as much as I disagree with the sickening acts of what Benoit and XXX have done I always find myself wanting watching them and listening to them, as much as I don’t want to. I’m not sure if it makes me a bad person or not. If you can stop listening to these people and stop watching these peoples artistry then I salute you because you have more will power than me, but be warned that as time goes on there will be less and less music and film in your life, it’s a sad fact but a true one.

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