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Should we separate the art from the artists?

Cartoon by Ayden Soupal

Looking past people’s criminal records and appreciating their work as artists, comedians, actors and entertainers

I admire an artist. As a person, I find him repugnant. Now, that’s an exaggerated extreme, but it represents my belief that art and the artist should be separated. In the rise of #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, this argument has emerged, and it’s totally understandable. If you don’t want to watch “The Cosby Show” because you think that Bill Cosby is a monster, I can see where you’re coming from. But, does one person’s terrible personal life really affect the art they created? In the midst of the #TimesUp outings in 2017, one of my favorite performers/artists was outed: Aziz Ansari. Although he is fantastic on “Parks and Recreation,” for me, “Master of None,” his Netflix original show, is one of the greatest television shows ever created. When the word got out about his actions, my opinion of him lowered, and all his projects were put on hold. But, did this affect my opinion of None? No. This is because of my philosophy. One bad person shouldn’t affect my opinion of art, because I know that hundreds of other people have worked on that show, not just him. I am personally not condoning or supporting any of these artists, I’m merely just supporting their past creative works. For instance, a film came out this year named Billionaire Boys Club that made only $618 while playing in 11 theaters. This number is never heard of, event though stars like Ansel Elgort (“Baby Driver”) and Taron Egerton (“Kingsman”) are involved. The main blame for this bomb is the films co-star, Kevin Spacey. When he was outed, all of his projects were sort of shoved under the rug. He was fired from “House of Cards,” edited out of the Oscar-nominated film, “All the Money in the World,” and multiple films of his were cancelled entirely. I do not condone Kevin Spacey in the slightest, but his terrible actions have not only affected the victims themselves, but the people that worked with him. The team behind “Billionaire Boys Club” was affected by not making any money from the project whatsoever, thus potentially affecting their careers. By not supporting works just because of one bad person, people are losing their jobs and livelihoods as a repercussion. The instance that hurt me the most was the news about John Lasseter. Growing up, “Toy Story” was my favorite film, and that is the movie that inspired me to admire film and want to be involved in that field. I knew every fact about every film at Pixar, and that was the place I wanted to work at growing up. Lasseter inspired me to create and love telling stories. When his outing was released, I cried. I felt as though he had let me down. I was so mad, angry, and upset with him. He was my idol. But what did I do after this? I watched Toy Story, and loved it just as much as I did when I grew up. As an artist and lover of cinema and media, I personally try to ignore the personal lives of the people behind the scenes when viewing art and just interpret it with as little bias as possible. Art should be viewed as art, and your opinion shouldn’t be swayed by something that isn’t the art itself. You can not like something because it doesn’t resonate with you, but having real life affect art almost takes away the beauty of art itself and the mystery that comes with it.


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