Separating Art And Artist
It's the staple of mom-advice to take the high road, stay true to who you are, and stand up for what you believe in. When it comes to elementary school spats and teenage friend drama, the right vs. wrong actions are typically pretty clear (even if they don't seem to be at the time!).
However, as we get older, life gets harder — lol, but really. It gets harder in ways that involve bills and responsibilities and not-fun choices, but it also gets harder in more morally challenging ways as well. As you start to make choices about what you support with your dollars and who you support with your time, it's impossible to be completely objective about where your alliances lie.
Unfortunately, it's seemed that we've seen an uptick in celebrities and companies doing generally awful things. From allegations against Bill Cosby to Jason Bateman being a jerk to Morrissey's controversial stance on basically everything, even the world of family sitcoms and punk music aren't safe from controversy. That's not to say we should find ourselves irritated with those that call our celebrity faves out on their bad behavior — instead, we should put thought into why and how we support these people in the first place, and how we can reconcile that with our own personal morals.
Personally, I find some things to be rather cut and dry. I don't use cosmetics that test on animals and I try to buy clothes that don't employ sweatshop labor. While some things are fairly simple to navigate, some things are decidedly not so. Should I stop listening to The Smith's catalog because of Morrissey's racism? Should we continue to enjoy Graduation despite the fact that Kanye has undoubtedly gone off the rails? Can we still enjoy the wit of Arrested Development and console ourselves with the fact that Michael Bluth is far from the best character anyhow?
I don't have the answers for myself — and I would love to hear yours! — but I do try to let my moral compass be my guide. I tend to feel okay about listening to old music from artists I no longer support...everyone changes and sometimes people change for the worst. However, I don't think that people who do awful things should still continue to have a career after their awful actions have come to light, therefore you probably won't catch me going to see a Weinstein movie or buying the new Grimes album when it hits shelves.
Ultimately, I wish that people could just be reasonable so we don't have to be conflicted every time a song comes on the radio, but I guess we aren't that lucky.