COLUMN: Pulling Art from the Artist

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By Roxanne Timan, Managing Editor

Follow her at @Roxlobster

Lately, people have been expressing how they feel disheartened and disappointed about Aziz Ansari and his actions that recently came to light. He has changed the game of comedy, but he has been accused of being a sexual predator by women online.

The recent influx of “naming and shaming” has put patrons of the arts into a tailspin - do you choose to step away from all content these people have ever created, or just recognize that they are unsavory people and move on to looking at the art for what it is?

Lets face it, our generation thrives on finding the problematic in Hollywood. Some more severe than others, yes. Victims deserve to be respected by their testimonies against those in the spotlight. However, when are we allowed to pull the art from the artist?

There are two clear options: cut all those accused of sexual misconduct out of your artistic taste, or choose to recognize that some films and movies may include shitty people, but does not equate to a shitty movie. Does either one make you more of a saint? No. The entertainment industry is built on a messy foundation, it is impossible to completely omit those who do wrong from our movie and music intake.

I am not asking for you to choose a side as much as I’m asking you to be consistent with your choices. If you choose to boycott artists for what they have done, then you are making a decision that should spread to not just the latest person to hate, but all Hollywood moguls who have been accused of misconduct.

In no way do I condone these kinds of behavior from Weinstein to Ansari, but that is not the point of wanting to listen to a song or a movie - it’s beyond their heinous actions. If we took out all Hollywood actors who have done these types of crimes, we would be honestly surprised about how much we would have to pull out of our culture.

There is a difference in being entertained than supporting a sexual predator. Not every movie going experience should be a PC judgement call, and flipping through radio stations should not make someone feel guilty for liking a song. Unless you are directly saying you condone these ideals, your taste in artistic content is up to you as a person, just try to keep yourself consistent before you judge.