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Monday, 28 September 2015

Chin Scratcher Follow-Up: Separating Creator From Creation...


Yesterday's "Chin Scratcher" about separating the art from the artist generated some great discussion across Facebook, Google+, here on the blog and even on Twitter.

I'd raised the issue about supporting an artistic creation (e.g. a TV show, a movie, a book, a comic etc) that had been created by someone whose actions I couldn't condone (be it a heinous crime or simply different political views).

Over on G+, Eric Hope said: "I have similar qualms, and I use the following rationalization: I allow myself to enjoy the works, as long as I don't contribute financially. So checking things out from the library is fine (where the works existed independent of my interest), but purchasing them (therefore creating income for distasteful persons) is out."

Nicholas Yankovec pointed out: "I like Frank Miller's work, and John Byrne's. Charlton Heston is one of my favourite actors, and I enjoy Shwarzenegger's films. Yet I don't agree with any of them politically, and I think that's fine. With the exception of Miller's later work, I think their politics doesn't shine through in their creative output.

"But when it comes down to serious crime, like sexual assault on kids, it taints their work in a different way."

Part of the reason I'd raised the question in the first place was my discovery that the lead actor in one of my favourite shows - Stephen Collins in Tales Of The Gold Monkey - was an admitted sex offender, and this tainted my appreciation of the show and an idea that I had had of cosplaying his character, Jake Cutter.

Author Charles Rutledge wrote on Facebook: "The director of the Jeepers Creepers films is a convicted child molester. No way would I ever give money to anything he was involved in. You're talking about a fictional character, not the actor who played him, but if I saw you in the outfit, I would immediately think of the actor."

Long-term virtual friend Percy Hodge, also on Facebook, said: "But keep in mind that everyone else associated with the production is innocent of wrong-doing, including the writer(s) who actually created the character [of Jake Cutter]. If someone else had been cast, you wouldn't even be asking yourself this question."

Jim Fogarty chimed in with: "I agree it matters on what they did. I like Tom Cruise as an actor and can separate that from his nutty religious beliefs. I'd have a much harder time doing that with Stephen Collins."

Back on G+, Gary F said: "I think if someone creates something special - something cutting edge or transcendent, then I think it can be important to study and even enjoy the art. But if it is merely good art where there are 100 other people doing things just as good (looking at folks like Orson Scott Card here...) then I think I'd pass on having anything to do with the art, myself. Of course one person's transcendence is another person's trash..."

And Brent Newhall summed up his take on the discussion with the statement that: "[s]eparating the artist from the art is a sign of a strong mind."

Let me know what you think in the comments section below...

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