The age of social media has changed the game. It is a space for apparently infinite information & expression from any & everybody. Which can be cool at best. At worst it shakes your faith in humanity & ruins certain people for you.
With the new age of “woke” & oversharing of celebrities, we have a very different relationship with people in the limelight. It used to be as if we lived in a world apart from them. We only really saw them when the cameras were flashing or they were working. There were tabloids & rumors, but those you could say are fake. Now we have an all access pass to most of our beloved stars & it has turned out to be a problem for many of them. For some reason the general public feels entitled to know any & everything about celebrities. There are people who have become celebrities from TMI. With all of this new info, we see beyond the glitz & glamour & see the humans. It can get bad.
In this new age, where actual news & supposed journalism dedicates a great deal of time to breaking news about celebrities, we are experiencing an unfortunate overlap in the arts. Finding out that your favorite artist has problematic viewpoints can taint them for you & make it difficult to enjoy their art. How do you separate the art from the artists?
Some will say it shouldn’t matter. Who cares? What does one have to do with the other? It is true that we are all human & have flaws, but can you separate supporting something & supporting the people behind it? When someone is profiting from you, it’s hard to say that “Oh, I don’t like them or what they represent, but I still buy their stuff.” It shouldn’t matter, but then again it does. I know personally, I think of it as helping elevate & spotlight individuals that could be promoting ignorance. The thought of funding the lifestyle of a vile human being is a bit too much for me.
Granted, there are levels. Just because I disagree with someone’s viewpoints does not mean I won’t partake in their work if it’s great. However, if they are doing terrible things, then no, I can’t rationalize supporting them. Many artists are saying things on Twitter & Instagram that make me want their wi-fi cancelled. At the same time, great art is great art. You don’t have to be a saint for me to enjoy your work, but please don’t be awful either. In terms of finding things out about artists who are gone already, that I don’t care about. They’re gone. They can’t profit anymore. All that’s left is the art & if it’s the best of them so be it.
So the question becomes, how do you stop someone from ruining their work for you? You don’t want to go to enjoy a song, but all you can think about is the artist’s ridiculous posts on social media. I guess the first step is not following them. Out of sight, out of mind. You will have to separate the person from what they do. Secondly, don’t feel like you have to defend them. Don’t make excuses for bad behavior because you want to jig to their song. Just don’t say anything. Third, keep in mind that they are people. They may be rich & famous, but that doesn’t take away their humanity. Again, no excuses, but they’re going to have flaws. Don’t put them on a pedestal to that point. Be reasonable.
Now for artists out there, please do yourself a favor & tread lightly. Yes you are a person just like everybody else & you want to express yourself, but for the sake of your fans & your brand, please be careful what you put out there. Don’t put people who want to support you in a tight spot by having to try to ignore crazy stuff you do. If you must post certain things, please make a private account & let it fly on there. Thank you.
Controversy is fine. Using your platform to say things that may need to be said is fine. I’m not talking about ruffling feathers. I’m talking about actual harmful ideas & actions that are problematic as in offensive or just down right bad. Opinions are opinions, but when people are out here suffering because of certain ideas or morality is brought into question, now we have a problem. These days image is everything. Putting things out there can stick. Be mindful of what you say & do. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequence. That goes for everybody. At the same time let’s not be overly sensitive. Stop finding issue with everything. Sometimes people go overboard. Let people live. However, if they are representing something damaging, then it is time to think about how or if you will be supporting them. Hold people accountable.
What do you all think? Do you think the art or work should be separate from the person or does one effect the other? We’d love to hear your thoughts?