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Opinion: Aritsts and Actors Are Not Their Art, Should Be Separated

Art+is+not+a+representation+of+its+creator+and+should+be+separated+as+such.
Veronica Butler
Art is not a representation of its creator and should be separated as such.

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve listened to music or watched a movie or tv show at some point in your life. You might’ve even enjoyed the song you listened to or the movie you watched.

Songs and movies have a ton of moving parts, movies especially. There’s the director, producer, writer, makeup artists, cameramen, riggers, gaffers, and many more, but most importantly: actors.

There have been many actors, actresses and musical artists involved in scandals. Adam Levine was cheating on his wife, the Gwyneth Paltrow trial after she collided with someone while skiing, the Depp v. Heard trial, and of course, many more. These scandals and allegations can cause these celebrities to lose followers and fame and destroy their careers.

It’s important to separate art from the artist, given that’s their livelihood, and it’s an art that you’ve enjoyed and a celebrity scandal shouldn’t change that.

One notorious scandal that caused outrage from fans occurred at the 2022 Academy Awards when actor Will Smith approached another actor Chris Rock on the stage and slapped him for making a joke about his wife’s shaved head. Both parties were found in the wrong by the internet, calling Smith out of line for his over dramatic reaction, and also stating that Rock shouldn’t have made jokes about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia. Whether you thought Smith or Rock was out of line, it shouldn’t jade your view on the amazing works the two parties have participated in. If you grew up watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, there’s no reason to hate it just because Will Smith acted out the way he did in public. His art is not a representation of him.

Another huge example that sparked the inspiration for this editorial is Kanye West. Everyone has heard about the West scandal and his anti-Semitic remarks. This caused a dramatic decrease in West’s support and fame, and his brand deal with Adidas also being dropped. West has also just been a problematic person in general, disrespecting singer Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs by interrupting her speech. While West has been extremely problematic, if you enjoy listening to his music, there should be no reason to not listen to music you enjoy. His music is not him. If a song can’t be permissible in court, why should someone’s actions determine whether or not you think their music is good?

While racist and anti-Semitic remarks are a cause for scandal, allegations of sexual assault are just as bad. In October 2022, a woman accused English singer, Alexander O’Connor, also known as Rex Orange County, of touching her without her consent. He denied the allegations and in December 2022, the charges were dropped before he was supposed to go to trial in January 2023. However, between the time of October and December, people were really upset about the thought that one of their favorite artists was an allegedly bad person. People would make comments about how they feel they can’t listen to an artist who was accused of sexual assault. But if Rex Orange County is an artist whose music you like, there shouldn’t be a reason to not listen to it.

Separating art from the artist is an important part of enjoying life. If music makes you happy, don’t stop listening to it.

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