Does an artist's personal life dictate your consumption? Should it?

A recent event on DC Universe has raised this issue (I won’t draw more attention to the particular instance. Read the forums; it will be easy to figure out.), an issue that seems to come up in our society all the time these days. I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

Do you still read content despite an artist’s personal life and actions? Or do you shun it?

Should a company that paid someone work-for-hire many years ago reduce access to that work because of an artist’s personal life?

What if that work had many other collaborators, whose work will receive more or less attention depending on the decision to shun or not?

What are your thoughts on the relationship between art and artist?

What are the responsibilities of the consumer when faced with scandalous artists’ art? Is there a responsibility?

Please share your thoughts and any thoughts in adjacent arenas. I very much want to hear what you have to say.


Bat you can make an argument that the criminal activity of one contributing artist shouldn’t matter but in today’s climate DC and WB would be raked over the coals for promoting his work and (I’m guessing) putting money in his pockets


@msgtv But how does an artist’s personal life affect your consumption of their work?

Also, @msgtv, I don’t want to debate the particular instance, but DC and WB are currently promoting the work you are referring to in other venues. So I find it hard to accept your premise as stated.

If anyone feels the need to use the particular case as evidence for their view, then I don’t want to limit their speech. However, I am much more interested in the issues in abstract and how people actually relate to these issues personally.

Exhibit A.) Michael Jacksons music is still played on the Radio
Honestly it seems like the matter just depends on the artist

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Not saying it affects me, I can separate the artist from the art, but I understand the corporate decision. If it were up to me I’d leave it up.

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@RagdollRebel What about an artist would make it depend for you?

Also time can be a factor. A Fatty Arbuckle movie is probably not going to draw as much criticism based on it being nearly a 100 years ago.

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I often can separate the art from the artist although a lot of it depends on what they did. I mean I can’t say as much as I loved Bill Cosby growing up that I have been in a big hurry to watch the Cosby Show now for example. Don’t fault people who can, there is some definite merit to love the art not the artist, but I also think there is a line where if what they did it too horrendous you lose the right to expect to be remembered fondly be it as an artist or a person.

Honestly, I’m too lazy to do the homework. If a cover attracts me, or I see a character that I like, I’ll probably read the comic.

If you tell me afterwards that one of the creators killed his whole family, it probably wouldn’t change my opinion of the story.

On the other hand, do I steer clear of Woody Allen films? Yes, I do. But I’ve seen a couple of his films, and I didn’t like them. Rosemary’s Baby, though? Yeah, I liked that.

So, I don’t think the artist changes my opinion of the art.

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@msgtv What about time do you think makes it more acceptable? Is it just that people forget?

Two points

Even those with a relativism philosphy, where anything goes, there are two exceptions

The individuals involved must be consenting adults
No one should be physcially or mentally abused.

In cases like these, both exceptions were violated.


Even work for hire employment involves paying people for the work that is being reprinted., Which is the case here.

Paying people involves that person following certain rules specified in the contract , including behaving in a way that does not cause scandal to the company paying them.

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Time? Is the artist still around to enjoy the fame or profit? How fresh is the story in the mind of the public or me? Eventually we all stop being people and we become history. Ivan the Terrible was terrible but he is unlikely to generate the emotional response that a more recent but less terrible rotten person would.


It really depends. Some situations are just too dire to ignore for me. If DC or any other company wants to still sell certain people’s content, I just won’t buy them. The problem for me on a service like this is that part of our money is going to certain people’s pocket whether we consume their content or not. I can watch a movie with Amber Heard or one with Johnny Depp and maybe think of them a little differently, but for the most part, I can separate them from their art. Once you do something to defenseless children that are already so vulnerable in our society, I just can’t separate the art from the artist. On top of that, if they are convicted and plead guilty and there is evidence, I just could never feel right about putting money in that person’s pocket even if indirectly.


Look at this an actual reasonable discussion of different viewpoints.


Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t affect my consumption. First of all, obviously I can’t be affected if I don’t know about anything dubious, but then there are some things, politics for example, that just don’t bother me. But if I find out something just truly dreadful, then it will affect my decision to support them in the future.

@TurokSonOfStone1950 Are you saying that you believe the company paying a work-for-hire contract should not have to if the contractor causes scandal? And are you saying that if that is the case, you would consume the contractor’s work? Genuinely not clear on what you’re concluding, so just seeking clarification.

@nu52 If that person had collaborators who would lose money if the work is buried, does that change your view at all? (Not a leading question. Genuinely curious.)

@StarofLyra Do you think we as consumers have an obligation to seek out whether something is dubious? Do we have an obligation to not consume?