Author Topic: Separating art from the artist  (Read 4046 times)

Brianator

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Separating art from the artist
« on: November 02, 2017, 11:43:57 PM »
On episode 71 of Maddox's podcast,  the question was raised on whether or not we should be able to separate art from the artist.  According to the poll that was used, most people were willing to separate art from the artists.  However, what I want to know is, what do you people think of this?

I'll give you guys some examples of my own to work with here:  Would you  be able to watch a movie starring Kevin Spacey?  Would you be able to separate Spacey the actor from Spacey the person?  For instance, would you be able to enjoy his portrayal of Jack Vincennes in the movie L.A. Confidential or John Doe in the movie Seven (or perhaps some other film or show he's been in) or would you not be able to because of what he's done in real life.  Another example is Miramax.  Would you be able to watch a Miramax film such as Sex, Lies, and Videotape or Pulp Fiction or some other Miramax film even though Miramax was founded by the Weinsteins?  Or, would you think, "these are still decent films and I'll still watch them."

Do you think that people like Spacey and Weinstein should even be eligible for awards?  Or do you think that the awards should be based on talent and not moral integrity? 
"My mind is aglow with whirling transient nodes of thought  careening through a cosmic vapour of invention."-Hedley Lamarr (Blazing Saddles)

Adam Dravian

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Re: Separating art from the artist
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 12:48:47 AM »
Yeah, I can separate art from the artist. Like, knowing that Mel Gibson is an asshole doesn't at all affect my enjoyment of The Road Warrior. And Harvey Weinstein's creepy antics has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on my attitude toward Miramax films. In fact, I have a hard time even relating to that sort of mentality, since the guy was just a producer. He dealt with the business aspects of film-making, like securing funding. It's not like he had much direct creative input in the films he was involved with.

However, knowing some behind the scenes stuff can color my perception of a movie, at least by a bit. Like, knowing that the main kid in the late-80s horror film Clown House was molested by that movie's directer probably gave the movie a slightly more seedy vibe. But I still had no problem watching it and judging it by its own merits (it was alright).

Knowing Kevin Spacey made creepy advances on a 14-year-old boy definitely changes my perception of Kevin Spacey, but it won't prohibit me from watching and enjoying his films.

If someone wanted to avoid consuming any media that had any kind of creep, asshole, or deviant associated with the making of it, then they're going to find themselves with a mega limited range of things to watch and listen to.

For instance, I know some people swore off listening to David Bowie after some chick claimed she willingly fucked him back in the '70s when she was underage (I don't recall the exact age, it might've been 15). But those were different times, and I can guarantee you that lots and lots of famous musicians from the era totally boned underage girls. It's not like most of them were checking the IDs of all the groupie babes they were banging (while likely being fucked up on all sorts of drugs).

On the other side of the coin, knowing that someone is a genuinely cool person probably makes it a tiny bit easier for me to be a fan of their work.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 07:57:17 PM by Adam Dravian »

Brianator

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Re: Separating art from the artist
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 07:03:57 PM »
Yeah, I can separate art from the artist. Like, knowing that Mel Gibson is an asshole doesn't at all affect my enjoyment of The Road Warrior. And Harvey Weinstein's creepy antics has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on my attitude toward Miramax films. In fact, I have a hard time even relating to that sort of mentality, since the guy was just a producer. He dealt with the business aspects of film-making, like securing funding. It's not like he had much direct creative input in the films he was involved with.

I know what you mean.  However, I have to admit that I was kind of shocked about how many people got outed after Weinstein, like Andy Signore of Screen Junkies, Brett Rattner, Bryan Singer, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven, etc.  I don't recall this sort of thing happening when Bill Cosby got outed a few years ago (and that was a pretty big deal too because of his celebrity status).  I'm pretty sure it was just him that was in the spotlight at the time and I don't think there was a whole bunch of other guys getting outed one after the other shortly after the Cosby accusations.  I could be wrong though.

However, knowing some behind the scenes stuff can color my perception of a movie, at least by a bit. Like, knowing that the main kid in the late-80s horror film Clown House was molested by that movie's directer probably gave the movie a slightly more seedy vibe. But I still had no problem watching it and judging it by its own merits (it was alright).

I know what director you're referring to-Victor Salva.  That guy ended up serving a 15 month sentence because of what he did.  One of the films he directed after serving his sentence was Powder, which was produced by Walt Disney Studios.  He also directed the Jeepers Creepers movies.  Some other interesting tidbits are that Francis Ford Coppola bankrolled Clown House and has been very loyal to Salva throughout his career.  Also, one of Weinstein's accusers, Rose McGowan starred in a Salva movie called Rosewood Lane in 2011.  This is what McGowan had to say about Salva, "I still don’t really understand the whole story or history there, and I’d rather not, because it’s not really my business. But he’s an incredibly sweet and gentle man."  That quote was from an interview which can be found here.  There's also an interesting article about Salva which can be read here.

Knowing Kevin Spacey made creepy advances on a 14-year-old boy definitely changes my perception of Kevin Spacey, but it won't prohibit me from watching and enjoying his films.

I don't know if you've read the latest news on Spacey, but I think it's safe to say that his career is pretty well fucked (You can read about the latest stuff here if you're interested).  It's very upsetting that he's done those things since I think he's a really good actor.  However, I agree with you that I can still watch and enjoy his films because I too am willing to separate art from the artist.  I think I can still respect his skills as an actor without liking him as a person.

If someone wanted to avoid consuming any media that had any kind of creep, asshole, or deviant associated with the making of it, then they're going to find themselves with a mega limited range of things to watch and listen to.

That's true.  I think that it's damn near impossible to find someone that's 100% squeaky clean.  Practically everyone out there has done something shady at some point or another. 

For instance, I know some people swore off listening to David Bowie after some chick claimed she willingly fucked him back in the '70s when she was underage (I don't recall the exact age, it might've been 15). But those were different times, and I can guarantee you that lots and lots of famous musicians from the era totally boned underage girls. It's not like most of them were checking the IDs of all the groupie babes they were banging (while likely being fucked up on all sorts of drugs).

I've never heard that about David Bowie, although I shouldn't be surprised because the Rock and Roll industry and the entertainment industry as a whole is still to this day pretty dysfunctional.  Anyways, are you a Bowie fan by any chance?

On the other side of the coin, knowing that someone is a genuinely cool person probably makes it a tiny bit easier for me to be a fan of their work.

Anyone out there that you think is a genuinely cool person, besides Jessica? 
"My mind is aglow with whirling transient nodes of thought  careening through a cosmic vapour of invention."-Hedley Lamarr (Blazing Saddles)

Adam Dravian

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Re: Separating art from the artist
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 01:17:29 AM »
I know what you mean.  However, I have to admit that I was kind of shocked about how many people got outed after Weinstein, like Andy Signore of Screen Junkies, Brett Rattner, Bryan Singer, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven, etc.  I don't recall this sort of thing happening when Bill Cosby got outed a few years ago (and that was a pretty big deal too because of his celebrity status).  I'm pretty sure it was just him that was in the spotlight at the time and I don't think there was a whole bunch of other guys getting outed one after the other shortly after the Cosby accusations.  I could be wrong though.

I think it's due to the current cultural zeitgeist, and the fact that Harvey Weinsein has been one of the most powerful people in Hollywood for a long time. So his victims were not only far more numerous than Cosby's, but also included several high-profile celebrities. And having celebrities come forward with their accounts of sexual harassment apparently inspired lots of others to do it, and it grew from the snowball effect.

I guess I'm rather cynical, because none of this has been shocking to me. Hollywood is a strange place. You put someone in that sort of place, surrounded by beautiful young people, all eager for their big break. Give that person lots of money and power, and toss a shitload of drugs into the mix, and you're going to get deviant behavior. Lots of it. People have always used their sexuality to get ahead, and people in power have always used that power to gratify their sexual desires. The more a person studies human history, the more apparent this becomes (I'm not saying everyone in power is a totally corrupt rapist monster, but I'll never be surprised when I learn that one is).

Now we live in an era of easy world-wide communication, and that gives a voice to people who would've been easy to silence or dismiss in the past. So the old ways of doing things aren't going to be nearly as pervasive in the entertainment industry moving forward. Now it'll mostly be relegated to the porn industry (especially within the small independent companies).

I know what director you're referring to-Victor Salva.  That guy ended up serving a 15 month sentence because of what he did.  One of the films he directed after serving his sentence was Powder, which was produced by Walt Disney Studios.  He also directed the Jeepers Creepers movies.  Some other interesting tidbits are that Francis Ford Coppola bankrolled Clown House and has been very loyal to Salva throughout his career.  Also, one of Weinstein's accusers, Rose McGowan starred in a Salva movie called Rosewood Lane in 2011.  This is what McGowan had to say about Salva, "I still don’t really understand the whole story or history there, and I’d rather not, because it’s not really my business. But he’s an incredibly sweet and gentle man."  That quote was from an interview which can be found here.  There's also an interesting article about Salva which can be read here.

Yep, I think Jessica and I have talked a little about Salva on our podcast. Jessica thinks Powder has totally creepy vibes that made her uncomfortable watching it. And on a similar note, I made a pseudo-joke on our most recent podcast episode about how people should cut some slack to Roman Polanski.

It seems to be currently in-vogue to dismiss anyone who's performed any kind of sexual assault as an irredeemable monster, but I don't take such a binary view of it. For instance, when someone's convicted of sex with a minor, I think there should be a strong distinction between when the victim is pre-pubescent verses post-pubescent. And I know minors can't legally give their consent in the US, but I absolutely think that how willing the victim was to partake in the act should be taken into consideration. And the maturity level of the victim. What's worse, boning an 18-year-old that, while not technically mentally impaired, seems to have the mentality of a twelve-year-old? Or boning a sexually mature fifteen-year-old who's been emancipated and living is on her own and working to support herself and she seems to have the mentality of a twenty-year-old?

People of the same age can vary vastly in maturity--both physically and mentally. So using age as the only metric seems narrow-sighted.

I think the current laws in the US are pretty fucked up. For example. When I was in my early twenties, I had a seventeen-year-old girlfriend who lived in Florida when I first met her. Where I live in Michigan, the age of consent is 16. So if we boned while she was visiting me in Michigan, it would be perfectly legal. But the age of consent in Florida is 18, so if we boned while I was visiting her, then it would technically be rape.

I'm not saying I'm cool with what Salva or Polanski did. Just that it's a complex matter in which lots of factors need to be considered, but too many people are eager to make it black and white.

I don't know if you've read the latest news on Spacey, but I think it's safe to say that his career is pretty well fucked.

No, I hadn't known about the latest accusations. I don't tend to put much effort into keeping up with current events, especially pertaining to celebrities. But man does that suck for fans of House of Cards (and its creators).

I think that it's damn near impossible to find someone that's 100% squeaky clean.  Practically everyone out there has done something shady at some point or another.

Especially when it comes to the entertainment industry.

Anyways, are you a Bowie fan by any chance?

To me, David Bowie always been the guy from Labyrinth first and foremost (and I'm definitely a fan of his performance in that). As for his music, I like his voice, and I enjoy some of the singles he released in the '80s, but that's the extent of my fandom.

On the other side of the coin, knowing that someone is a genuinely cool person probably makes it a tiny bit easier for me to be a fan of their work.

Anyone out there that you think is a genuinely cool person, besides Jessica?

Heh, well, that's tough to say. I assume you mean celebrities, since if I just name my friends, you'd have no idea who I'm talking about. Some celebrities that seem like genuinely cool people to me (based on my mega limited perception of them) would be Stephen King, Conan O'Brien, Kevin Pereira (he used to host Attack of the Show; I've had some online exchanges with him), Paul Rudd, Tom Hanks, Bruce Campbell (he can be a snarky jerk, but that's part of his charm), Matthew Mercer (voice actor, host of Critical Role), Elijah Wood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DiVito, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), and I'll stop there before this post gets any more massive.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 01:27:36 AM by Adam Dravian »

Brianator

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Re: Separating art from the artist
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 01:30:56 AM »
Apologies for the late reply.  I can be a bit of a procrastinator sometimes.  Anyways, I just want to give some final responses before I move on.

I think it's due to the current cultural zeitgeist, and the fact that Harvey Weinsein has been one of the most powerful people in Hollywood for a long time. So his victims were not only far more numerous than Cosby's, but also included several high-profile celebrities. And having celebrities come forward with their accounts of sexual harassment apparently inspired lots of others to do it, and it grew from the snowball effect.

And that's the reason why the whole "Me Too" movement took off after Weinstein and not Cosby.  I also have a feeling this whole outing thing is going to go on for a long time.  Some of the responses that I've seen from online comments have been pretty interesting.  Some have called the allegations a 'witch hunt', while some others are basically saying that we have to believe the accusers.  There have also been others saying it's a liberal problem and there's also been some anti-Semitic stuff thrown in the mix as well.

I guess I'm rather cynical, because none of this has been shocking to me. Hollywood is a strange place. You put someone in that sort of place, surrounded by beautiful young people, all eager for their big break. Give that person lots of money and power, and toss a shitload of drugs into the mix, and you're going to get deviant behavior. Lots of it. People have always used their sexuality to get ahead, and people in power have always used that power to gratify their sexual desires. The more a person studies human history, the more apparent this becomes (I'm not saying everyone in power is a totally corrupt rapist monster, but I'll never be surprised when I learn that one is).

Now we live in an era of easy world-wide communication, and that gives a voice to people who would've been easy to silence or dismiss in the past. So the old ways of doing things aren't going to be nearly as pervasive in the entertainment industry moving forward. Now it'll mostly be relegated to the porn industry (especially within the small independent companies).

For the longest time I never paid really close attention to what was going on in Hollywood, except for looking at TV and movie reviews.  I was more interested in watching TV shows and movies then what was going on behind the scenes.  Plus I was more focused on stuff like school and work.  There were a few big scandals that caught my attention when I was younger, but I think that was because there was a lot of media attention involved such as the Michael Jackson trial, Mel Gibson's drunken tirade against the Jews and Charlie Sheen's meltdown.  (Interesting fact: there's an actual game based on the Gibson incident that I mentioned earlier).  I also recall an interesting Youtube video based on the Charlie Sheen incident.

I think the whole silence and dismissal thing is a big reason why I didn't hear about all those sexual misconduct allegations that were brought against the people that I mentioned earlier, like Weinstein and Spacey until recently.  I think you're right in that the whole casting couch thing isn't going to be as prevalent now that people are more willing to speak out.

Yep, I think Jessica and I have talked a little about Salva on our podcast. Jessica thinks Powder has totally creepy vibes that made her uncomfortable watching it. And on a similar note, I made a pseudo-joke on our most recent podcast episode about how people should cut some slack to Roman Polanski.

I've never watched Powder, but one movie that I found rather unsettling was A Clockwork Orange.  As for Polanski, Hollywood has long given that guy a lot of slack.  In fact, he's still a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (and so is Cosby).  Weinstein on the other hand has been kicked out.  In other words, Hollywood's sense of morality is pretty fucked up.

It seems to be currently in-vogue to dismiss anyone who's performed any kind of sexual assault as an irredeemable monster, but I don't take such a binary view of it. For instance, when someone's convicted of sex with a minor, I think there should be a strong distinction between when the victim is pre-pubescent verses post-pubescent. And I know minors can't legally give their consent in the US, but I absolutely think that how willing the victim was to partake in the act should be taken into consideration. And the maturity level of the victim. What's worse, boning an 18-year-old that, while not technically mentally impaired, seems to have the mentality of a twelve-year-old? Or boning a sexually mature fifteen-year-old who's been emancipated and living is on her own and working to support herself and she seems to have the mentality of a twenty-year-old?

People of the same age can vary vastly in maturity--both physically and mentally. So using age as the only metric seems narrow-sighted.

I think the current laws in the US are pretty fucked up. For example. When I was in my early twenties, I had a seventeen-year-old girlfriend who lived in Florida when I first met her. Where I live in Michigan, the age of consent is 16. So if we boned while she was visiting me in Michigan, it would be perfectly legal. But the age of consent in Florida is 18, so if we boned while I was visiting her, then it would technically be rape.

I'm not saying I'm cool with what Salva or Polanski did. Just that it's a complex matter in which lots of factors need to be considered, but too many people are eager to make it black and white.

You raise some very interesting ethical questions about the whole age of consent thing.  Canada had a pretty big debate several years ago about the whole age of consent issue issue.  It's pretty odd that the US has no uniform age of consent laws because in Canada the age of consent to sexual activity is 16 years with some exceptions.


I don't know if you've read the latest news on Spacey, but I think it's safe to say that his career is pretty well fucked.

No, I hadn't known about the latest accusations. I don't tend to put much effort into keeping up with current events, especially pertaining to celebrities. But man does that suck for fans of House of Cards (and its creators).

He has since been fired from the show and he's now in a sex addiction rehab facility in Arizona.

Anyways, are you a Bowie fan by any chance?

To me, David Bowie always been the guy from Labyrinth first and foremost (and I'm definitely a fan of his performance in that). As for his music, I like his voice, and I enjoy some of the singles he released in the '80s, but that's the extent of my fandom.

I've never seen Labrynth, but maybe one day I will.  One interesting thing of note (to me anyways) is that I share a birthday with the director of the film, Jim Henson.  Anyways, I also like Bowie's singing voice (sometimes I like to imitate his voice when I sing parts of his songs for shits and giggles).  I like some of his '80's stuff and also some of his pre-1980's stuff like Ziggy Stardust and Space Oddity.

Anyone out there that you think is a genuinely cool person, besides Jessica?

Heh, well, that's tough to say. I assume you mean celebrities, since if I just name my friends, you'd have no idea who I'm talking about. Some celebrities that seem like genuinely cool people to me (based on my mega limited perception of them) would be Stephen King, Conan O'Brien, Kevin Pereira (he used to host Attack of the Show; I've had some online exchanges with him), Paul Rudd, Tom Hanks, Bruce Campbell (he can be a snarky jerk, but that's part of his charm), Matthew Mercer (voice actor, host of Critical Role), Elijah Wood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DiVito, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), and I'll stop there before this post gets any more massive.

The only person that I've met from that list of names is Bruce Campbell, who I got an autograph from at Fan Expo Canada back in September.  One of my other highlights from the Expo was getting an autograph as well as having some pictures taken with fellow Canadian, Maurice LaMarche, who happens to be one of my favourite voice actors.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 05:17:18 PM by Magnetron »
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Rijst

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Re: Separating art from the artist
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2017, 03:36:51 PM »
Pretty deep conversation going on here. My 2 cents, I almost always separate art from the artist when watching a movie as I seem incapable of memorising who these people are. Barring a few very well known actors I normally simply don't know who I'm watching..
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