We Must Separate the Accused from the Art
How do we condemn artists like R. Kelly and Michael Jackson without losing the art?
We've all seen and heard the fallout from the accusations against R. Kelly and Michael Jackson over the last couple of weeks. Both men are accused of ugly and egregious acts. Sexual crimes that are disgusting and hard to listen to. There is no debating that if either of these men did in fact commit these acts, they are pure evil. They deserve ire and condemnation.
The issue that then remains is the music. The art. What do we do with the art? R. Kelly and Michael Jackson have entertained and inspired a number of generations and millions upon millions of people. There are dancers, singers and performers that are a direct result of the works of these two men. Jackson has provided us with music that is so ingrained in our lives and society that it seems impossible and almost wrong to strip the world of that music. Where is the line between R. Kelly and Robert Kelly? R. Kelly made songs we love.
Is it simply because we don't want to give that money back to the tainted legacy of men who may have committed these horrible acts? If that's the case, could we potentially demand that the funds from their plays, streams and downloads go to charitable foundations that support the victims of their criminal actions?
There must be ways that we can enjoy the music. There has to be a way we can still enjoy Bill Cosby's comedy. There has to be a way to not just remove all of that from our existence because the artist was a bad guy.
There are a number of celebrities and artists that have committed egregious acts and have done some stupid and terrible things. We'll eventually end up with nothing if we don't find a way to remove the art from the artist.
Let's find a way to enjoy the art, condemn the acts and support the victims.