Before mass media and social media, the art and the artist often had little effect on one another. Our culture is now saturated with the personal data of nearly everyone, especially celebrities. So, the question becomes, “Can the product and/or the process be admirable when the artist is less so?” The secondary question is, “If the less admirable reboot and repay, how long should they be labeled and punished?”
I support #MeToo and I especially support #BlackLivesMatter. However, I have to wonder if they’ve pushed things too far in the opposite direction. Is there anyone who hasn’t done something questionable, especially if the social situation and the culture normalizes it? Oprah has a saying, “When you know better, you do better.”
What’s the statute of limitations on bad behavior? What are the degrees? We have different levels of assault, ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first degree murder. Trials consider the circumstances and individuals (ideally) serve their terms return to society.
Are minor incidents over a short period really equal to a long-term pattern or a few seriously offensive acts? Do frat boy pranks at Saturday (SNL) outweigh later years of service? Are they really as bad as Matt Lauer’s ongoing pattern of sexual harassment and misconduct on the Today Show?
Do you believe people can change? Can they atone for errors and mistakes? How long are they liable for errors and mistakes from their past? Do we want a society full of perpetrators and victims? We certainly don’t hold our families and friends to similar standards. We allow them to have shades of gray, so why are public figures only black or white – good or bad – evil or pure?
Are we the sum of our parts or actually defined only by our worst or best action? Does an action equal the whole of the actor?