Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 5 months ago

What is an appropriate thing to do when an author or creator of something famous/inspiring does something unlikable or wrong?

This is just something that's been on my mind for a while now, and I guess there is no right or wrong answer but i'd like to hear some opinions. 

So say there is an author or creator of some kind who really inspired you growing up or just inspired you in life to be better. But then the author does something terrible or has views that are considered wrong. For example, people have mixed feelings about Orson Scott Card and his views on homosexuality. Or how recently J.K Rowling is seen as Transphobic. Or if a creator commits some serious crime. How do we as the audience take that? How can we justify separating the creator from the creation? and can we do that? I never believed that we should just boycott their work or stop reading what they publish. I mean if J.K Rowling released another book i'd still read it even if I don't support her views, but that often gets hate because people make buying her content synonymous with supporting her and her views. 

Just imagine you had someone you looked up to and who helped you move forward in life, and then they did something despicable . How would you deal with it. What if they made an apology, is that enough?

11 Answers

  • 5 months ago

    Look at what Yukio Mishima did. People still read his books. 

  • 5 months ago

    The sad and simple fact is that nobody is perfect, and nobody ever will be. Not only that, but we all have different thresholds of acceptance of different kinds of behaviour. It doesn't bother me that the most heavenly music in the world was composed by a man I would have loathed in person - yes, Richard Wagner, I'm looking at you. I know it bothers other people, and they are at perfect liberty not to attend performances of his music.

    An actor, musician, painter, writer, composer or any other artistic person may be utterly immoral in their private life. I am old enough to understand that their creativity may even to some extent be connected to their flaws.I am happy to watch movies made by Woody Allen or starring Kevin Spacey because I admire their talent. Their private lives are their own. If they commit a crime, they will be subject to the laws of their country obtaining at the time. That's not my business. But their works of art ARE my business, and the business of everyone who admires talent and genius.

    In short, do what YOU think right: not what a thousand random Tweeters may shriek at you.

  • 5 months ago

    You do whatever feels right to you. If someone taught you some valuable, just, and good life lessons, then these are probably still valid, even though that person holds other views that you don't agree with.

    For me, if the offense bothers me enough, I'll boycott the person. I do have one author I stopped reading because of his, pardon my language, piss poor attitude.

    Now I don't go around boycotting authors, artists, actors, directors etc. left and right, but when I do it, it's because I don't want to support them financially or morally.

    When that's out of the equation, I'm much more relaxed about it. Take someone like Caravaggio, an amazing artist, and a jerk, brawler and murderer by all accounts. Do I look at his paintings? Yes. Would I pay to see them in real life? Yes. But then he's been dead for more than 400 years, so I'm not supporting him in any way.

    Of course this gives rise to the question of what happens to the art if we boycott the artist? If everyone had boycott Caravaggio, then there might not have been a 'Judith Beheading Holofernes'. For the artists that I've boycott, it's not that great a loss in my opinion, but it again boils down to doing whatever you feel is right.

    As for J.K. Rowling, I'm not convinced that she is transphobic, more that she's handled the matter poorly. Orson Scott Card is another matter.

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    You don't "do" anything.

    Their work is not related to their actions or opinions.

    There are many actors who seem to be very unpleasant people in real life, but their acting is still excellent and the plays/movies/TV shows they're in are no less enjoyable.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Tina
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    You don't have to do anything. Go on reading their books, or don't, if you don't want to.

  • 5 months ago

    Recognize that no one is perfect, including you.

  • Marli
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Orson Scott Card and J.K. Rowling are not proselytizing their opinions, are they?  There are neo-Nazis, conspiracy nuts, pro- and anti- abortionists, militants of all and anything. Why pick on people who you disagree with if they are not shoving it in your face?  I'm sure you disagree with your parents, friends and children, but you don't disown them, do you?

    Convicted criminals do need to be punished for their crimes.  I am disappointed and disgusted with Bill Cosby; but I am not walking the streets with a sign saying that. Do you introduce yourself, "I'm Anonymous and I think J.K. Rowling is a transgenderphobe." Or do you wait until she comes up in the conversation?  As for buying or borrowing her books, that is your business. No one else's.

    I have gay friends. I am grateful to one gay man who helped me adjust to life alone in the city. I want them to be happy with their partners.  But I am not homophillic. Their lives are between them and God, just like mine is. Same with the transgendered. I can understand that they feel they are in the wrong body, and that they feel more themselves and more completed as the other gender. That is between them and God, though I hope they understand that I am leery about sharing the same washroom with a physically male adult. Some men could be peeping Toms in Tabatha's clothing.

    I don't condemn them. There is a lot I don't know about what make us "us", and I  don't believe that God would condemn folks who are honest about their inner makeup.  I just don't like frauds and "fad flavors of the month." Mr. Card and Ms  Rowling are honest and they should not be condemned for their opinions as long as they do none harm. 

    And their creations should be respected as their creations. Don't make Harry Potter gay or Hermione trans if J.K. Rowling did not make them so. Readers do not have the right to distort a creator's creations to fit their own desires.

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    The history to a point in time judges a person as a whole. It is also weighed against other events and knowledge and changing standards.

    There are better examples than an author.

    US Presidents get ranked, and ranking changes over time.

    Consider the actor Kevin Spacey. Excellent actor in excellent films

    15 accusers of sexual assault and a gay exposure, that some dismiss now, but still affect whether people will watch his films.

    Bill Cosby is judged. Michael Jackson is judged.

    We are re-judging Christopher Columbus and USA Presidents for racist actions.

    Yet the scandal of Alan Turing fades.

    OJ Simpson, American great football star, accused and tried murderer with a not guilty result that angered many and later another criminal conviction.

    Yes, we judge each, over time.

  • 5 months ago

    You can do whatever you want as long as it is nonviolent. You can stop reading their books. Or you can continue reading their books even though the writer is a Nazi or a child molester or transphobic or whatever. You can write a letter to the author explaining your disappointment that they turned out to be a vegan or a communist or a potato farmer or whatever. If you keep your letter polite, you might even get a response from the author.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    The only truly appropriate thing we can do - and I'm talking about the whole Books & Authors community here - is for all of us to march to the homes of these wrong-doing, prestoopnik "authors" and confront them, vigorously. The best way of achieving this is for us to throw of our clothes, storm into their homes and confront them about their behaviour. Raid their fridges, use their toilets, let their dogs escape, frighten their children by making faces at them........ we must do these things, and more. Only then will they realise they should always strive to be perfect. Thank you.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.